XRGlobal: Testing multi-user virtual reality for small business owner upskilling

Innovation Fund Winner

Testing the potential of virtual reality for upskilling small businesses through an immersive multi-user learning environment


Why this program?

  • Virtual reality (VR) is proven to dramatically increase knowledge retention and significantly decrease training time by an average of 80%, compared to traditional instructor-led training.
  • Strive Community and XRGlobal believe that micro- and small business owners based in favelas across Brazil can increase their resilience and grow through digital skills and tools. 
  • This program will test an immersive offline solo training and VR multi-user experience that enables small businesses to access upskilling and micro-advisory services in a cost-effective and scalable manner, supporting them in their digital transformation journey. 

Program overview

The digital transformation of small businesses is widely accepted as a driver of improved performance and an avenue to scale. However, there remains a continued need for advice and guidance from reliable sources to support this digital transition and exploit the potential of new digital tools. Without proper onboarding and upskilling, digital tool adoption is not always effective.

Group instructor-led training can work, but trainees typically forget the majority of information within a week, according to the Forgetting Curve., Experiential learning, such as that enabled by VR, is a more effective approach.

As part of our Strive Community Innovation Fund, we’re working with XRGlobal (XRG) to test the potential of VR for upskilling small businesses.XRG will test offline VR training for small businesses and their newest product (currently in beta): a VR multi-user platform, called the Meta Academie, which allows up to 20 people to congregate in a customizable, virtual environment, enabling users to teleport into real-time field experiences, demos, and training. This VR multi-user platform enables small businesses to leverage a community for advice and support, as well as to experience, in a very visual way, how digitization can transform their businesses.

By creating a unique learning experience, a VR headset allows the trainee to step away from their day-to-day surroundings and into an exciting and private space. This increases enthusiasm and engagement, but also helps trainees focus their attention on the content. VR encourages active participation, resulting in better replication of real-life scenarios. 

XRG’s multi-user VR platform enables a community-centered approach, where mentors and peers can engage and learn together in a virtual and safe environment. Small business owners can ask for advice, have questions answered, and learn by experiencing in a low-stress environment, without a commute or travel costs.

This program enables small businesses to access upskilling and micro-advisory services in a cost-effective and scalable manner, supporting them in their digital transformation journey. This approach is far more cost-effective and scalable than current offline techniques, and potentially more effective than current digital channels. This program will also enable XRG to test brand-new data-enabled headsets with embedded SIM cards, which are groundbreaking in making VR multi-user experiences available in areas without Wi-Fi coverage. 

About XRGlobal

XRGlobal (XRG) is a company that builds virtual, augmented, and mixed-reality solutions that revolutionize learning and development in emerging markets with the use of 3D-modeling and simulation in training and operations support.

XRG has provided training to more than 75,000 people across four countries in Africa, including tens of thousands of small-scale and subsistence farmers. XRG has trained more than 120 small-scale agro-dealers in Mozambique, 300 agro-dealers in Rwanda, and several dozen micro-construction businesses in Kenya. Additionally through VR exercises focused on soft skills, otherwise described as human skills, XRG has supported nearly 50 community-based entrepreneurs in South Africa.

XRGlobal is ecstatic to be part of the Strive Community to not only test our current beta version of the Meta Academie virtual reality (VR) multi-user platform for micro businesses, but to showcase the power of VR for learning and development across emerging markets.

Natalie Miller

Co-Founder, XRGlobal

Implementation partners

Share this article

Articles related to this program


Delivering digital training to small businesses

Training that is delivered to small businesses through digital channels is increasingly promising. It can integrate techniques that increase knowledge retention and user engagement, leading to positive impacts for small business capacity building.

Read the article

Using virtual reality for training

When thinking of virtual reality (VR), its hard to avoid images perpetuated by commonly used stock photography.
Read the article

Designing digital training for small businesses

Training programs that are delivered digitally show promise for small business owners with limited time to access key information when they need it. Digital training is convenient, cost-effective, and engaging, so long as it is designed well.

Read the article