Five questions for… Nicola Chilman, cofounder, EZ Education
EZ Education creates learning software: maths and English programmes that replicate the experience of a private tutor for a fraction of the cost.
What does your business do?
EZ Education creates learning software: maths and English programmes that replicate the experience of a private tutor for a fraction of the cost. They are designed for four- to 14-year-olds to spend ten minutes a day learning on any mobile platform.
What has been your company's greatest achievement so far?
I set out to help children reach their potential in maths, to feel confident about learning, and to take that confidence into their daily lives. I wanted to do that with more children than I could help from my classroom in Wiltshire. Participating in a programme to take 1,000 tablets to slum areas in Nigeria and measure the incredible impact our DoodleMaths app can have for children from deprived areas was wonderful.
What has been your biggest challenge?
There have been many: building and rebuilding our platform to retain our leading edge in adaptive learning; growing an ambitious, resilient and productive team; balancing the company with my family life with three children aged ten and under; and raising investment. But overall, the biggest challenge is prioritising and not letting the small stuff become a distraction.
What are your plans for hitting your targets?
We are on track to grow sales by three times this year compared with last, and that is down to our team. EZ Education is built on a "growth mindset" approach to everything: from how our learners engage with our software to how we manage projects and who joins our team.
What's the one piece of advice you'd give fellow entrepreneurs?
Listen to others and then follow your instincts. No one is going to know your business as well as you do, but they may know certain aspects of it better than you do.