There is a reason that they say development work is hard. In theory, I want to help people gain knowledge and an understanding of how to make money so that they can get out of poverty. But it’s hard to make money where there is none. I am working with a pre-school in Bangou. The lady who started the pre-school is someone who wants to help the community, not just make a buck. So I’ve started working with her on ways to run the school profitably.
Right now, she charges 10,000 franks for each kid, That’s for 9 months of pre-school education. 10,000 franks is about 20 dollars. After running the numbers and calculating all expenses and revenue, she is losing quite a bit of money. At this point she would have MORE money if she were to close the pre-school.
 Currently, she has 30 students in her pre-school. This is down from 40 students last year. To get the school at break-even, she would need 100 students, by then her variable expenses will also increase so it’s probably closer to 110 students. She can’t lower the price to increase demand because she is already charging way too little, and she can’t increase the price because people already have a problem paying the 20 dollars it currently costs. So what’s a pre-school owner to do? The way I see it she has three goals she could focus on:

  1. Increase the number of students through marketing
  2. Lower the cost of running the school somehow (although no one in the US would ever send their kid to a pre-school like this one.)
  3. Find alternative revenue sources.

 Opinions and suggestions are welcome.