Scaling Montessori School in Kenya

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Meet the Entrepreneur

Name: Prisca Muyodi
Company: Educor Kenya Limited
Location: Nairobi, Kenya

Ms Prisca Muyodi is the founder and director of Educor Kenya Limited. She is passionate about early childhood education and is primarily responsible for Educor’ s conceptualization, execution and growth to date.

Her global work experience and exposure combined with her local upbringing have equipped her to create a unique value proposition for the selected market niche. Her vision and charisma has enabled the schools to attract discerning middle class parents willing to pay premium fees.

Prisca has extensive experience in Education, Business Planning and Human Resource Management. Prior to Educor, she worked at ABSA Bank South Africa as a Senior Recruitment Specialist. She previously held senior positions in Human Resource Policy Development at the North Yorkshire County Council and The Benenden Healthcare Society in England. She holds a Bachelor ofEducation (Arts) degree from Kenyatta University and a Post Graduate Diploma and Masters degree in Business Administration from Wits Business School (South Africa) and Leeds Business School (UK) respectively.

Project Description:

Educor Kenya Limited operates three schools in Nairobi: Brookside Montessori Centre, Gigiri Montessori House and Brookside Preparatory School. The nursery schools offer early childhood education based on the Montessori planes of development and the preparatory school offers the British National Curriculum.

Founded in 2010, Educor has grown from one to three campuses over the last six years. Its’ success is built on a commitment to valuing the individuality of each child, having a diverse student body on each campus and investing in teacher development to ensure consistent service delivery. By doing so, the schools have grown their student population and have been able to charge premium school fees.

Project Opportunity:

About 8 million children in Kenya are aged between 0-8 years (about 21% of the population), and about 30% of school-age children in this age group are enrolled in private schools.

The picture in Nairobi is even more interesting, over 90% of the school-going children in the pre-school age group are enrolled in private schools.

Project objectives:
  • Scale up and build a network of pre-schools offering both the Montessori and KHA systems
  • Cater to upper-middle income parents, who appreciate quality schooling and are willing to pay a reasonable premium

Though the market is well supplied in terms of the number of private pre-schools in the county, lack of sufficient regulation and monitoring has resulted in varying standards.
In addition to this, most pre-schools are single units that are owner managed. With the exception of two international schools (Aga Khan and Braeburn), all great schools are restricted to 1-2 campuses concentrated in the up market areas of Nairobi , mainly Ngong Road and Karen.

In the past, these two areas together with the Westlands area had the largest concentration of upper income Nairobi residents. However, as the Nairobi Commercial district has expanded, especially in the last decade, we have seen high end developments spring up in other areas such as Kiambu, Kitengela, Athi River and up Waiyaki Way. This has attracted both the upper income, and the fast growing middle-income segments, which are our captive market.

There is opportunity to scale up and build a network of pre-schools offering both the Montessori and KHA systems, positioned to cater for the upper-middle income parents, who appreciate good quality schooling and are willing to pay a reasonable premium for it in these underserved areas.

Projects Faith Impact:

Right from the story of creation, God invites us to be enterprising and indeed honors and blesses the work of our hands. Furthermore Deuteronomy 8:18 (… for it is he who gives the power and ability to create wealth…”) confirms to me that my business activities are God ordained. Therefore I have a biblical empowerment to go forth and do exploits in the business world.

As a kingdom entrepreneur, I am minded to be ethical and diligent and to honor God in all my business activities. I strive to provide ethical and God-honoring leadership and service to all my staff, customers and vendors.

My faith has helped me to navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship. I pray over my business always, remembering God’s promises to go before me and “… level the mountains…” for me – Isaiah 45:2.

Project Documents

Educor: Kenya Ltd. – Business Plan (PDF – 142KB)
Educor: – My First Canvas: Scaling Up Montessori House Kenya (PDF – 24KB)
Investor Powerpoint Presentation (PPT – 7MB)

 

 

Prisca Muyodi: How Faith Impacts my Business

Right from the story of creation, God invites us to be enterprising and indeed honors and blesses the work of our hands. Furthermore Deuteronomy 8:18 (… for it is he who gives the power and ability to create wealth…”) confirms to me that my business activities are God ordained. Therefore I have a biblical empowerment to go forth and do exploits in the business world.

As a kingdom entrepreneur, I am minded to be ethical and diligent and to honor God in all my business activities. I strive to provide ethical and God-honoring leadership and service to all my staff, customers and vendors.

My faith has helped me to navigate the challenges of entrepreneurship. I pray over my business always, remembering God’s promises to go before me and “… level the mountains…” for me - Isaiah 45:2.

Customers: Education provision is about shaping minds and futures. As an edupreneur, I am mindful to instill godly values and provide quality instruction to the children who pass through our doors in order to fully unlock their God-given abilities and potential.

Economists and educationists over the years have demonstrated through research that early years education has the highest return on investment along the schooling journey (see Heckman Curve below, for example).

One of the key reasons for selecting the Montessori approach its key principle of holistic development of the child, including spiritual, environmental and community connectedness. This principle gives me an excellent platform to enhance the faith of others (my customers). Through Educor schools, we will help change lives, break cycles of poverty and despair and help build stronger communities.

For my employees: the faith dynamic means ethics and diligence are of utmost importance. This means no compromises on the quality of our service. As a rule, we spend a lot of time preparing for the classroom sessions, we put effort into creating a warm, caring environment for the child and we communicate constantly to ensure alignment of all stakeholders. We have morning devotions before we get started, to ground ourselves spiritually, and every Friday, we sit as a team to reflect on the week ended and the lessons thereof. As the leader of my organization, I consider it my responsibility to create and nurture that culture of excellence and godliness.

We currently employ 42 staff, 65% of whom are female and 72% aged 35 and below1. These are precisely the demographic groups that are least empowered in Kenya. But as an eminent statesman once said: “When you empower a man, you empower an individual; when you empower a woman, you empower a nation.”2 Educor is therefore playing a notable role in national development.

Community: Even though we are just an SME, we fully understand that giving back is part of our Christian mandate - Luke 12:48 “…. to whom much is given, much is required…” We have a CSR programme to reach out to underprivileged children around us. To this end, we support two children’s centres: Blessed Kindergarten, and Cindi’s Hope children’s home. For the former we fully sponsor their feeding programme, just to ensure these children can have proper nutrition so they can actually concentrate on learning; for the latter, we assist with all kinds of provisions - food, clothes, stationery – usually donated by our customers. We also have school visits between our centres, enabling our children to spend time in the sponsored centres engaging in various play and learning activities, and also those sponsored children have the opportunity to visit our centres now and then.


We always endeavor to foster good relationships with our vendors. We pay a fair price for their services/goods and treat them as family. Our vendor selection process also takes into account their ability to operate within our value system.

In conclusion, I would say that while my faith has positively impacted my business, my business has also positively impacted my faith. I have learnt to trust God through the challenging times. With increasing responsibility for people and resources, I find myself driven to better understand what God requires of me in this (new) situation. And overall, I believe I am being sharpened spiritually as a result of my business activities.

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