Helen Doron English has been providing driven, enthusiastic individuals with a fulfilling and worthwhile career for decades. The franchise’s customizable pedagogic curriculum means that each and every market in which it operates can thrive, while also being supported by an international franchisor team of education professionals.
Like many franchise owners that join the Helen Doron Educational Group network, Meena Athwani and Toni Camps Martinez – Helen Doron English Spanish master franchisees – first encountered the business as new parents looking to improve their child’s education.
“When my children were aged three and one, I was an enthusiastic mom creating games and activities for them to learn English and math. I wanted more tools to do this well and perhaps even seek job opportunities in this field,” explains Meena.
“While checking on the internet I came across a Helen Doron English Teacher Training Course that was to be take place in Valls (about an hour’s drive from Barcelona). It sounded interesting and I could afford it, so I decided to sign up. That was my first introduction to Helen Doron. It was love at first sight.”
Taking an exciting leap
Following this teacher training course, Meena started her journey with Helen Doron as a teacher, working from home. But even at this early stage, she knew that the possibility to grow and develop was just on the horizon.
“I recall my first meeting with Helen Doron and Anne Gordon (former VP of business development) in Avenida Gaudi in Barcelona over coffee. I told Helen I was a businesswoman at heart and though I loved teaching I wanted to know the business side of it. In some way, that set the ball rolling in the universe,” says Meena.
“In 2009 Anne offered me the opportunity to become a master franchisee. The investment was high, and I was unsure of taking this step. I was just settling in my role as a successful Learning Centre franchisee. Here, Toni gave me the push that I needed. He gave me the courage and clarity to take the leap. It wasn’t his intention to join me actively in the business initially, but in 2010, he accompanied me to the Prague master franchise convention and the day after we came back, he told me he was coming on board.”
The next few years were rife with activity and development: The couple became Spain’s only master franchisees in 2009, and in 2010, there were two more master franchises and 12 Helen Doron Learning Centers in Spain. Just five years later, that number shot up to 83, with Meena and Toni transitioning into national coordinators in 2013.
The student figures were equally impressive, with around 1,500 in 2010 becoming 12,436 by 2015; an achievement that credits the joint effort of the master franchisee team.
A proven methodology
The growth numbers speak for themselves, but it’s the efficacy of the Helen Doron English model that truly makes the education brand stand above its competition. As Meena outlines: “To work in this field, you need to have a passion for education and for children. Like all businesses, you need some time to grow into your numbers, but if you are doing something that you love and you know that you are contributing to the future of many young people, this becomes a great motivator.
“After 18 years with this company, I can see the results in our students. The reports that we receive from Cambridge exams show us that the results of our students are above the average as compared to other academies in Spain and even those in the world.
“The Helen Doron family is a big community, and we feel part of it”
“The product works, the methodology works. Our students are doing bilingual high school, or their Baccalaureate or university studies in English-speaking countries. We have various ex-students now as teachers in our teams, and we provide them with a career path that allows them to become franchisees. We helped them reach there; we are part of their success. Knowing this is one of the greatest satisfactions that I receive in my work.”
In keeping with the support that they receive as master franchisees, Meena and Toni ensure to provide each and every one of their Learning Centre franchisees with the tools, training, and targets that will allow them to truly succeed. The Helen Doron English franchise is one built on collaboration and support, which is showcased through the group’s annual conferences and meetings that bring together and celebrate its many exceptional franchising partners.
The experience has also brought Meena and Toni even closer.
“Working together in Helen Doron has allowed Toni and I to grow and evolve as a couple. Toni and I are two completely different personalities. When we made the decision to work together this could have gone either way. It could have robbed us of our marriage, which fortunately it did not. What it did do was bind us closer; it made us appreciative of our differences and talents and to make the most of it to be a stronger team,” says Meena.
“While being totally different in our approach to situations, we have one common goal. We are happiest when we can share and support. The Helen Doron family is a big community, and we feel part of it.”
At a Glance Helen Doron English
Number of franchised outlets: Over 1,200
Location of units: Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Chile, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mexico, Montenegro, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine
Investment range: €150,000 – €250,000
Minimum required capital: €200,000