Rwanda: Nyanza primary school students reflect on what they have learnt from setting up their business

Nyanza Primary School is one of the 13 schools that have received start-up capital though a Teach A Man To Fish programme in Southern Rwanda. Here the students reflect on what they have learnt and achieved through setting up their stationary business.  

Students and teachers pose together at their school business

Why set up a school business?

School businesses are an excellent way for young people to develop the skills they need to get a job when they leave school – or set up their own business, becoming job creators themselves. Nyanza Primary school also aims to generate enough revenue from their business to improve their school, especially by supporting marginalised young girls who may otherwise miss out on an education.

What are young people learning?

“We were invited by the head teacher to take part, and we can learn how machines work”enthuses Muhammad, one of the many children involved in the business. As well as learning practical skills, the children are also developing the aspirations to continue their new found entrepreneurial skills. Josiane is looking to the future; “I look forward to use the skills I acquire to get a job or deliver printing and photocopying services”, and Jessica wants to continuing learning skills such as writing and sending mails.

How does their business work?

The business management committee, made up of teachers, parents and students lead the business plans and implementation. Everyone is responsible for the marketing of the stationary service which includes photocopying for a small fee. During their free time the children volunteer to learn more about the running of the machines so they can make more copies and generate more income for their business.

What do they do with the profits?

After just 5 months Nyanza Primary School have generated a good profit. They have used this to buy school kits for girls who would otherwise not be able to afford the stationary they need to attend school (pens and a note book.) Without this simple intervention these girls would probably have had to drop out of school. Teach A Man To Fish is promoting the school business model to break this cycle of poverty in Rwanda and around the world.

Student Dative demonstrates how to make photocopies

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