School In A Box/Getting Started

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The objective of this module is to provide you with an overview of what it means to be a financially self-sufficient school.

For the purposes of this document, we will refer to the Financially Self-Sufficient schools, whether Agricultural, Rural or even Urban, as FSS Schools.

a. Introduction

Let’s look a little more carefully at the concepts and rationale behind the model.

When we speak of “agricultural schools” and “agricultural education,” we are referring to schools that equip students to make a living in rural areas or in activities related to rural areas.

Such opportunities might include running a small rural hotel catering to eco-tourists, marketing the agricultural production of rural cooperatives, working as an agricultural extension agent to help small farmers increase yields, teaching at other agricultural schools or monitoring quality control for a agro-exporter.

b. Traditional agricultural / rural schools in developing countries: common problems

#1: Not enough money

The first problem facing most schools in developing countries is money, typically because:
• Government funding is usually inadequate or unavailable
• Government payments to schools are frequently late
• School tuition fees, though often expensive, are insufficient to cover school costs
• Subsidies are insufficient to cover costs
• Sufficient long-term support from non-government sources is difficult to find

#2: School is too expensive for poor children

#3: Traditional agricultural education is more theory than practice

Traditional agricultural education tends to be delivered in class, without opportunity for students to get the hands-on farm practice. For example students might study the common diseases that attack farm animals but never learn how to vaccinate the animal.

Resources limit underfunded schools from keeping livestock or buying the supplies students need to practice vaccination. In many cases, teachers may not have had much practical agricultural experience themselves. The result is that students leave school without the practical experience they need to succeed.

Problem #4: Traditional schools do not teach practical business skills

While most agricultural schools teach students something about raising crops and animals, they generally do not teach what poor students most need to know: how to make money raising crops and animals.

In order to turn out graduates who are equipped to earn a decent living, schools need to provide students with more than just technical skills. Schools also need to teach students practical business skills, such as how to analyze market demand, how to use credit effectively and responsibly, and the practical ins and outs of running a small business.

c. Why Financially Self-Sufficient Agricultural (FSS) Schools are different

FSS schools are designed to overcome the problems of under-funding, economic exclusion, and low-quality irrelevant education which afflict so many traditional agricultural schools. So how to achieve this?

1. FSS Schools generate their own resources from a diversified group of small-scale, on-campus enterprises.

Because FSS schools have their own sources of income, they are not dependent on unpredictable government subsidies, charitable donations or school fees. On the contrary, because they produce their own income, they are better able to predict and control the amount of resources available for their educational programs. With more stable and even increasing revenues, FSS Schools can afford better facilities, attract better teachers and provide students with a better education.

2. The FSS School approaches rural education from a different view – ‘solutions to problems facing the small farmer’
At many traditional agricultural schools, the curriculum seems to be based on the view that teaching a young people to drive tractors or run other modern equipment will somehow make them more successful farmers than their parents.

FSS schools believe that the inefficiency and low level of productivity evident on so many small-scale farms in developing countries is not due to a lack of physical inputs (e.g. equipment, seeds and fertilizer) or financial capital (e.g. subsidies or loans). Rather, it is due to the farming family’s difficulty in correctly administering the resources it already has at its disposal and its difficulty in accessing markets.

The focus at FSS Schools is on teaching students to diversify their production, apply appropriate low-cost technology and make efficient use of the resources already available. At the same time, FSS Schools teach students to analyze market demand, base production decisions on consumer demands, look for attractive market niches where their products can fetch higher prices, and to produce goods and services with as much “value-added” as possible.

3. FSS schools use a more effective educational methodology.

Educators have long recognized that students learn best through experience, not by passively receiving information. Thus, good schools should provide much more than just a traditional classroom experience; they should provide a stimulating environment for living, working and gaining experience.

The school’s methodology is Learning by Doing and Earning! The curriculum is based on six educational pillars:

• Learning to Be
• Learning to Live Together
• Learning to Know
• Learning to Do
• Learning to Undertake
• Learning to Earn Money

FSS schools focus on helping students develop the technical, analytical and personal competencies they will need in the workplace. The schools achieve this by integrating the teaching of traditional high school subjects with the running of their small-scale, on-campus enterprises and using the Learning by Doing and Earning methodology.

For example, students at the San Francisco Agricultural School spend half their time in the classroom and half their time helping run the school’s 16 on-campus enterprises. In math class, they learn practical business skills, calculating a business’s break-even point and its financial rate of return. In language class, they learn how to write a résumé. And in the field, they put their math skills into practice as they calculate the amount of materials needed to build a new chicken coop and they apply biology and chemistry concepts as they prepare the organic vegetable garden

4. The FSS School’s curriculum includes local curriculum, business training and a hands-on teaching approach

Schools should comply with the officially recognized curriculum of the country where they are located, in order that students graduate with an officially recognized diploma. However, FSS schools do much more than just mainstream curriculum. The subjects taught are designed to ensure that students acquire the specific competencies that it takes to run profitable small enterprises in their community and the specific skills demanded by employers in the local market. As a result the graduates are not only sought after by local employers, but are also prepared to create their own jobs by forming their small enterprises.

5. FSS schools have a different school culture and learning environment

FSS Schools must be on a permanent quest for economic self-sufficiency. This means that schools have to control costs carefully. It also means that they have to be attentive to local market conditions, developing new products for new market niches, and switching out of other products when they become less profitable. The quest for self-sufficiency obliges teachers and administrators to maintain a practical, entrepreneurial and innovative approach to their work. It also ensures constant innovation.

Similarly, This is the business-oriented environment in which students live and learn on a daily basis. For example, while learning in class about how to raise chicken, students will also have to know how many eggs the school chicken coop has to produce daily in order to break even. In a business-oriented environment they also learn how to calculate how many eggs the chicken coop must produce per day in order for it to break even and on top of that how much profit it must make in order to pay the teacher’s salary. As students progress through their high school years, they gradually assume greater responsibility for the school enterprises and for supervising younger and less experienced students.

As a result, when students graduate, they already have a considerable amount of experience in running small businesses, practical, analytical and computer skills, an entrepreneurial outlook on life and its opportunities and the self-confidence they need to get ahead and lead very productive lives.

6. The FSS School model allows schools to offer quality and affordability

The differential is that our model not only recognizes the need to teach a holistic curriculum but also at the same time, affords students the opportunity to within the structure pay their fees through work offered and needed on campus.

d. The “value proposition” of FSS Schools

In order to stay in business, any commercial enterprise has to create “value” – that is, they have to offer goods and services that are worth more to their clients and customers than other the things that these clients and customers might spend their time and money on.

FSS Schools are not commercial enterprises, but rather social enterprises - income-earning enterprises, which instead of distributing profits to owners or shareholders, use their “profits” for a social purpose. Nevertheless, they also have clients and like commercial enterprises, they need to satisfy their clients and beneficiaries in order to stay in business.

⇒Financially Self-Sufficient Agricultural Schools create “value” by:

• Taking in students from poor, rural backgrounds with very limited job opportunities;
• Providing them with agricultural and business skills; and
• Producing graduates who are qualified for higher education, careers in the modern agricultural sector or economic success as a “rural entrepreneurs.”

⇒In the process, they also:
• Convert deficit-ridden schools into financially sustainable institutions
• Offer a quality education that allows students from poor rural backgrounds to overcome poverty.

The Value Proposition of Financially Self-Sufficient Agricultural Schools:
Financially Self-Sufficient Agricultural Schools offer high-quality agricultural/business training to poor, unemployed rural youth. Unlike traditional agricultural schools, which do not instill usable skills, Financially Self-Sufficient Agricultural Schools equip students for immediate entry to higher education, employment in agro-businesses and/or success on their family farms, thereby allowing them to overcome poverty.

e. How do FSS Schools measure success?

All institutions should have clear and unmistakable guidelines with which to measure their performance. This allows them to check at regular intervals whether they are making sufficient progress toward their goals or to reassess target areas where they are falling short. These measures of performance are vital in helping institutions demonstrate to supporters that they are transparent and accountable.

Schools can measure their “success” in providing affordable, relevant education on a sustainable basis with two very simple indicators:

• Their students´ success in finding a productive activity to engage in upon graduation;
• The school’s progress toward financial self-sufficiency.

The San Francisco Agricultural School is successful in that 100% of the graduates of the school are productively engaged within four months of graduation. “Productively-engaged” means that graduates have either:

• Started their own small enterprises
• Found responsible jobs in the modern agricultural sector
• Are teaching at other agricultural schools
• Working as extension agents
• Been accepted at university

Resources permitting, FSS Schools can and should develop more sophisticated monitoring and evaluation programs. For example, the San Francisco Agricultural School also tracks a broad range of social and economic indicators to measure students´ economic empowerment.



The objective of this section is to identify the various types of clients and beneficiaries that a financially self-sufficient school can serve.

FSS Schools need to identify who their clients and beneficiaries are, in order to assist in:

• Identifying the target group you want to serve;
• Maximizing your future impact;
• Serving clients better and generating more income; and
• Attracting additional partners and supporters.

These following groups are natural clients and beneficiaries – or potential clients and beneficiaries—of FSS Schools.

a. Students

Third world school drop out rate is alarming. There is an underlying belief that no education will help the family or child in getting the right job. This may be true of a traditional school route, but with FSS schools, the education they receive will make a difference. Hence, as more students graduate and succeed, more interest is shown from the community in educating further children. They can see and understand that the different approach to schooling is creating the right opportunities for the students to leave school and succeed, regardless of whether they get a job, become entrepreneurs or continue with their studies.

Jorge Guerrero graduated in 2005. He is the 10th child out of a family of 19. They are poor farmers, and before attending the San Francisco Agricultural School Jorge had lived in the small rural community of San Joaquín in the Region of Caaguazú, Paraguay. When he first arrived at school, he knew little Spanish and spoke mainly Guaraní, an indigenous Paraguayan language. At school his Spanish improved quickly, and three years later he graduated first in his class. After school, he entered the Faculty of Agronomy in the National University in the capital city, Asunción. To cover his university and living expenses, he started a small business growing organic vegetables in a plot of land belonging to an old age home. In return for room and board, he supplied the old-age home with fresh vegetables and sold his surplus production for cash using it for books and other expenses. When Jorge goes home to San Joaquín, he provides agricultural extension services to his family and neighbors.≈

b. The family farm

The graduate of the FSS school returns home as an entrepreneur! The family and community receive a credible professional with tangible and much-needed resources: a realistic business plan, which he or she developed under the school’s supervision and a small line of credit to finance its implementation. Even graduates who do not spend all their time working on the family farm have a significant impact on their families and community.
The family needs advice and training on how to make better use of the land and labor they have, using the simple technologies available for little or no additional cost. Graduates often provide this kind of assistance to their families while engaged in their own businesses, jobs or university studies. Graduates can also provide their families with working capital, either from their own earnings, or from the lines of credit they obtain at graduation.

Ever Morínigo, Class of 2004 at the San Francisco Agricultural School, is one of twin brothers from Horqueta in the Department of Concepción, Paraguay. Born in 1986, Ever comes from a farming family with seven children. As a student he had the opportunity to monitor the national vaccination campaign against hoof and mouth disease. Thanks to that experience, Ever got a job with SENACA, the government agency in charge of Animal Health and Quality as soon as he graduated. Once he began working, Ever began investing a lot of his salary in the family farm. He has bought milk cows, hogs, and even a computer to keep track of how his business is doing. He is also thinking of starting a university program in rural business administration in Concepción.≈

c. Employers

Employers are important clients (and beneficiaries) for the FSS Schools. As they are offering employment to school graduates, it is vital for FSS Schools to know who they are and what there needs are! The school has to ensure that the skills employers require are included in the school curriculum (being the client) so when they hire the students (as the beneficiary), they are sufficiently educated in the areas the employers require.

FSS Schools aim to train rural entrepreneurs who are not only capable of successfully managing a small agricultural enterprise, but also fulfill the needs of employers in the agricultural sector. Students become employees that can execute the following requisites:

• Ranchers or farmers for agro-processing businesses.
• Employees who have analytical and computer skills.
• Workers capable of making business projections, diagnosis and solution driven decisions.
• Employees who have clear oral and writing skills.
• A clear understanding of environmental challenges.
• Individuals that can work in a team.
• Have solid ethical values.
• Entrepreneurial spirit and a pro-active, “can-do” attitude.

♦Frutika, S.R.L.

Ariel Cuevas, from a small village outside of Horqueta in the Region of Concepción, Paraguaya, is one of four children from a single mother. After graduating from the San Francisco Agricultural School in 2004, Ariel Cuevas was hired by Frutika, a fruit processor and producer of high-quality natural fruit juices and concentrate. Frutika is a modern agro-business which both produces for the domestic market and exports its products to European Union member countries. As such, it operates under strict quality controls and meets the exacting standards of hygiene required by the European Union. Ariel was hired as a production supervisor, not only because of his agro-technical high school diploma, but also for his leadership skills and experience supervising teams of workers, which he developed as a student.

♦Louis Dreyfus

Louis Dreyfus Commodities is the largest trader and merchandiser of raw cotton in the world, operating in more than 20 producing nations, including Paraguay. They hired five members of the San Francisco Agricultural School’s Class of 2006 as soon as they graduated. Rolando Ruiz Diaz was hired as an extension agent and assistant to the Manager of Dreyfus´ project in Tacuara. In this position, he supervises two of his former classmates, Gustavo Acuña and Aldo Ponce, who were hired at the same time. Dreyfus also hired two other classmates, Daigo Cuevas and Ignacio Rivas, who work as extension agents on the Campo 9 project in Caaguazú and on a project in Encarnación.

♦Tati Yupí Reserve
Bernardo Servín Cuellar graduated from San Francisco Agricultural School in 2006, was hired by the Reserva Tati Yupí. This is a nature reserve near the world-famous Iguazu Falls, which is known for its diverse native forest and attracts many tourists. Bernardo was hired for his experience in hotel and restaurant management, which he acquired at the San Francisco Agricultural School’s rural hotel, one of the school’s on-campus enterprises.

♦Granja Ko’eju Enrique Ariel Roa Augusto, Class of 2007 at the San Francisco Agricultural School, was raised in the region of San Pedro - the poorest region in Paraguay. Upon graduation, Enrique was hired by Granja Ko’eju, an organic vegetable producer with 400 employees that sells organic vegetables to 20 supermarkets and the best restaurants in the capital city. Their accolades include winning the 2008 “Successful Small Enterprise” award from Paraguay’s Christian Businessmen’s Association (ADEC). During his first two years at the company Enrique will be working with a Japanese expert in organic vegetable production whom JICA, the Japanese cooperation agency, has sent to work with Granja Ko’eju.

d. Consumers

The San Francisco Agricultural School produces a wide range of goods and services for many different types of customers:

• Organically grown fruits and vegetables, eggs, free-range chicken, honey, cheese and fruit preserves, among other products, for sale to individual consumers at organic and open-air markets in the capital city of Asunción;
• Specialty products, such as rabbit and suckling pig, which are sold to restaurants and hotels;
• Livestock of high genetic quality, which it sells as breeding stock to other agricultural schools;
• Hotel and restaurant services to guests at the school’s rural hotel;
• Home-cooked meals to travelers passing by the school’s road-store;

For all of these consumers, the FSS school represents a reliable source of healthy products at competitive prices. For the school, satisfied customers are the key to financial sustainability over the long term.

e. Neighboring Communities

FSS schools can have a major positive impact on nearby communities in many different ways. They can provide employment at the school’s enterprises, sell fresh products to local households and businesses, provide technical assistance and marketing services to local farmers and also offer other services such as internet access, library facilities, health services and cultural activities.

San Francisco Agricultural School serves as medical and dental clinic for the poor
The San Francisco Agricultural School has helped provide much-needed medical and dental in the neighboring community of Cerrito by lending its facilities to the medical personnel of the U.S. NGO, Charity Anywhere. In September 2007 a group of 30 foreign doctors and dentists, joined by a number of Paraguayan colleagues, attended to the medical and dental needs of some 3,000 patients over a 10-day period. In addition to providing basic medical care, the doctors performed surgeries to correct harelips, sunken palates and congenital problems of the hand and foot. They also provided medicines, vitamins, dental-care and dental hygiene kits - all free of charge at a clinic set up in the school auditorium!≈

f. Other Schools

Other schools also become the beneficiaries of FSS Schools by:
• Buying goods and services from the school, for example: animal breeding stock, seeds or seedlings
• They hire graduates of Self-Sufficient Agricultural Schools as teachers and other school personnel
• Asking for technical assistance in adopting the FSS School model.


♦Educating other schools

The San Francisco Agricultural School provides technical assistance to other schools that would like to adopt the FSSA School Model. Usually the first step is for the interested school to send a small team to visit the San Francisco Agricultural School to see it in action. Then, many schools ask the San Francisco Agricultural School to visit their school to see if their situation lends itself to adopting the model. Sometimes schools also ask for help in preparing a market study and plan, or for longer-term assistance to implement the model.

Educating new teachers

Three of the graduates of the Class of 2004 became teachers at traditional agricultural schools. Edison Morínigo took a job teaching at the Agricultural School in Arroyito, in the Region of Concepción. Alberto Pimentel was hired as a teacher at the Agricultural School in Arroyito, also in Concepción. And Mario Dima Gaona became an instructor at the Agricultural School in Santa Rosa del Aguaray, San Pedro.

g. Donors

Donors that work in the field of education understand what a large and continuing financial commitment it is to pay for the daily operations of a traditional agricultural school. Donors who have many schools to support especially feel the pinch, particularly when they see that many of these schools do not do an effective job in preparing youth to find jobs that could lead them to a better future.

FSS Schools serve donors by example, showing that there is a way for donors to support education at a lower cost and with much better results. This is also achieved by effectively creating graduates who will serve the market and possible the donors as future employees.

h. Policymakers

Policymakers will, see the benefits of the FSS School model in terms of the quality and affordability affecting national education budgets. This is an opportunity for these budgets to be used more effectively in supporting the local education systems with the funds being able to spread further across the needy areas. With the schools becoming financially independent and self-sustainable, it gives the government and the education system an opportunity to devise better planning and availability to present the funds where crucially needed, and possibly be used as sponsorships for students.


The objective of this chapter is to explain how and why financially self-sufficient schools must serve the market.

In order for your school to become financially self-sufficient, it will need to develop its own sources of income . To do that, it will need to develop a strategy for serving the market.

Identify which goods and services are in demand in your particular market and at which prices. Then you will need to determine which of these goods and services your school could supply at or below the current market price, and who its customers will be.

You should not lose sight of the fact that the most important “products” of your school are successful, entrepreneurial graduates. Producing successful entrepreneurs and setting up competitive school enterprises are perfectly compatible activities.

So, which enterprises should your school establish?

This is entirely dependent on the conditions in the market your school intends to serve, and your so your objective should be to determine what is in demand, what enterprise you can create to fulfill this demand and how to deliver this to the local market. Through this, your students will be able to acquire the entrepreneurial skills they need by helping to manage and operate any well-run, commercially successful business that your school decides to develop.

The first step then, will be to conduct a study of your market to find out which products and services consumer want to buy and how much they are willing to pay. For example, do you think your school could set up a chicken coop and sell fresh eggs? Before you buy any lumber and chicken wire and start building the chicken coop, you will need to find out who sells eggs in your community, how many eggs are purchased, and at what prices.

You will then want to determine what your marketing channels will be. Will the corner grocer buy your eggs? Is there some other way for you to get your eggs to consumers like home deliveries or your own roadside store? Would the school cafeteria use the supply of eggs for their students or possible guests?

Once you are fully informed, and you have determined that your school can make money-producing eggs, will it make sense to establish a chicken coop at your school.

Initially, you should start with only a few on-campus enterprises, choosing the ones that research shows will generate the most income for your school. Once they are firmly established and profitable, you can start creating and incorporating additional enterprises. Diversity is key in having multiple sources of income for the school and a broad range of training opportunities for your students.

You should also aim to develop more “value-add” to the goods and services you are producing. This means that instead of selling agricultural products in their raw, unfinished state, school businesses can start to transform their output into more finished products that sell for higher prices, for example milk into cheese.

The range of goods and services your school produces will undoubtedly evolve over time. As the school gains experience, identifies new market opportunities and obtains additional resources, it will develop new businesses. At the same time, it will want to discontinue activities that become less attractive as market conditions change.

NOTE: CHAPTER 5 WILL GIVE YOU AN IN DEPTH LOOK AT HOW TO SERVE THE MARKET WITH THE BUSNESSES YOU HAVE CHOSEN TO RUN.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      


The objective of this chapter is to outline the challenges associated with establishing a financially self-sufficient school, as well as factors, which facilitate the task.

a. Challenges

1. Lack of resources

The most valuable resource you have is YOU and your ability to inspire your colleagues, associates, friends, neighbors and other members of your community to support your efforts. Many people assume that the main challenge in setting up a FSS School is finding the money. On the contrary!

The main challenge is having sufficient vision and leadership qualities, which are not determined by how much money you have at the beginning of the process. However, they will have a major effect on whether you are able to obtain the necessary resources you will need for your school along the way.

2. Bias against combining education and making money
In some circles there is a bias against combining education and with making money. Education is seen as “where you learn” and working as “where you earn”. There have also been concerns aired about getting students working on and for the campus as child labor or exploitation.

If the purpose of “education” is to prepare students to lead productive, satisfying lives after they graduate and making a living is an integral part of the rest of their lives, then to achieve this goal “education” should teach students about making money and give them practical exposure. It should be able to teach them the hands-on approach, affording them the experience necessary so if they decide to start their own business, they are already equipped with the right training.

3. Unfamiliarity with the “learning by doing” approach

Many people are unfamiliar with “learning by doing” approach to education. Some people think of “learning by doing” as “work/study” however the term “work/study” is misleading, suggesting that there is “study” and then there is “work” – separate entity’s. Some would even argue that the “work” is a distraction from “study”.

The “learning by doing” approach is a hands on approach that is “studying while working”, which allows the students to learn through practical experience, not by passively receiving information from others. It also provides a vehicle for students to learn how to work in a team, be open to new ideas and flexible in the face of change, and to respect others.

This approach brings life to the subjects students are learning in the classroom, enabling them to acquire practical skills and become competent professionals. It helps students build self-esteem and the confidence to make concrete plans for the future.

4. Higher salaries in the private sector

Teachers’ salaries are predominantly higher in the private sector, which may make for a challenge in recruiting business-oriented individuals. However, this is not insurmountable and just another challenge to making your school market-oriented. Existing teachers with open minds and avidity for education will be happy to learn new skills and be trained to efficiently teach business orientated subjects.

It is also be possible to attract qualified business people in other capacities who can enrich the learning environment at the school. Part-time teachers, mentors, visiting lecturers, volunteers etc are all invaluable to the school, the classroom and / or the field.

5. Governments impose their own curricula

In order for students to receive an officially recognized diploma, your curriculum will have to meet official standards and be accredited by the local Education Departments. This does not mean your school can’t also provide its students with a relevant entrepreneurial education. Further chapters will detail how to integrate the technical and entrepreneurial aspects of the curriculum with the academic ones required for obtaining a high school diploma.

6. Youth are needed at home on the farm

This is true to some extent, but the main reasons are because children do not have the opportunity to study, they cannot pay the fees, their families don’t believe more education will improve their prospects, and hence students stay at home. We have learnt from our experience at the San Francisco Agricultural School that families are eager to send their children to schools that produce successful rural entrepreneurs, even if this means having less manpower on the family farm.

b. Opportunities

Just as there will be challenges in establishing a financially self-sufficient school, so too are there a number of factors which will work to your advantage.

1. Environmental enablers: “The times they are a changin’”

The world is a rapidly changing place. Years ago, all the opportunities seemed to be in cities, industry and large-scale, mechanized agricultural. Today, that is not necessarily the case:

• Soaring food and oil prices make it more attractive economically for consumers to buy food from nearby, small-scale farms.
• Greater demand for organic agricultural products, an attractive market niche for small farms using labor-intensive techniques, due to health concerns
• The “fair trade” movement has increased commercial opportunities and prices for small farmers who form cooperatives and market their products directly to “fair trade” distributors in developed country markets.
• City-dwellers want to get a taste of rural life so demand for rural tourism and services has increased, which small-scale rural entrepreneurs can provide

This “new” market has delivered many new business opportunities, which young people with good technical and entrepreneurial skills will be able to take advantage of.

2. Need for new approaches in education

Education has not yet been a clear-cut method of alleviating poverty. Educators, NGO’s, development experts, international aid organizations and governments all recognize this, and are looking for new, cost-effective ways to use education correctly for this purpose.
The FSS School model has emphatically proven that education can be a way out of poverty, and is now finding increasing support from many quarters.

The ILO estimates that 1 billion young people will enter the job market in developing countries over the next 10 years, but that during that time only 300 million new jobs will be created. This means that 7 out of 10 young people will have to create their own jobs! Are schools preparing young people for that? What will be the cost to society if they cannot?

3. Poor rural-youth are an untapped talented resource

As you tally up the factors that will work in your school’s favor, don’t forget the fact that poor, rural youth are a talented and entrepreneurial group of young people. Many of them have already overcome challenges that young people with more opportunities have never had to face.

4. Entrepreneurship can be taught

It is sometimes said that great entrepreneurs are born, not made. However, entrepreneurial skills can be taught, and like everything else they improve with practice. There are millions and millions of successful but unknown entrepreneurs around the world, including in those the poor rural youth who have not yet received the opportunity to try.

5. Proven methodology

Finally, don’t forget that when you embark on transforming your school into a FSS School (or establishing a new school) that you will be using a proven methodology that has already produced impressive results. It is a successful approach that has been proven to work, and along with the number of sources of advice and support for you, yours will be successful as well.