#SAFranchiseFriday featuring A+ Students

Initially known as SEMAS South Africa, the rebranding on the concept to A+ Students was initiated in 2013 and kicked off with a national advertising campaign on DSTV.

Founder Marlene Mouton is a mathematics and science teacher who, while witnessing how many matric students were struggling with various concepts, was inspired by an insert on Carte Blanche that showed Japanese children as young as five doing amazing sums by mentally adding, subtracting, dividing and multiplying large numbers in seconds.

Today, A+ Students boasts 620 teaching facilities across all nine provinces with 29,500 students enrolled since 2006.

A+ Students is an ideal prospect for opportunity seekers looking to exit the formal teaching or corporate sectors. The franchise offers two complementary income streams achieved through mathematics tuition and a retail store selling educational play products and toys. A+ Students hosts annual national competitions and through their association with the Pan Pacific Abacus and Mental Arithmetic Association (PAMA), also participate on the international front.

At A+ Students they believe that learning starts with play. Children as young as two and a half years attend extramural courses, learning how to solve complex arithmetic problems by playing with the soroban (abacus) and the A+ Play Maths range of educational toys. Learners experience improved concentration and a boost in self-confidence.

With their ‘learn through play’ approach, lessons are interactive, physical and fun. Classes are limited to seven learners and typically start off with Brain Gym, which promotes left and right brain integration, boosts energy and is excellent for midline crossing, followed by flash cards and speed writing. Students use a big soroban to familiarize themselves with the concept and practise finger exercises on it to refine their motor skills. This moves learning from the abstract to the concrete and helps them to grasp the notions of adding and subtracting, after which they will be able to step-up the numbers with which they are dealing.

Typical locations include malls, shopping- and lifestyle centres and each outlet typically employs two teachers and two sales assistants.

Franchisees receive comprehensive support including initial and mandatory ongoing training to ensure that teachers and franchisees develop and reach the highest possible level of competence. The A+ Head Office also provides full design and marketing services, operational support and evaluations, including teacher moderations. All teaching materials and retail products are available from the Head Office and appointed suppliers.

While prior teaching experience is not a prerequisite, it will be advantageous. Franchisees must have basic financial acumen and the skills to motivate a team, manage sales personnel and see to the administrative duties of the business. Franchisees must be willing to market the business to schools in the surrounding areas.

Founder: Marlene Mouton
Year founded: 2005
Area of origin: Johannesburg, Gauteng
CEO: Marlene Mouton

1st SA franchise opened: 2006
Number of SA outlets: 62

Management fee: 15% of turnover
Marketing fee: None
Agreement term: 5 Years
Renewal term: 5 Years

* Amounts quoted are VAT exclusive
Establishment cost: From R450 000
Franchise joining fee: R175 000
Working capital required: R350 000
TOTAL average set-up cost: From R975 000
Average monthly turnover: R250 000
Achievable gross margins: Available on request

Contact Franchise Sales on  +27 11 958 2910 or email andyr@aplusstudents.co.za