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EducationHow To's

How to Start a School in Nigeria

Private School business is currently one of the most booming businesses in Nigeria although it can be demanding and time-consuming.

The processes involved are lengthy and complicated process but the testimony of those who have been there will be a source of inspiration to you.

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Starting a private school needs a lot of money and support. Despite the hurdles you have to cross before you get fully established as a thriving business your spurs and encouragement will be to know that you setting up to make a difference in the lives of children and families.

For a start, don’t be over anxious of the money you will make. Be more eager to do everything you possibly can to ensure that you give the children the best education they will ever have. Your achievements will be a testimony that will drive your business forward.

We have compiled a few guidelines to walk you through the processes you need to go through in order to get your business established in Nigeria.

See below:

1. Identify your educational Niche and seek for support:

Specify the educational niche you want to invest in and remember that you cannot do that alone. You need supporters to work with you to see to the actualization of your goal. Your supporters ought to include a lawyer, an accountant, teachers and parents. They would be required to work closely with you to put the required things in place before the usual period of 2 years that it would take for the school to open formally. Seek the opinions of your supporters. It will be in your best interest to trickle down your educational niche. It is better to start small and then broaden your tentacles as grow. You can decide options like nursery school, primary school or addition of the two, secondary school, college, polytechnic, universities etc.


Once you have made up your mind on the form of school you want to invest in, you should as well decide the number of grades you want to start the school with. Try to start small and grow solidly. Set up the primary division and then add the upper grades as time goes on.

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2. Tackle the business and legal matters.

The lawyer in your support group ought to be the one to fill for incorporation and your tax exemption. The accountant ought to be instrumental at establishing a start-up budget. You should work together with your group to come up with a 5-year business plan for your school.
There are costs that are supposed to be incurred with the filing; your lawyer should be able to donate his legal services to the cause.

Obtaining a certificate of incorporation is a significant step in your long term fund raising. People will be more willing to donate to a legal entity or organization than to you as an individual person. If you otherwise decide to operate as a sole proprietary business owner, you may find it difficult when you would need to raise fund.



3. Acquire a property in a good location and hire major employees

Immediately you are done with the legal matters, hire a school director or headmaster and a business office manager. Your support group will assist you to come up with detailed job descriptions for the required positions. These main staff members ought to be hired for roughly 18 months before opening day and will work together with the support group thenceforth.



4. Develop a Budget

Your start off budget should be developed within 18 months. It should include the projections of your expenses and incomes for five years. The accountant in your support group ought to be responsible for the production of this important document. You would be required to develop an operating budget and a capital budget. A play ground or an arts facility for instance would fall under the capital side, whereas planning for social security expenses would fall into an operating budget expense.


5. Find a location and obtain a landed property or acquire an already built structure

Acquire a land that will be used to build the school structure or purchase or rent a facility to use as the classroom.  An architect and contractor in your support group should take care of this responsibility. Ensure that you get a good and strategic position that is safe for school. Parents wouldn’t be willing to send their children in an unsecured environment.


6. Tax Exempt Status

Make application for tax exempt 501(c)(3) status from the IRS. Again, your lawyer can take care of this application. Submit the application as early in the process as possible to allow you to start soliciting tax deductible contributions. People and businesses will undeniably be more favorable to your fund raising efforts if the school is known as a tax-exempt organization.

Tax exempt status may as well be helpful when it comes to paying with local taxes, although it is a good gesture to pay local taxes when and where you are required to.


7. Do fundraising and advertise for students

Within a space of one year from opening day, you should start making presentations to community groups and service clubs to locate parents of prospective students and donors for your private school.  You can also do some advertising online.


8. Start the Enrollment of students

Your facility ought to be open and ready for admissions. There should be interview for intending students no later than nine months before opening day.



9. Hire and train staff

Advertise your vacancies to get teachers and administrative workers that will help you to achieve your vision and mission and vision. Propose competitive wages to attract the most capable professionals. Staff needs to be in place at least one month before takeoff day of the school.



10. School resumption proper

Try joining state or national private school associations. This will assist to provide accreditation and recognition. Be cautious in your projections and use of revenues even if you have a donor catering for most of the expenses.

Hope this helps…

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Blessing Smart

Blessing Smart is a Business Analyst and Content Developer at InfoGuideNigeria.com. InfoGuide Nigeria is a team of Resource Persons and Consultants led by Ifiokobong Ibanga. Page maintained by Ifiokobong Ibanga. If you need a personal assistance on this topic, kindly contact us.

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  1. Am sure 2 million won’t be enough. What i really want to do, is to buy a big land, make a very solid foundation because i want it to be a story building and i want to have an hostel in the school. So i think 5 buildings would be enough..this is a lot of money

    1. Sure you are write. your planned expense will really depend on what you have at hand as well as what you need to put in place before you start

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