The Value of Educational Franchises Rises During the Pandemic
By John Collins
Education franchises have received a substantial boost from an unlikely source: the pandemic.
Education enrichment franchises were already experiencing strong growth before COVID due to increased competition for places at major universities and parents’ desire to give their children an edge as they pursue high school and enter the labor market. When COVID forced schools to close and shift to virtual learning, parents scrambled not only to keep their kids from falling behind, but to give them every advantage to get ahead.
A spike in demand for education enrichment services coincided with “The Great Quit,” which led to an unprecedented number of employees leaving their jobs in search of more meaningful work.
“Many entrepreneurial people are looking to change their lifestyle by opening their own business, and they appreciate that franchising offers a proven business model, established systems and extensive training,” says Mike Shim, vice -Senior President of Field Operations for Kumon North America. . “Kumon has seen a huge increase in interest from teachers, especially those who want more control over their schedule and future, but want to use their classroom experience to continue making a difference in the lives of The business support is a big draw as this is a first business venture for most of them.”
Kumon added 65 new centers in 2021 for a total of over 2,000 locations in the United States and Canada. This year, Kumon anticipates extremely strong growth in Canada. After-school enrichment programs like Kumon are worth $23.5 billion in the United States
Former teacher Georgette Kankwende, now owner and operator of the Kumon Center in Fort Worth-Woodland Springs, Texas, was happy to trade her 80-minute daily commute to the school where she worked for a five-minute drive. own business in January 2021.
“The registration has been really good,” says Kankwende. “I could tell in the first three months that there was a need for Kumon in my area, and it really hasn’t slowed down at all. We now have over 150 students.
The need for educational enrichment services is expected to continue. Education consultant McKinsey & Company reports that the lingering effects of the pandemic persist. For K-12 students in the 2021-22 school year, this translated to an average delay of five months in math and four months in reading.
Kumon Center owners say they are limited in the number of students they can serve without sacrificing customer service or social distancing, so increased demand for educational enrichment is not only driving enrollment health in existing centers, but also a need for more centers.
Shim and his team are actively recruiting new Kumon franchisees. Although start-up costs are a concern for many new small business owners, Shim says Kumon staff are doing everything they can to make building new centers affordable for franchise owners, as lower franchisee sentiments and incentives to help offset the costs of marketing, signage, furnishings, and more needed to open a new center.
“We keep costs low so that Kumon Instructors can launch their business under the best possible financial conditions,” he says. “Our team is here to help Kumon Center owners succeed so we can meet the needs of more families.”
John Collins is Vice President of Center Network Development for Kumon North America.