Story of Impact:
Eneza Education

Before Unreasonable

Toni Maraviglia

Toni Maraviglia

For Toni Maraviglia, education is more than just her field of work; it’s her passion. After serving as a Teach for America corps member and program manager in New York City, Toni moved to Kenya and created an education program that quadrupled the passing rate for students using it. She had a product that could transform lives, but she needed a way to scale it. In 2011, Toni discovered the potential to use mobile phones to deliver curriculum to students in remote locations. This was the beginning of Eneza Education.

Kago Kagichiri

Kago Kagichiri

Prior to arriving at the Unreasonable Institute, Eneza had begun to earn revenue but was very early stage. Toni and her co-founder, Kago Kagichiri, knew they needed help developing the venture’s business model, managing its technology, and doing financial modeling. But throughout the Institute, they realized their venture had more fundamental needs than they had previously realized. The core components of Eneza Education — its mission, vision, and values—had to be clearly established.

Unreasonable Difference

With a little help from Unreasonable, Eneza Education solidified the core of its business and is transforming education across rural Africa.

  • Unreasonable helped Eneza define and simplify the heart of what it does and why. The mission statement used by the company today was developed in Kevin Starr’s workshop.
  • Through Unreasonable, Toni and Kago built the strong working relationship necessary to successfully navigate the start-up journey. Toni relates: “That’s what was most important. If you don’t have the relationships, it’s really hard to get to the growth stage or get to scaling. Eight percent of startups actually get through the first three years. We’re on year four, and I don’t think we could have done it if we didn’t have the relationships Unreasonable helped us form.”
  • Toni credits Unreasonable with providing Eneza with the network it needed. Unreasonable enabled Eneza to “reach the right people who could provide us with the right resources for that stage of our company.”
  • For Toni and Kago, the greatest value of the Institute came from their fellow entrepreneurs. Toni explains: “Our peers were all high-quality, motivated, humble entrepreneurs. We’re continually so happy and appreciative of the screening process. It’s the connections to entrepreneurs who are going through the same struggles. Those relationships really, really matter.”
  • Toni and Kago consider the Unreasonable staff to be part of that support. “They feel like entrepreneurs; they’re going along on this journey with you.”Toni and Kago consider the Unreasonable staff to be part of that support. “They feel like entrepreneurs; they’re going along on this journey with you.”

Eneza Today

Today, Eneza Education is creating real change in classrooms throughout rural Africa. A 2014 impact study revealed that the Kariene school, which received Eneza training for teachers and content for students, went from being ranked ninth among 15 schools to being ranked second, within 8 months. Overall, the students improved 22.7% in test score points. And within two years of attending the Institute, Eneza Education has quadrupled its annual revenue.

Why Unreasonable?

Toni says of the Unreasonable experience, “We’ve done a lot of fellowships and programs and accelerators over the past 3 years, and the defining characteristic of Unreasonable is the deep relationships with other entrepreneurs and mentors.”