Why we're focusing on personal finance for teenagers (for now).
 
 

We started Nebula with the aim of tackling two big problems that impact teenagers. 

The first was an increasingly poor level of financial literacy among teenagers, which we felt contributes to the soaring levels of debt among young people. 

The second issue was the fact that many students leave school without a proper understanding of what their strengths are and what career options are available to them.

We wanted to build a scalable solution to these problems and knew that developing an e-learning course was the best option.

If you’ve read previous posts on this blog, you’ll know that we released a beta version of our course in January. Feedback from the course has been really constructive and teenagers are responding well to our programme’s content. No issue there then.

So why have we changed things? 

Given that our original course was going to tackle both of the problems we outlined above, it was pretty hard to nail down a precise description of what the course was all about.

This was abundantly clear when I went to a leading education charity and academy trust to pitch our business. One of the main bits of feedback that we got was that our course description. sounded “woolly” even though we had a clear mission.

Following that experience, we knew something needed to change. After a night of brainstorming ideas, we decided to split our course into two separate courses: 

The first course will focus exclusively on money, basic economics and personal finance.

The second helps students identify and leverage their unique strengths in order to launch successful careers.

What’s next then?

We have pretty much all the content we need for our first course (the personal finance one), and we’re now adding some finishing touches to the course before opening it up for a pre-sale that will go live very soon. 

The second course will go live later this year, once we’ve fully released the first one. Also, everyone who purchases the first course will get a discount on the second course and vice-versa. 

Meanwhile, we’re still reaching out to influencers and bloggers to become affiliates of our course, so we’re very much firing on all cylinders. In reality, not much has changed - we’ve just decided to break up the course because it makes it easier to get our message across.

Why are we doing a pre-sale?

When releasing any product, it’s important to get as near to perfect as possible. However, as we all know, perfection is virtually impossible to achieve. By pre-selling the course, we give our early customers the chance to help push the envelope and get us ever closer to perfection.

Our pre-sale customers might spot things that we have overlooked ourselves and could prefer some design features over others. There might even be topics that we’ve touched on that they would like to know more about.

The pre-sale is about facilitating conversation between us at Nebula and our target market. Our early adopters will also be rewarded handsomely for their help: the first course will retail at £65 when it’s fully launched but pre-sale customers can get it for just £20.

That’s less than one hour of private tutoring. 

Our referral programme

We’re also empowering our customers by giving them access to a referral programme. 

As you know, we’re partnering with suitable influencers and bloggers to help expand our reach. But we can’t reward third parties without also rewarding the people at the heart of our business - our customers - now can we?

So, when you purchase our course, you’ll be given an exclusive affiliate link that you can share with others. If they use the link to purchase our course, you’ll receive a flat 25% commission

A referral from a customer is worth as much as a referral from an influencer, so we think this is only fair.

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As per usual, drop me an email at satya@nebulawebinars.com with any questions/suggestions. 

Thanks.

 
Satya Doraisamy
Why you should stop paying for private tuition (or at least reconsider it)
 
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The pressure on students to get top grades is going through the roof and the private tutoring industry is booming as a result.

More and more parents are turning to tutors to ensure that their teenagers get the school grades they need to avoid being left behind. Tutoring isn’t something that only wealthy middle-class parents pay for; even families with modest incomes routinely sacrifice upwards of £30/hour to give their child a perceived head start.

After all, a B in GCSE Maths and English is the gateway to landing a place at university, getting a graduate job and having a successful career...right? 

Well, the chances are that if your child needs tutoring in either English or Maths, they’re probably never going to be particularly good at those subjects. And they’re not likely to do a degree or take a job that relies too heavily on these subjects either.

Is a student who struggles with English essays likely to want to study Law or History down the line? Will a teenager who find Maths excruciatingly difficult choose to pursue finance or physics? 

Probably not. (But ask your child anyway to be sure.)

In reality, many parents probably agree with this logic but feel that their child will be left behind if they don’t get a tutor to help out. 

After all, education is competitive...

As true as this is, your child needs to compete in an arena in which he or she has a decent chance of winning. This is the crucial point: your child needs to be working hardest at what they’re best at.

So, if a child struggles with “core” subjects, they need to invest time and resources into finding out where their talents really lie. Otherwise, they really will be left behind as they continuously strive to compete in areas that they’re not suited to.

Instead of demanding that they succeed in subjects that might well be unrelated to their future ambitions, why don’t we ensure that teenagers leave school with an idea of what they’re good at?

Because, ultimately, it’s our strengths - not our weaknesses - that define our futures. 

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As always, email us at beth@nebulawebinars.com with your thoughts or questions.

 
 
 
Satya Doraisamy
Parents, what do you think about UK education today?
 
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Given everything in the news today about the challenges facing young people - ridiculous property prices, high rents, low wages (I won't mention the elephant in the room) - it's easy to forget the huge impact all this has on parents. 

Ultimately, parents are the ones who step up when kids need private tutoring, help with university costs or a place to live before they land their first decent-paying job. At Nebula, we recognise the huge role that parents play in ensuring that teenagers succeed in school and beyond.

What do we need from parents?

That's why we want parents to be a big part of our product development. We've already engaged with parents to find out whether they feel our course topics are important. The response so far has been fantastic and it's great that parents share our concerns about exam stress and debt levels among young people. 

So, we're now opening up to parents further. We want to know what you think about the state of education today, what you feel is being done well, and what could perhaps be improved. 

If you feel like lending a hand, here's the feedback form. It won't take more than two minutes to fill out, so let us know what you think!

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Thanks, 

Satya & Beth

 
Satya Doraisamy
Education is more than just a competition
 
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Whether it's competition for school grades or university places, pupils are forever engaged in a rat race against their peers.

I’m by no means someone who advocates against competition. Indeed, I believe that when properly harnessed competition brings out the best in individuals and societies. Just look at how cities pull together when it’s their turn to host the Olympics or how children’s faces light up when they win school prizes.

What I do, however, take issue with is competition for competition’s sake.

Being terrible at art, I would personally never opt to participate in an art competition; competing would be pointless unless I genuinely wanted to take part. 

Why we impose children to the routine of focusing on what they’re terrible at — simply so that they can progress to the next stage of the rat race — is beyond me.

University Doesn't Solve the Problem

The private tutoring industry in the UK has swelled to an astonishing £2bn a year as parents scramble to ensure that their children get the grades they need to get into top schools and universities.

And the problem doesn't end there. Countless students finish school, wilfully take on enormous debts in order to attend university, and graduate only to find that there aren't enough "grad jobs" to go around. Not what you'd expect after paying £9,250 a year.

A study last year also showed how vulnerable young people are to payday lenders and other questionable lenders. Appallingly, 25% of young people are in constant debt. 

A Bright Future?

Against this backdrop, the future might seem bleak for today's youth. Yet the reality is that the world has never been safer, wealthier and more connected.

Studies also show that today's teenagers are highly inclined to start their own companies and will be the most innovative generation yet. After all, 80% of jobs that they will do are not even in existence today.

However, grades alone will not help students seize these opportunities and inevitably many will, without knowing, let great things sail right past them.

In order to succeed, students need to be adaptable to move with a fast-changing world. They will need to have a practical understanding of how economies and businesses work. Above all, they will need to know what their strengths are and how they can capitalise on them.

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PS: You there. Yes, you! Our FREE beta course is now live. 

 
Satya DoraisamyComment
Why we started Nebula Webinars
 
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UPDATE: When we wrote this blog post, we envisaged making just one standalone course. After launching a beta course, we decided to make two separate courses.
 

How often do you hear people say “I wish I learned that in school"?

How many students leave school with no idea of where their strengths lie?

Why are young people increasingly crippled by debt?

 

We set up Nebula Webinars to address these problems head-first by making an easy-to-understand, engaging course for teenagers.

So many parents up and down the UK fork out hundreds—if not, thousands—on private tutoring for their child to marginally improve their grades.

We started out with the premise that if just some of those resources were spent in pushing teenagers to identify and excel in their unique strengths, outcomes for students would certainly improve. 

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I. Strengths Not Weaknesses:

In the quest for top grades, teenagers often lack the time or inclination to actively think about what their skills are. This leads to efforts being misspent a lot of the time, meaning that many students don't know where their strengths lie.

We want every teenager to complete our course with a better idea of what they're good at, how they work best and what it is that they value so they have an effective window through which they can view their future.

II. How to Learn Best:

School education needs to be scalable and, therefore, teachers are not able to address each child’s individual ways of learning when they may have over 30 students to a class. Ultimately, nobody is ever taught how to learn in school.

We address this in Webinar 2 by teaching students how to experiment with what works for them, according to their own personal needs. We help students to optimise their exam performance by tweaking their revision strategies based on their preferred ways of learning.

Exams aren't essential to a successful career but a CV full of excellent grades certainly helps.

III. Basic Economics:

The course also teaches students the fundamentals of economics. It's astonishing how so many young adults are totally oblivious about how modern economies function, despite economics touching all of our lives. In fact, a recent study said that just 13% of young people are interested in economics. 

Having just a basic understanding of supply-and-demand, interest rates and inflation will help teenagers understand the real world they enter after school. We break down this seemingly complex topic

IV. Personal Finance:

When brainstorming the problems facing young people today, the enormous rise in debt amongst young people in the UK and other developed nations was near the top of our list. 25% of 18-34 year-olds in the UK are in constant debt—a shocking statistic, particularly given that personal finance is on the national curriculum.

Also, given incredibly low-interest rates, creeping inflation and exorbitant (read: ridiculous) house prices, teenagers need to enter the real-world armed with an understanding of how to manage their money or they're likely to succumb to a future of extortionate rent, a lack of savings and crippling debts.

Therefore, we are making an easy-to-understand class on saving and investing so that teenagers learn the benefits of low-risk investment over the long-term.

V. The Opportunities Ahead:

All of this knowledge will go to waste, however, if teenagers are not aware of the opportunities that lie ahead of them. The final part of our course introduces students to the options that are available to them after school.

With 50% of UK graduates doing jobs that don’t require a university education, it's clear that a degree isn’t the only path to success. Furthermore, with the rise of the internet, the scope for entrepreneurship has never been greater. Teenagers need to be aware of these opportunities in order to seize their future.

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As always, let us know your thoughts by emailing us at beth@nebulawebinars.com.

Thanks everyone, 

Satya & Beth

 
Satya DoraisamyComment