MiniChess Franchise Holdings (Pty) Ltd

Accredited Member
Our franchises are:
For Sale: areas/territories

MiniChess and MindCo are franchise businesses where you have flexible working hours, can work from home and can be mobile while doing your duties and earning an income. The start-up process is very affordable, quick, and easy with ongoing support and guidance (more details about this process below).
The MiniChess stable of capacity-building programmes is a game-changer for 21st Century education – utilizing complex and creative play to develop critical skills from the early ages, for a sustainable future for humans in the time of smart machines.

The award-winning MiniChess & MindCo programmes were developed by Marisa van der Merwe in South Africa and are now being implemented in 9 countries as well as online, over-borders. The innovative play-based programmes move over barriers of age, gender, culture, language, and physical abilities – is inter-active, joyful, meaningful, and social, while developing resilience, creativity, thinking/reflection, cooperation, and emotional skills.
It’s YOUR move: START SMART for an empowered mindset & Entrepreneurial future!

All our programmes are presented online as well as face-to-face with an option of combination packages (Start Smart for 4-year-olds is only presented face-to-face).

Weekly classes utilizing chess-based play in the form of mini-games, book-projects and inter-active learning will develop STEM-skills (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) creativity, leadership, critical thinking, entrepreneurial mindset, concentration, purpose-thinking, team-leadership & communication. All this while teaching children a game for life.

Franchisees will service self-paying communities (schools and/or clubs) with face-to-face or online classes, and disadvantaged communities through a structured, mentored & quality-driven process. MiniChess trains children from pre-school up to Grade 5. MindCo delivers short courses at differentiated levels: young leadership development (12-year-olds), MindCo for Teens, MindCo for families, MindCo for Young Professionals, Entrepreneurs, Team-leaders, and corporate entities.

Unlocking the most powerful energy in the World: Human Capacity!

marisa van der merwe

Marisa van der Merwe developed the award-winning educational program, MiniChess® – over years of working her passion: early childhood development. She won the Shoprite-Checkers Women of the Year award (2012), is a recognized international speaker, an Ashoka Fellow, and is a Trustee of The Entrust Foundation (a non-profit PBO, championing community empowerment in disadvantaged communities).

She participated in the Women in the World Summit in New York (2013), presented at the London Chess & Education conference (2013-2015) as well as the ACEI’s Poster-presentation in Vancouver (2014).

In 2014 Marisa established a MiniChess business structure, MiniChess Franchise Holdings (PTY) LTD, empowering individuals to run the programme inside their own communities, while creating jobs and nurturing entrepreneurship.

Marisa was a speaker at WISE (World Innovation Summit for Education) in Qatar (2014) and a key-note speaker at the international ECD conference in Central Asia (2017).

Between 2015 and 2021 Marisa won the EDUWEEK award for Early Childhood Development Supplier of the Year, the SACBW award for Outstanding women in business in SA and Winner in the Community category. She is currently also a finalist for the WOS awards for 2022.

Who will be suitable as a MiniChess Franchisee?

  • A community-minded people’s person
  • Passionate about children and education-innovation
  • A good communicator and motivator
  • Have leadership skills
  • Being driven and focused as a business-owner
  • Be ethical and professional
  • Need to be structured, with organisational and managerial skills
  • Be willing to connect with corporates and sponsors, as it will enable the franchisee to oversee sponsored programmes in disadvantaged communities
  • Be computer literate
  • Must have own transport
  • Tertiary education and/or experience in education is an advantage
  • Willing to upskill (marketing, social media skills, business, and technical training etc.)
  • Be able to conduct online classes/sessions (after training and accreditation)

Steps for a Business start-up

  1. Apply as Prospective MiniChess Franchisee
  2. Meet the franchisor (face-to-face or online)Successful Applicants:
  3. Start with the FASA-process of Franchise-acquisition and contracting with MiniChess Franchise Holdings (MCF)
  4. Allocate the dedicated Franchise geographical area (note: online classes are not bound by area)
  5. DOES NOT need to rent a venue, carry stock, or employ people
  6. DOES NEED a vehicle and online connectivity to communicate and serve schools, learning centres and clients in the Region
  7. Pre-knowledge of chess and/or education is not required but is an advantage
  8. There are differentiated franchise options:
    a) Full Franchisee-licenced Rights at R75,000-00 upfront. Will need ± R10,000-00 in your pocket for initial starting-up/marketing.
    b) Sub-franchise licence rights are available at R37,500-00

The Franchise Contract includes:

  1. Curriculum License
  2. Initial Teacher Training – Level 1, Manual and workbook
  3. Attendance of MiniChess Business Development Symposium (2 Days)
  4. 12 Chess sets & Boards
  5. Magnetic Demo Board & Set
  6. Large Chess set & Mat
  7. Teacher Aid Pack
  8. MiniChess Franchise Email Address, Email Support & Email Signature
  9. Contract fee (Legal/Administration)
  10. Marketing incl.
    a) Business Development Support
    b) Personalized Business Cards
    c) Marketing Pamphlets
    d) Personalized Name Badge
    e) MiniChess T-shirt
    f) Personalized Car Magnets
    g) Substantial Social media support
    h) Marketing banners (pull-up)
  11. Support services
    1. Ongoing financial-admin support
    2. Ongoing training and support with Regional Coordination

Income Generation

Will be directly linked to number of learners, within 3 different MC implementation-models.

  1. Private/extra-curricular MiniChess groups
  2. In-school curriculum MiniChess classes
  3. Sponsored MiniChess programmes in disadvantaged communities, in collaboration with non-profit organisations


Income Streams

  • In Self-paying schools & communities



  • In Sponsored communities



  • MindCo Unlimited – added/new opportunity



Projected income

  1. Fully dependable in being visible, available, and actively presenting MiniChess in the region.
  2. Incomes vary a lot depending on the Franchisee’s activity in his/her region. (Special note: income is driven on number of clients)
  3. If all income streams are utilized, you can expect a start-up income in year 1 of ±R 100,000 but can normally grow to R20-30,000/pm by year 3 and more going forward.

Marketing and support

1. The Franchisee, as business owner, is responsible to market their business on all social media and mainstream platforms, and utilize all opportunities inside their own contracted, dedicated geographical Franchise-area

  • School open days
  • Community markets
  • Shopping mall expos
  • School fun-days
  • Online events
  • Local Facebook groups and pages
  • Local newspapers and printed media
  • Local radio
  • Local community outreaches
  • Parent evenings/organisations
  • Parent clubs
  • Newsletters
  • Connect with school organisations and educator groups etc.

2. MiniChess Head Office markets to national and international social media as well as mainstream platforms

  • National and international Expo’s
  • Fully optimised website
  • Facebook Page
  • Linked-In
  • Google
  • International partners
  • National and international newsletters
  • Free online demo sessions

Individuals who are passionate about empowering PEOPLE, from young children (4–11-year-olds) through high school up to the corporate world, and who are committed to build their own business as a Gamechanger for 21st Century empowerment. Working on a flexi-basis, while building/managing purpose-teams and a broad client-base: from pre-schools, primary and high schools, professionals, entrepreneurs to Team-leaders. To be confident and committed towards building a successful self-owned business.


  • Franchise-acquisition includes 2 and a half -day MiniChess Level 1 teacher Training.
  • Four different levels of MiniChess teacher training.
  • Regional coordinator workshop.
  • Business development at the annual MiniChess Franchise Symposium.
  • Also available is the 5-day MindCo-training for entrepreneurial & continuous professional development.
  • All training is available online. All materials are included.
Establishment Cost
Upfront Fee
Total Investment Amount
Financial Cost

Total Investment Amount for a full Franchise License
R75,000.00 100% own cash – no loans

Total Investment Amount for a Sub-Franchise License
R37,500.00 100% own cash – no loans

Additional start up-capital of R10,000 in-pocket. 100% own cash – no loans.
This fee covers all training, materials/equipment, and marketing support – for immediate business start-up.

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