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Education Perfect began as an internet-based e-learning business. Their innovation is an accessible and affordable online educational tool. This satisfies Sustainable Development Goal 4 (Quality Education) and Sustainable Development Goal 10 (Reduced Inequalities).
Education Perfect's innovation is its adaptive online learning platform, which provides students with personalized schooling opportunities across various fields. Founded in 2007, Education Perfect quickly diversified from a language learning tool to a multi-faced user interface that teaches a multitude of subjects including 35,000 lessons for English, mathematics, science, language, digital technology, ESOL, health/hauora, and social sciences, all aligned with the nation's curriculum. Education Perfect customizes learning content to individual students' needs using advanced technology and data-driven insights, supporting participation and knowledge creation.
The software can be accessed on all Android and Apple devices, including all smartphones, computers, and tablets. They provide a free application that can be found on the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store, but all content is still available on their website. Customers must pay an upfront, recurring fee of $30 NZD per month or $300 NZD per year to access the platform as per their subscription-based business model. The subscribers therefore commit to their services for an established period at a predetermined price. Education Perfect's website does not use advertising to generate revenue; instead, its direct profitability comes from the aforementioned customer fees. The e-learning program can only be accessed after paying the fee. Education Perfect offers a flexible and individualized learning experience through the personalization of learning paths and the incorporation of interactive content, including in-depth lessons tailored to the particular subject, topic, and individual preferences. These lessons range in length depending on how in-depth and complex the subject matter is, ensuring a flexible approach to education.
The founders were two brothers, Craig and Shane Smith, whose inspiration arose from a flip card software they created whilst learning Japanese and French vocabulary called Language Perfect. In 2013, they rebranded to ‘Education Perfect’ and pivoted to support a wider curriculum as they realized their website's effectiveness and popularity. The humble beginnings of a minimal language flip card system evolved into a profound transformation, culminating in the creation of a sophisticated online interface. The interviewee emphasized the concept of an inherent digital foundation embedded within the business, emphasizing its consistent alignment with technology since its inception. A direct quote from Sam is “It was the only language learning product in New Zealand at the time so it saw a decent level of success, internationalized to Australia, and then branched out to all kinds of core subjects”. Education Perfect's goal is to make a lasting beneficial effect on the educational landscape and, consequently, the world by developing a platform that integrates education and technology. It is highly scalable due to its user-centric and autonomous interface that can be customized to suit your learning style and is driven by the latest data and analytics.
The aforementioned strategy assists in achieving SDG 4 (Quality Education) by increasing access to effective and inclusive education methods that cater to different learning styles and abilities. It can be implemented for home-schooling and classroom teaching, offering learning and examination features. They cater to the age bracket of 5-18, with 80% of high schools using and recommending their product. Sam quotes “We've engaged in a couple of pieces of independent research. The outcome of that research was that EP has proven to regularly help improve student results in all of our areas of study”. This, combined with 1.2 million students and users in over 4000 schools worldwide, demonstrates their dedication to providing high-quality education.
It also satisfies SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities) by building a platform that has a low entry barrier for use and is accessible to the masses. With the ultimate goal of providing students with an accessible, efficient, and affordable education, the online e-learning platform offers engaging and interactive exercises that can be used both inside and outside the classroom. The organization aims to appeal to students, teachers, and parents by offering outstanding educational resources on a user-friendly and practical platform. It is available in New Zealand at a price of $30 NZD per month or $300 NZD per year. Sam says “I believe it revolves around ensuring education's accessibility. We have thousands of experts spanning a wide array of subjects, especially in schools where a household might lack a specialized subject teacher. The content and website encompassing this notion can serve as substitutes for a teacher, offering support through specific product features. This being its 24/7 availability and its differentiated instruction software. With the aid of Education Perfect's adaptive technology, teachers can spot where their students need more help and give them extra materials to address any deficiencies in learning. This aids students' engagement with certain content areas and provides access to learning opportunities they wouldn't have otherwise had.” This passage suggests that the ability of the platform to supplement or replace traditional teaching methods also contributes to the goal of improving educational quality and effectiveness.
Education Perfect implements a subscription-based business model whereby customers are charged a reoccurring fee of $30 NZD per month or $300 NZD per annum to access the platform. Their strategic alignment allowed them to provide further positive global change, attracting long-term partnerships that further benefited their business. Sam emphasized their capacity to attract significant industry leaders, such as “G. Tech, Amazon, Code Avengers, and Intel.” Through joint initiatives with these influential entities, this strategic collaboration has not only increased their visibility but also facilitated the cultivation of consumer awareness. They have also helped improve their software and allowed for flexibility in their pricing.
To contextualize the success of Education Perfect's business model, it should be noted that in 2021, the business was acquired by an American private equity firm known as KRR for a substantial amount of $411.45 NZD million. Sam explained that this was a monumental moment for Education Perfect as KRR, “prioritizes investment within companies that aim to assist and help achieve some sustainability goals”. This will also allow growth opportunities to infiltrate more international markets and create employment opportunities.
Sam highlighted that “We are a B Corp accredited organization. So definitely look to maintain that and continue to improve that and work in that space. We've also been a carbon-zero organization for the past 4 years. We fully offset our emissions. We did this last year, and we ran it again, having a company-wide community. We took the day off to do a tree planting session in Long Beach”. He mentioned that they can remain carbon net zero as they do initiatives such as planting trees and rubbish clean-ups around cities. Their commendable innovation has led to their recognition as a B Corp accredited organization. This prestigious title gives them a competitive advantage as they are seen as reputable and transparent, allowing for investor attraction due to their positive social and environmental impact.
The innovation is embedded within the company and its mission statement i.e., providing quality education to students of all ages and backgrounds. Continuous improvement is one of the seven core values of Education Perfect. “I guess continuous improvement is kind of at the heart of all teams. If you're looking through a product lens. We're always identifying new areas to improve the product, whether that’s new features, technology, data hosting, or content. We have a content team who constantly has been looking at how our existing product and lessons are aligned to curricula in various countries and areas we're in”. By accomplishing this, they guarantee that their product will continue to be applicable and beneficial to educational systems all over the globe. Offering students current, curriculum-aligned resources benefits society by promoting better educational outcomes.
As an online and fully digital platform, Education Perfect has multiple environmental benefits. There is a reduced need for paper and physical resources which helps conserve natural resources. It should also be noted that due to fewer travel requirements than conventional classroom instruction, distance education has a lower carbon footprint. Education Perfect has a monumental social impact as it satisfies key areas of quality education. A combination of its intuitive ease of access, quality teachers/instructors, student success, inclusivity, safe environment, and a sense of community allows it to create and produce superior schooling. Education Perfect is a prime modern example of how a business can generate revenue that encompasses the interests of all associated stakeholders and shareholders.
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Name: Education Perfect
Type: Electronic learning company
Industry: Educational technology industry
Location: 77 Vogel Street, Dunedin
Size: 183 employees, 81 countries
Year Founded: 2007
Education Perfect began as an internet-based e-learning business, founded in Dunedin in 2007. Originally known as 'Language Perfect,' its primary goal was to assist educators and parents in teaching their children a variety of languages (Education Perfect, 2020). To broaden its reach, the company created educational resources for nine additional subject domains, giving rise to the entity now known as Education Perfect. As of 2022, the platform is available in over 50 countries, with 1,149 schools in New Zealand and 2,155 schools in Australia all participating with the organization (Education Perfect, n.d.). Their business model is an outstanding instance of an innovation that not only generates a considerable amount of revenue but also provides significant benefits to shareholders, as can be seen by satisfying two of the seventeen United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.