CAPE TOWN, April 7 – In the midst of a precarious global pandemic and economic crisis that is causing vacillation between questions of ‘what should be done?’ and ‘what are we going to do now?’ Enygma Ventures is delighted to announce their first investment from their original cohort of female entrepreneurs. Play Sense, a small group, in-home preschool model has secured R8 250 000 to enable an online pivot and rapid growth.
Enygma Ventures General Partner and Co-Founder Sarah Dusek says she is very excited about how Play Sense has successfully pivoted its business, taking its unique play-centric curriculum online, adapting its model to serve parents and children during this unprecedented time of schooling from home. “We are exceptionally proud of the entrepreneurs we are working with, that even in the midst of this Covid-19 crisis, we are seeing amazing resilience, creativity, and ability to pivot their businesses and respond under pressure.”
Meg Faure, CEO and one of the founders of Play Sense, is a qualified occupational therapist, childhood development expert and accomplished author, known for her books Baby Sense, Sleep Sense and Weaning Sense, the Parent Sense mobile app and more. She seeks to equip parents with the knowledge they need for raising their children. Her online Play Sense pre-school education offering will now make the unique curriculum and pre-school format available around the world. Faure says Play Sense overhauled their business model to include a digital offering where children can access their imagination-based play sessions virtually.
“We pivoted our business two weeks ago to deliver an incredible home-based education solution, which includes virtual contact time for little ones with their teachers and activity ideas and learning support for parents. This will meet the critical needs of parents and their little ones during this period of isolation,” she says.
Taking both a short view and a long view of the future, she adds, “We believe that the way families choose to educate their children will be impacted long term and the choice of at-home or small group setting will become the norm of the future. This funding means that we can roll our programme out internationally.”
Faure says because they pivoted their business early, working around the clock to ensure they had a new, sustainable model ready to meet their parents’ needs and to prepare for a lockdown; South Africa’s 21-day lockdown doesn’t impact negatively on their business as they are now offering virtual classes ensuring children can still see their teachers and interact with them via an online platform in real-time.
She says they were able to pull this off because they harnessed creativity and leadership to find a way forward. “As a team, we engineered the most incredible offering in 72 hours – building a tech platform from scratch,” she says. “This was a testament to our team’s creativity and the amazing collaboration. If an entrepreneur can galvanize their team to innovate, they will succeed.”
On what the future holds, Faure says when the lockdown is lifted and people can meet again, Play Sense will continue to offer both small groups in homes and the virtual home solution to their members.
Play Sense’s success story showcases how women entrepreneurs in Africa are extremely investable and is just one example of how small businesses are successfully pivoting their business models through strategic innovative blueprints to bring forth new solutions that offer hope to many people in dark, uncertain times.
For more information on Play Sense or to sign your toddlers and preschoolers up visit Play Sense’s website at www.playsense.org and watch Faure chat about her company in the Play Sense video.
Follow Play Sense on social media on the following channels:
Instagram: @playsense2to3 / @megfaure.sense
Twitter: @playsense2to3 / @megfaure
Facebook: @playsense2to3 / @MegFaureOfficial