Jacques’s school, Complexe Scolaire Lumiere (CSL), was selected to enter the programme because they had the highest levels of academic achievement in the region. The students and their teachers began by being guided through basic business skills, including how to write a business plan to help make their innovative ideas come to life.
All the school students and teachers had a part to play in generating ideas for their enterprise, with a committee of six students (3 boys and 3 girls) having the final say. Business ideas included trading in sugar, growing cabbages, running a hair salon and opening a cinema. In the end the children settled on purchasing phone credit in Uvira to sell locally for a profit, and raising goats.
Phone credit sales proved a success. 30 students honed their sales skills together and made a total profit of $25, which was reinvested into purchasing stationary to sell at the beginning of next term. The remaining money was invested in a small but growing herd of eight goats. This enterprise will be self-sustaining, and will grow and develop each year into an income generating activity for the school.
Jacques was so inspired by the success of his team in the School Enterprise Programme that he has started his own small business. He asked his parents for a loan of 7000 Congolese francs (about £7). He purchased Aubergines at bulk prices in Uvira, and then walked the long journey home to sell them for a profit of 2000 francs in his local village market. He has paid back his parents and will use his earnings to buy himself school books and supplies for the upcoming term.
With your help we can continue inspiring children like Jacques to invest in their own education and gain the confidence and skills which will help them flourish in their adult lives.