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Franchise Talk: Top Education and Services Franchises from HK and SG Seeking Local Franchise Partner

Updated: Aug 22, 2020

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When it comes to franchising, we often think of food and beverage brands such as Starbucks, McDonalds, and KFC. In reality, many of the world’s best-performing franchises are in the education and services sector. This bodes well for Asia as a region, where the population tends to be younger and rising consumerism and GDP per capita across the region make these segments especially attractive.

The Philippines in particular, with more than 1,500 brands and 140,000 outlets, is a key market due to the country’s young population and developed franchise market. Filipinos are very entrepreneurial as evidenced through incredible attendances at franchise shows and an unprecedented 90-percent success rate of franchise businesses compared to the average non-franchise success rate of just 25 percent.

According to Sean T. Ngo, CEO of VF Franchise Consulting, “The Philippines has over 100 million people and one of the fastest growing GDP per capita in Asia. US News recently ranked the Philippines as the number one country for investment based on a survey of over 6,000 business decision-makers. Franchise sales in the Philippines contribute about 25 percent of all retail sales and added more than 1.5 million jobs to the Philippines economy.”

Here are a few education and services brands seeking to establish a presence in the Philippines with qualified franchisees.

The Edge Learning Center Franchise

The Edge Learning Center in Causeway Bay in Hong Kong

The Edge Learning Center is a Hong Kong-based franchise designed to help students get into the top universities in the US, UK, and Canada. Students that attend The Edge have an incredible 90-percent acceptance rate into the top 50 universities in the US, and an outstanding 41 percent acceptance rate into Ivy League universities, such as Harvard, Yale and Princeton. There are over 3,000 universities in the US alone.

The company’s core businesses include Academic Tutoring, Test Preparation, Admissions Consulting and Educational Training. It currently has training centers in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and, most recently, Singapore.

"The Edge sees the rising trend in the education industry in the Philippines, especially in the market of test preparation,” Duc Luu, CEO of The Edge Learning Center, says. “Over the last 10 years, we have proven to students and parents that we provide the best experience in Asia to help students enroll in the best universities in the US and the UK.”

First Code Academy

Michelle Sun, Founder and CEO, First Code Academy

First Code Academy was also founded in Hong Kong with the mission of providing young learners with digital literacy, computational thinking skills and empowering them to become creators with technology. Using a proprietary curriculum adapted from Silicon Valley high schools, First Code Academy’s after-school learning programs are designed to stimulate inquiry-based learning, logical thinking, and creative problem-solving. First Code Academy has learning centers in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and most recently in Macau.

Since 2013, First Code Academy has become Asia’s largest coding school with over 6,000 students taking regular semester classes and holiday camps. The cutting edge is its systematic curriculum that has produced consistent and proven student success. First Code Academy students have been invited to speak at TEDx Talks and conventions such as PyCon and have been finalists in the annual regional AppJamming competition, an event that is organized by First Code Academy. Its students have also participated regularly at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) App Inventor Summit in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Michelle Sun, CEO and founder of First Code Academy, says that since her company launched in 2013, it has grown to be the leading K-12 coding education brand in Asia, with a presence in six different cities in the region. “We continue to see great potential for coding education regionally. The Philippines has a rapidly growing technology sector, driven by government initiatives, and has one of the highest penetration rates of social media regionally. There is a lot of opportunity to fill the gap in STEM education for its future generation.”


Sureclean from Singapore is the most trusted and leading hygiene supplier of anti-germ hygiene products, toiletries, automated disinfection systems, permanent anti-bacterial coating systems, disinfection decontamination services and hygiene training. The hygiene and disinfection industry is estimated to be worth $22.5 Billion by 2022.

Sureclean products and services are widely used in educational facilities, medical facilities, offices, hospitality, transportation systems, and beverage, lifestyle and children’s recreational facilities. Additionally, the company’s products and systems are increasingly used in the home.

“As the World Bank projected the Philippines to remain the fastest growing economy in ASEAN, the need for good quality hygiene in various premises such as schools, hospitals, offices and residences will also grow,” says Alvin Tan, CEO and founder of Sureclean. “With a tried-and-proven business system with evergreen demand, excellent training and marketing support, Sureclean's franchise program is an ideal opportunity to tap into this fast growing economy.”


Chris Lim is the Chief Marketing Officer of Francorp Philippines (; President of U-Franchise Sales & Management (; and Chairperson and Director for Special Projects, ASEAN Integration-Philippine Franchise Association.


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