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How Sylvan is Continuing to Sign Franchisees During COVID-19

The leading supplemental and enrichment education franchise has signed 36 new franchisees since the start of the pandemic thanks to its adaptive model.

Amidst uncertainty surrounding the safest, most effective ways for students to learn during the pandemic — virtually or in-person — Sylvan Learning has adapted its traditional model to meet the changing needs of students, parents and the brand’s franchisees. As a result of its flexible and innovative offering, the industry-leading supplemental learning franchise is continuing to grow.

Since March, Sylvan Learning has been working to find a helpful solution for students and parents who are struggling to adapt to the virtual learning experience and for franchisees whose brick-and-mortar businesses have suffered during the pandemic. Sylvan quickly pivoted to offer their signature programs in new online formats to meet the needs of families and follow all health and safety guidelines. And then in August, Sylvan added to its services by launching School Support, offering in-person support for students on virtual school days — a move that, according to Maureen Eichholz, Sylvan’s executive director of franchise development, resulted in signing 36 new franchisees.

“School Support has been great for the company, and prospective franchisees have been impressed with how Sylvan has been able to adapt,” Eichholz said. “Franchisees who are reaching out now are savvy investors who see that there’s always going to be a need for supplemental education. And that need is greater now than before because of how the nation has responded to the pandemic.” 

Mina Guirguis and his brother Emad, Santa Monica Sylvan franchisees who signed on with the brand in March, were hesitant to commit once they saw how the pandemic was affecting the economy. It was Sylvan’s preparedness and quickness to adapt that made them confident in their investment, and they have since begun hosting their location’s virtual tutoring.

“It was the way Sylvan was able to shift its whole philosophy from providing face-to-face, in-person tutoring to a completely new format online,” Mina said. “The corporate team hosted an online meeting that outlined all the ways we’d still be able to connect with parents and students online, and it was really helpful in our decision-making to become franchisees. Sylvan’s approach to virtual learning has been reassuring.”

Jason Blanshine, another new franchisee who signed with the brand in Delaware, said he had similar feelings about “what to do” regarding his decision to open a center of his own, but has felt nothing but support the whole way through. 

“I watched closely how Sylvan handled the situation with the launch of virtual learning support, and it gave me a lot of confidence that they’ve been doing everything they can do,” Blanshine said. “From the beginning, it’s been clear that Sylvan wants to support its brand, its students and its franchisees.” 

Those who are interested in franchising with Sylvan are able to take advantage of the service offerings to provide programs completely online, or offer in-person support to students during their regular virtual school days. 

For more information about franchising with Sylvan Learning, please visit

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.