Lily Baah began her school on a shoestring, in Apaaso, Ghana in 2005, with six nursery students.

Fees were minimal based on a family’s ability to pay, and at one point she opened a cleaning agency to keep the low-fee private school afloat. Sometimes, as payment for tuition, she accepted farm produce, which she served in the school’s canteen.[1] However, Lily noticed that her enrollment grew as parents realized that the students at Baah Memorial School were speaking English and performing better than their peers at other schools.

Banks wouldn’t lend the money needed to build more classrooms, but the very determined Lily got the job done anyway with help from our IDP Rising Schools Program, a partnership between the IDP Foundation, Inc. (IDPF) and Ghanaian microfinance institution Sinapi Aba. Launched in 2009, the program was the first of its kind to provide financial literacy and school management training along with credit at below-market rates to low-fee private school owners serving low-income families in Ghana.

Read more on the IDPF Medium page here!

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