Posted on April 8, 2020 by staff

1,000% growth planned for ‘democratising’ e-learning programme


E-learning start-up Training Sensei says it expects to grow by 1,000% this year.

The Manchester-based company, founded by 36-year-old Russell Groves in 2019, has built a platform which provides a learning lounge for employees and uses the resulting data to help a business understand where skills gaps exist.

“The next 12 months are all about growth for us,” Groves tells BusinessCloud. “We feel like we know our market and have built a compelling offering for busy HR managers in smaller businesses, particularly in the current climate.

“Businesses are already starting to assess how they can keep their teams motivated and engaged whilst working remotely.”

The current team of seven are targeting the needs of smaller businesses with less than 250 staff, a slice of the market Groves says is underserved by the e-learning industry.

“Companies developing e-learning are fighting over large corporate contracts in a bid to drive company valuation and exit – quickly,” he says.

Groves, who previously spent seven years working with small businesses by providing face-to-face coaching, says it is “hugely frustrating” for SMEs, who don’t have the time, resources or budget to access this powerful learning medium.

The e-learning industry is “stuck in its ways”, he says, resulting in SMEs paying up to 10 times more for content than their corporate counterparts.

“Our mission therefore is to simplify and democratise the space, and address the UK-wide skills gap from the bottom up.

“The fast growth of the e-learning sector means that face-to-face training is taking a hit.”

He says most e-learning companies are focused on promoting the benefits of e-learning over face-to-face learning, but Training Sensei has decided to move in the opposite direction, actively working with professional coaches.

“We’ve built many strong relationships with professional trainers and coaches, and now in the fortunate position to help them earn an income despite the impact coronavirus is having on their business.

“We’re doing everything we can to work with this community and have been humbled by the response.”

Groves, who said he has always had an entrepreneurial spirit, previously started a ground maintenance business, an online educational game and a CRM system – all whilst in full-time employment.

“None of these really took off but they were all profitable and gave me the confidence to think that if I did dedicate myself to a business full-time, that I would be able to make a success of it,” he says.

Groves’ says part of the success of the business is down to his attendance at over 200 business events. “It almost become a joke.

“I was planning on cutting down but I’m really starting to miss them now!”