What it costs to own an education franchise like Master Maths, The Math Machine, or Kumon

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Photo: Jeffrey Coolidge, Getty Images
Photo: Jeffrey Coolidge, Getty Images
  • Several franchises exist in SA to offer different ways to teach children maths - and claim to make owners good profits.
  • Educational franchises have some of the lowest initial fees of the local franchise market - but often charge ongoing royalties more than double of those in other sectors, and most require little or no prior teaching experience
  • Here's how much five local education franchises cost to buy.
  • For more financial news, go to the News24 Business front page.

South Africa's education segment comprises a wide range of private educational services and products, but households across the African continent are spending more on private supplementary tutoring - and many South African private schools are losing pupils.

As a result, there's no shortage of businesses that offer after-school or supplementary tutoring services.

Many, like Master Maths, go back a long way - they've offered additional maths lessons for over 47 years. But others have sprung up more recently, offering similar tutoring services in maths and English.

Most of these businesses have expanded through the use of a basic franchise model. It allows businesspeople to buy into the brand, secure intellectual property and materials rights, and establish a tutoring business within a specified region. 

How much each tutoring franchise costs business owners depends on the brand and service offered - but many are among the cheaper franchise businesses you can buy in South Africa.

Here's much it costs to buy your own Master Maths, Kumon, A+ Students, Abacus Maths, or The Math Machine franchise.

A+ Students

A+ Students has 600 teaching venues throughout South Africa. They focus on teaching young children how to solve complex algorithmic problems by playing with Japanese-inspired toys. The company says their learning-through-play approach can boost self-confidence and improve concentration.

They're open to new applications from prospective franchisees. Franchisees require no prior maths or teaching experience - they offer up-front and ongoing training, which is paid for with franchise fees and ongoing royalties. New franchises start at the lowest level with young students but can expand to older students after one year.

How much it costs to buy an A+ Students franchise: 

An "acting A+ Students franchise" starts at R25 000 - but this only allows individuals to manage and teach while earning a commission. An actual franchise has an upfront cost of R195 000, and franchisees must pay management fees totalling 25%.

Abacus Maths

Abacus Maths is a franchise that uses the abacus to teach young children the fundamentals of maths. Their goal is to help children gain a solid foundation in maths from as young as three years old. They have about 50 branches throughout the country, but are accepting applications from new franchisees interested in buying into their model. They offer franchisees six days of initial in-person training and ongoing online marketing and management support.

How much it costs to buy an Abacus Maths franchise: 

Abacus Maths charges an initial fee of R15 000, followed by an establishment cost of R60 000. Franchisees must pay ongoing fees totalling 16% of turnover.

Master Maths

Master Maths has been offering extra maths tuition since 1976. Their product includes individual extra maths classes for children in Grades 4 to 12, aligned with curriculums for the Department of Basic Education, Independent Examination Board, Cambridge, and home-schoolers. They do this through over 140 centres nationwide, and claim to have helped more than 11 000 learners.

They're looking for franchisees with a BSc in a maths-related field, BEng, or similar tertiary qualification with a maths component who can offer hands-on teaching. Those with tertiary teaching qualifications are also open to apply.

How much it costs to buy a Master Maths franchise: 

There are three existing franchises available to purchase on the Master Maths website. New franchises require a total investment of R45 000 and ongoing fees for marketing and management totalling 17%.

The Math Machine

The Math Machine, a business started in 2016, offers extra maths lessons in focused groups with various learning materials. The lessons include the use of technology like iPads and smart televisions. There are currently four branches, all located in the Western Cape, but they have franchise opportunities in most major centres throughout the country.

How much it costs to buy a The Math Machine franchise: 

The Math Machine charges a R65 000 upfront fee and an establishment cost of R150 000, to a total investment of R215 000. They charge franchisees an ongoing management fee of 15% and an advertising and marketing fee of 2%.


Kumon offers individual maths and English programmes to children of any ability. They claim to be South Africa's largest supplementary education provider and have developed a self-titled learning method that enables children to self-learn.

Kumon is looking for people to buy and run Kumon Centres. Franchisees don't need any background in education or specialist knowledge, but you will need an education to a degree level or equivalent and a driver's license. Kumon offers appropriate business training, which is included in the franchise fee.

How much it costs to buy a Kumon franchise: 

Kumon franchises cost between R60 000 and R100 000 to start, depending on the area. This includes an initial license fee. Kumon does not mention any ongoing management or marketing fees.

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