Green Valley startup business Teachnest provides children, educators and parents with a support network for learning.
They offer tools, resources, coaching, workshops and engagement to help people develop better numeracy, literacy, time management, communication and computer skills to prepare them for the future.
Founder Alan Vilaykoun said there was a shortage of programs available in south-west Sydney.
“For a region like this with so many different cultures, we need to support parents, educators and children who may not have those skills,” he said.
“It’s important for parents to have those skills because they pass them on. These types of services are more widely seen in the east and we’ve bridged that gap.”
He said the business was formed at a crucial time of rapid development.
“With the new airport coming around there will be more jobs in this region then ever before. There are 20,000 projected jobs expected to reach the market place and there’s not enough support and funding across our region.
“There are 250 million kids around the world who have insufficient literacy and numeracy skills. That’s alarming. Our role is not to be a traditional education centre, but to provide a fundamental foundation where they can learn these skills and be supported along the way.”
Mr Vilaykoun spoke candidly about his background and why he started the business.
“I was born in Australia and grew up in Fairfield but my parents migrated here 30 years ago from Thailand. My mum didn’t speak much English at first and I think it’s always a big challenge to adjust to a new environment.
“There was a lot of strain at home, my parents eventually separated and that caused economic stress. We had to work hard to find our way and build our lives and careers but it was well worth it because its turned us into the people we are today.
“Because I didn’t have the economic support or strong family foundation when I was growing up, I wanted to create a support network where we could children create a fulfilling career path.”
Mr Vilaykoun has a bachelor of commerce and worked as a learning support officer with special-needs children prior to starting the business.
“I had a look back over my life, especially at my early years as a child. We went through our fair share of adversity as kids and with my own experiences I knew I had to give something back to the community.
“We’ve partnered with PCYC Liverpool and provide guest speakers and free workshops for the community.”