Education as a Business Opportunity

Updated on 30 August 2016

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Education as a business opportunity at the small business and franchise expo
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The educational sector is booming, with a range of innovative new education-related business opportunities emerging to support childhood learning, say participants in the upcoming #BuyaBusiness and Small Business Expo in Johannesburg.

Now more than ever, parents are willing to invest in their children’s early learning and critical skills development through fun, educational programmes that build on the traditional school curriculum. These education-related businesses and franchises offer excellent work opportunities for former teachers, parents seeking flexible working hours and people focused on community development.

A number of innovative educational programmes and business opportunities will be showcased at the #BuyaBusiness and Small Business Expo at the TicketPro Dome next month, presenting entrepreneurs and investors with an opportunity to become part of South Africa’s growing supplementary education trend.

Among them are MiniChess South Africa, an award-winning programme fast expanding internationally and endorsed by Grandmaster Garry Kasparov. The programme, developed over years of teaching chess to learners aged 5 to 9  as part of the school curriculum, not only teaches children to play chess in a fun and engaging way: it also helps them develop critical thinking, maths and science skills and fine motor skills. In young children, it helps develop critical skills and significantly improves school readiness.

MiniChess Founder and CEO Marisa van der Merwe, winner of the 2012 Shoprite Checkers Woman of the Year award for her educational work in communities, says MiniChess franchises are now available across South Africa. Suitable applicants who buy a franchise during the #BuyaBusiness Expo will receive a 10% discount off the franchise rights, which are usually priced at R55,000. Franchisees receive training, marketing support, MiniChess equipment and access to the annual MiniChess Symposium.

“We are not prescriptive around educational qualifications or even chess knowledge, but applicants must obviously be screened for working with children. Ideal applicants should be community minded, interested in early childhood development and be willing to work hard and learn about business. They might be teachers, people with educational experience and training, stay at home moms wanting flexitime jobs, or people who work with children in their communities,” she says.

Sherpa Kids SA, the only internationally-recognised Out of School Hours Care service provider in the country, will also highlight its franchise opportunities at the #BuyaBusiness expo and will award a franchise to a successful, qualifying applicant who visits their stand.

Part of a global childcare brand, Sherpa Kids SA first launched in South Africa in 2014 and now operates at over 25 schools in GautengKwaZulu-Natal and the North West Province. Sherpa Kids delivers structured, enjoyable after care and holiday programmes at schools.

The ideal Sherpa Kids SA franchisee has a passion for working with children, an interest in the high demand, high potential, rapidly growing childcare franchise sector, as well as the motivation and drive to help to build this powerful brand in South Africa, says Genevieve Allen, the Master Franchisor and Managing Director of Sherpa Kids SA.

Presenting an opportunity to investors looking to expand their portfolios in the education field, Bala Books will exhibit its range of book writing and publishing programmes designed to get children excited about language and reading. With over 2,000 child-authored books already produced and many thousands of child readers impacted by the programme, Bala Books is now establishing a book writing academy for children in Soweto and looking to expand its programmes over a broader range of communities.

Founder Glad Mabele says the highly popular programme is now seeking business partners and investors to grow its reach.

Win a education franchise! 

Sherpa Kids and #BuyaBusiness Expo are running a competition to win a Sherpa Kids franchise opportunity. For more information about how to enter please visit the website.

The #BuyaBusiness Expo offers one-stop business opportunities, franchise opportunities, business tools, information and networking for anyone considering starting their own business or franchise, and for those already in business and looking to expand.

The Small Business Expo, proudly supported by Eskom is devoted to the development and growth of small and medium enterprises by providing an opportunity for them to market themselves and interact with corporates, investors and buyers.

The expos will be staged at the Ticketpro Dome in Northriding Johannesburg from the 8th –10th September 2016. Entrance is free if you register online. Visit or

  • Among the highlights of the expos will be:
  • Investors club for high profile investors and business partners
  • Development Den workshops on business trends and strategy, management, financial and digital
  • Business Matchmaking
  • Business Bootcamp workshops for early stage start-ups
  • Full on Franchising Theatre
  • Wealth Masterclasses

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