Toni Mariviglia

BHSI Fellow Update: Toni Maraviglia

Applications for the 2014 Bluhm-Helfand Social Innovation Fellowship are now open and over the next month, we’ll be profiling the social innovators, civic leaders and creative thinkers who make up the ranks of BHSI alum.  And if you’re a social entrepreneur 35 years old or younger with a civic venture that is helping re-shape our society for the better, apply to be a 2014 BHSI Fellow here.

Toni Maraviglia, a 2012 BHSI Fellow, is the founder and CEO of Eneza Education (formerly MPrep).  She spoke at CIW 2012 about how her nonprofit uses a simple text messaging technology to spread education throughout rural Africa, and we were eager to hear more about the educational progress the organization has made in the past two years.

Since 2012, MPrep has become Eneza Education, a Kawasihil word meaning “to reach” or “to spread.”  Tell us a little more about your plans for Eneza Education going forward.

Eneza Education is a social enterprise that aims to make 50 million students across rural Africa smarter through the use of low-cost mobile technology. We currently operate in Kenya with expansion planned to Tanzania and Uganda next year. 
Toni Mariviglia

At CIW 2012, Toni Maraviglia discussed the power of mobile technologies to spread education.

What did you gain from your experience as a BHSI Fellow?

I met great entrepreneurs, wonderful connections across Chicago and received solid advice to help me prioritize what was important for the business, particularly around marketing and branding. CIW has highlighted our work many times and exposing our work to the greater Chicago area and world through the CIW site and videos. Many people find out about us through the CIW site.
Tell us about your next steps.  What do you have planned for Eneza Education in the coming year and how can the CIW community help?
We’re looking for programmatic partners in educationNGOs and educational organizations that reach marginalized areas of the world, specifically in rural Africa. In particular, we want partners who are looking to use more technology for their students. We’ve found that our technology is of use to many international educational organizations.
What advice would you give future BHSI Fellows and CIW attendees to ensure they get the most out of Ideas Week?
Talk to as many people as possible—even those who you feel may be out of your given field. Many of the best partnerships and connections are made in unexpected places. These are the types of synergies that fuel change for good throughout the world.
Q&As are edited for clarity and length.

Erin Robertson is managing editor at Chicago Ideas.

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