With over 2.5+ million children trained worldwide, our UCMAS Learning Centers serve a real need – to boost child development and brainpower in kids aged 4 to 13 by offering Mental Math and Abacus training.
In South Africa, UCMAS started its operations in 2006. We currently have 30+ franchise locations in South Africa and Lesotho.
We are currently operating successfully out of 6 provinces in South Africa and the whole of Lesotho. Our goal is to continue to expand by providing this valuable child development program by having a local UCMAS Centre in every community across South Africa.
Be part of a business that will make a difference to your life and to the life of kids in your community. Join the UCMAS team and help kids discover the Genius within!
Educational Centers, offering Abacus mental arithmetic classes (area based).
Currently UCMAS South Africa has 30+ active franchisees with multiple centers across South Africa and Lesotho.
The new management of UCMAS South Africa has been operating successfully since August 2013 trading as UCMAS Educational Group South Africa (Pty) Ltd.
We have our head office located in Kempton Park.
More about the Franchisor:
Judy Janse van Rensburg comes from a distinguished family of teachers who can trace their lineage several generations back to the time of governesses, but she herself only lasted six months in her first teaching job.
“It was the system that got to me,” says the Kempton Park based entrepreneur who has recently taken over an innovative franchise aimed at teaching children arithmetic and analytical thinking through the use of an abacus.
Her complaints about the traditional school system are typical of true entrepreneurs who find themselves trapped in a job. She simply could not stand the staid old ways of thinking and doing that she knew can and should be done better.
Judy, a B Com graduate, left schooling and went to work for a few private companies before she decided to dedicate a few years at home raising her children. It was here that her entrepreneurial nature started emerging that would eventually take her back to her roots and her first love, teaching.
In between child care and housekeeping, she was constantly busy with crafts and cooking for home-industry shops. Things got serious when she started selling a range of aloe-based skin-care products. Soon she became the area node in the company’s network-marketing system and at one stage was turning over R1 million a month – all from home. The experience taught her a lot about marketing and selling.
When the company decided to change the commission structure, however, she found it no longer worth while, and decided to try her hand at teaching again. This time, she joined a primary school as a mathematics teacher. Again, she found the system very wasteful and frustrating, but the experience gave her an important basis upon which to build her next business.
Responding to a newspaper advertisement, she made contact with a little-known franchise called UCMAS, and was intrigued. The method, Chinese in origin, uses a simple abacus to teach arithmetic and analytical thinking to children between 4 and 13. By learning how to visualise the abacus in their mind’s eye, they can do sums at astounding speed. This builds confidence which boosts all their other subjects.
Judy promptly bought the rights to the franchise for the Kempton Park area and got started by asking a teacher to recommend fifteen sets of parents whom she went to see one by one. She signed up no fewer than twelve. “By that time I was pretty good at selling,” she says.
But soon the system started selling itself. Among her first intake was a boy who stood on the verge of being expelled from his school. The UCMAS turned his school work around and caused such a change in his attitude towards school that he later became a prefect. It is not just Judy who believes that the change was due to her system. The boy’s mother persuaded no fewer than 30 other parents to sign up.
All the while, Judy was building an educational center at a center in Kempton Park called Wakker Jakkers in which she offered all sorts of extra lessons that complemented the UCMAS teaching. Her staff grew to eight. She had about 80 UCMAS clients and a further 40 who signed up for other extra lessons.
But while her own franchise grew, the franchisor, which held the South African licence for the system from the Malaysian-based international head office, ran into trouble. Just as Judy prepared for the end of the system in South Africa and got ready to concentrate on her non-franchise lessons, the Malaysian head office approached her, as the strongest franchisee, to take over the South African license.
Judy did some intensive research and confirmed that the Malaysia company was indeed the biggest and most esteemed abacus-based teaching system in the world. Locally, she knew that there was a huge untapped market, because the previous licence holder had marketed it only to a very limited set of communities.
One of the best moves she made, says Judy, was to team up with a franchising consultant who had worked with the UCMAS group before.
It has been a difficult first couple of years as franchisor, says Judy. She has had to sort out a lot of problems left by the previous licence holder. She has focused almost exclusively on stabilising the franchisees she took over. Fortunately, only three franchisees closed down in the transition process. Now she is ready for a strong marketing drive to build the group.
Judy says part of her strength as an entrepreneur is her “remarkable family”. Her son, agreed to jump in and help out with the business when Judy had to leave for Malaysia to sign the contract. Her two daughters are also highly trained UCMAS moderators. Her husband has meanwhile bought his own educational franchise which complements hers, and the two of them has formed one management team to run both side by side.
There is still a long way to go to build the UCMAS brand in South Africa, but Judy finds the entrepreneurial challenge combined with her love for teaching so satisfying that she cannot conceive of doing anything else. “My husband and I have decided never to retire,” she jokes, “We’ll just take longer and longer holidays.”
Going into business is less risky and is often more rewarding with a Franchise system. A staggering number of new businesses fail in the first three years – due to a lack of understanding of the product, the market and an overall deficiency in brand awareness and business systems.
Increasingly, franchising has become an appealing choice for new entrepreneurs to get into business, as it counteracts some of those pitfalls by combining proven business structures with the strength of a marketing brand. At UCMAS, our franchise support network helps franchisees reach their personal and business goals with a completely organized system including both business processes and educational curriculum.
Here are the Top 10 Reasons to Join the UCMAS Franchise Network:
- Low initial investment
- Low operating expenses
- Previous education industry experience is not required
- Work full or part-time
- Strong demand for child development programs in a growing industry
- Limited direct competition
- An easy-to-operate system
- An established and proprietary program and educational methodology
- A proven business model to maximize your center’s revenue potential
- A committed franchisor to your success and your long-term growth
UCMAS Franchises do not need a background in teaching, but must share our passion for education with the objective of creating a child-centric environment that promotes a life-long love of learning for our students.
We have found that strong candidates for franchising with UCMAS share the following traits:
- Enjoy interactions with parents, students and Course Instructors
- Skilled at marketing and business development
- Resourceful and multi-tasking individuals
- Strong communication and interpersonal skills
- Solid leadership and management skills
UCMAS does full training on our programme syllabus for Course Instructors.
We assist in business training on the UCMAS model for Franchisees and Managers.
Areas available nationwide, please inquire for more information.
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