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Rising Schools Program Success Story: Developing a Business Plan for Success

February 2016
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Comfort Amesawu is the proprietor of Bescal Jewels Academy in Tema, within Ghana’s Greater Accra region. Prior to enrolling in the IDP Rising Schools Program (IDPRS), Comfort did not have a written business plan for her school. She felt pressured to fulfill the expectations of those around her, instead of setting the most beneficial agenda for her school based on her knowledge and experience.

“I was always tempted to please all parents by doing whatever they asked,” she said. “And of course, these parents always demanded more by comparing my school with other, bigger schools.”

Pupils at Bescal Jewels Academy

The Rising Schools Program provides proprietors with a 10-module intensive course designed to support low-fee school management. Though this training can be adapted to other cultural and religious contexts, the program was developed to address issues most relevant to Ghanaian low-fee school proprietors. During the program, specially trained loan officers guide trainees through techniques that enable them to efficiently manage their schools. With lessons covering aspects such as financial planning and effective leadership, the program gives low-fee private school leaders the foundational skills required to have their schools performing at their best.

The Rising Schools Program has been like medicine for my personal health and for the school

One of the key concepts Comfort learned during the program was how to create a business plan for Bescal Jewels Academy. She recalls “realizing I was wasting the school’s limited resources on non-important things, all because I was listening to any advice from people.” Since completing the program in July 2015, she has been putting her new knowledge to work. Comfort formulated a strategy for her school to focus on the Academy’s future. The proprietor training course gave her insight into how to best prioritize and allocate the school’s limited resources in the most impactful way. It also was a setting to develop the confidence and leadership skills to carry out her plans to fruition. Comfort even applied for a loan from the IDP Rising Schools Program to continue growing her school.

The program’s training also helped Comfort in an unconventional way: it saved her from serious health issues. Before entering the program, the demands of being a school proprietor and the pressures from community members caused her stress and anxiety. Her family worried about how her work was impacting her health. Looking back, Comfort says “I now know I was doing more harm to the school and myself.” The proprietor training helped organize and focus her school — and her life as a result. Comfort’s family is grateful that the techniques she learned during training eased her workload and her mind. With her new skills, focus, and sense of peace, Comfort can look to the future with optimism.

The IDP Program has been like medicine for my personal health and for the school. I thank God I got this training at this time.

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