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Building new business models that last sits at the heart of rpk GROUP’s Mission, Market, and Margin® approach. Success demands that the current business model be optimized to maintain quality, respond to mission and student demand, and generate net revenue for reinvestment. That optimization allows institutions and organizations to launch toward a new shared future vision.

rpk’s approach to business models is also action oriented, allowing leadership to move from the old approach of strategic planning toward a new focus on strategic doing.

Case study: The Akilah Institute (Rwanda)

This institute for women in East Africa has created a bold new approach to learning, built upon a business model that delivers an affordable solution for students.

The Akilah Institute, part of Davis College, opened in Kigali, Rwanda in 2010 to provide education opportunities for female leaders. The Institute delivers degrees linked to high-growth sectors in the economy. Strong completion and graduate employment rates around 90 percent demonstrate Akilah’s success. But college leadership had a bigger goal in mind: scaling the Akilah model with a price point that would be affordable for all students.

rpk GROUP partnered with Akilah’s faculty and staff and Entangled Solutions to create a new education model with a price point of only $1,000 per year. That model focuses on competency-based education approaches under a blended learning environment. With blended learning, students learn via electronic and online media, as well as traditional face-to-face teaching.

rpk’s partnership enabled Akilah’s leadership to:

  • Model its cost of acquisition and identify leakages in the enrollment pipeline
  • Understand the return on investment from various service line approaches
  • Unbundle traditional faculty roles into facilitators, coaches, tutors and assessors
  • Create pipelines for talent to grow in the organization (including Akilah graduates)
  • Maximize use of shared services approaches across programs and the countries served by Akilah

The Akilah Institute and Davis College continue the relentless search to provide quality educational opportunities to students in east Africa. As Karen Sherman, president of Akilah Institute, stated “The way our teams see it, nothing less than the future of education is at stake.”


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Leadership Insights — Strategic Finance Learning Studio with Rick Staisloff and Chuck Ambrose, President and CEO of KnowledgeWorks

“The rpk team takes a holistic approach to the work, helping institutions and organizations create their new shared future vision, and develop the business model necessary to achieve it.”

Chuck Ambrose, President and CEO, KnowledgeWorks