Tackling concerns related to education accessibility is a major global endeavor and as populations increase in many parts of the world education becomes even more challenging to acquire. Could franchising become an emerging avenue for education access?
Education reform in some countries may be slow evolving and families seeking an education within a tight budget may have few credible and sustainable options to choose from. Whether or not franchised academies operating for profit will solve every challenge associated with education access can be argued. Bridge International Academies opened one such academy in 2009 to assist the growing demand for education access in Kenya. The company continues to expand and currently has hundreds of academies open throughout Kenya.
The concept is based on a business model that centralizes through smartphone and tablet applications the many complex and costly aspects of running an educational facility on a daily basis. Core business management software stores data to create a streamlined location management process that reduces overhead costs. This structure enables academy managers to focus on students, curriculum, and connecting the brand with locals. Training franchise businesses have long since benefited from franchising business models, so it is no wonder that schools may follow suit.
This franchised education concept aims to provide education access to families living on minimal income with a price of $6 a month, as well as a developing sponsorship program to create education access for even lower income families. Though education access is a hot topic, particularly in countries where education reform is under development, franchising of this sort aims to bring access where government and non-profit based education channels are beneath the standards of population demand.
The question remains, can the franchise business model, which has revamped how certain industries reach out to customers and communities in many ways, assist with education demand issues facing populations in various countries? Some consider the larger class sizes and scripted lessons a limiting factor in this particular company’s approach to creating education access. Likewise, there are arguments that governmental education reform offers the very best future to students versus franchised education systems such as this. Students and their parents argue that reform isn’t happening fast enough and that these franchise schools offer a valuable service within communities.
The future of franchise schools is unknown and only time will tell how this particular approach to a particular social challenge will work for or against locals seeking education options. Nonetheless, the franchise model continues to offer innovative ways to introduce solutions where challenges may exist, and this is one example of how franchise business may do just that.