Canadian Franchise

Kumon Franchise Owners Take Control of Their Future While Making a Difference in the Lives of Children

When teacher Christina Mitchell grew tired of classroom behaviour issues and having too many students in a class, she began looking for different career options. Her business owner father-in-law gave important advice: Choose something you know about.

“My husband heard about Kumon, and I happened to teach a very advanced first-grader who used Kumon at home. I felt like those two things meant something, so we looked into it.” That was 13 years ago, and she is happy with her choice to become the owner-operator of Vimont Kumon Centre near Montreal.

Last summer, an Ipsos poll of 1,001 Canadian adults found that 67% of parents thought virtual learning during the pandemic would have a negative impact on their children’s future opportunities. Increasingly, parents are turning to Kumon to not only ensure their kids catch up but also to give them every advantage going forward. To meet the increased demand, Kumon has launched an aggressive growth strategy to open new centres around Canada.

Perfect Time to Launch a New Career

The pandemic also has spurred The Great Resignation. As people leave behind their old careers in search of more fulfilling work and more control over their futures, they are discovering that Kumon offers the best of both worlds.

Kumon is the top education franchise in North America, with about 1,600 Kumon Centres in Canada and the U.S. Although Kumon has room to grow in many communities, the brand anticipates high growth opportunity this year in Ottawa, Montreal, Winnipeg, Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton.

A common trait among Kumon Franchisees is a desire to help students perform to their highest potential. “The best part has been the interactions with students and hearing how well they are doing from their parents,” says Mitchell.

Mitchell says the extensive training that Kumon provides for its instructors helped her build a successful business. “I definitely knew how to deal with kids and parents, but I had zero business experience,” she says.

Though she knew students who had used Kumon, she had not used the actual methodology until she went through Kumon’s comprehensive training. After completing training, she enrolled her own children in the program. “I’m glad I did. They’re grown now, but they improved in school and continue to excel in university. I can see the benefits from both sides.”

She says it took about one year from the time she expressed interest in Kumon to opening her own centre.

The Kumon Method

Kumon was founded in 1958 when Toru Kumon opened the first Kumon Math Centre in Osaka, Japan. Kumon was a math teacher who had created worksheets to help his own son, a second-grader, practice math basics. Those worksheets became the prototype of the Kumon Method.

Today, Kumon Centres offer education enrichment in both reading and math. Students visit the centres once per week and practice at home for 30 minutes per day, per subject, on other days.

It’s a formula that has worked for more than 60 years – and it’s all based on the importance of mastering concepts using worksheets that were developed by a father out of love and concern for his son. This year, Kumon North America launched a new creative campaign that leans into that tradition of practice with the tagline, practice makes possibilitiesÔ

What Sets Kumon Apart

In addition to being a respected education program, Kumon is highly regarded in the franchise world. On Entrepreneur magazine’s prestigious Franchise 500®, Kumon has been the No. 1-ranked education franchise for 21 consecutive years, and it was ranked No. 6 overall for the last two years in a row.

Kumon attracts top franchise candidates because of honours like these and because:

  • The Kumon Franchise opportunity is extremely affordable, with a franchise fee of only $2,000 and startup costs ranging from $59,884 to $153,878, depending on location. Kumon also offers generous incentives to cover some of the costs for a new Kumon Centre, such as new centre marketing, signage, furniture, carpet and more.
  • The Kumon business model promotes steady enrollment, and therefore, steady revenue. Because Kumon offers enrichment programming rather than tutoring, student enrollment doesn’t fluctuate as much as it does in tutoring centres, where kids tend to drop out of programs after catching up to their grade level or passing a big test.
  • Franchise owners find operating a Kumon Centre to be personally fulfilling, as they can see how their work makes a difference in the lives of children in their communities.

Stepping into the world of entrepreneurship requires commitment and drive. A love for the product or service is helpful, and different franchise models suit different personalities.

When asked about the benefits of working in the owner-instructor model of Kumon, Mitchell noted that it combines her love for teaching with the economic rewards of being an entrepreneur. “I have the reward of seeing children’s educational growth, with less red tape and bureaucracy than as a teacher in the school system.” Kumon’s proven business model, affordable cost, extensive training and support programs have positioned it at the top of the education franchise world. Kumon is currently recruiting instructors who want to own and operate a profitable business and make a lasting, positive impact on children in their communities. If that sounds like you, we invite you to learn more at