The IDP Foundation developed the concept for IDP Rising Schools Program in 2008, when they realized that there was an underserved market for providing microfinance loans to low-cost private schools. The pilot phase for IDP Rising Schools Program spanned from 2009-2012 and included 105 private schools. The program has since expanded.
IDP Rising Schools Program, in collaboration between IDP Foundation, Inc, and a Ghanaian organization, Sinapi Aba Trust, provides loans of 2,000–15,000 Ghana cedis (approximately 1,000-7,500 USD) to low-cost private schools. Schools can use loans to finance infrastructure development, equipment procurement (such as acquiring a school vehicle), and land acquisition.
Before applying for loans, school proprietors must go through IDP Rising Schools Program’s training program. IDP Rising Schools Program trains school proprietors in best practices for school operations and management and teachers in best practices for the classroom. Through 9 learning modules, school proprietors are trained in 30 topics that include accounting, savings, managing credit, human resource management, and creating community ties that support the school. The rationale for requiring pre-loan training programs for school proprietors is based on the belief that loans will be lower risk after proprietors receive financial and management training.
For teachers of the schools it finances, IDP Rising schools has partnered with Sesame Workshop to provide teacher training that emphasizes child-friendly teaching and learning.