It's the subject of political debate and vast amounts of government spending. It's also increasingly of concern to most UK parents and the bedrock of the nation’s economic future. Education.
Apart from health, there is no other sector in the UK that is as far reaching, heavily debated and emotionally charged. More recently, that has centred on funding issues, while the number of children in schools has also been steadily rising, growing by 121,000 over a 12-month period. This all means that the opportunities for private sector provision of educational services are plentiful.
Not least as parents are increasingly willing to pay to ensure their child gets the best start in life. An example of this is one survey that found parents were happy to invest up to £50,000 more in their property if it was in a good school catchment area.
This means a wide customer base for successful companies such as Mathnasium (the Maths Learning Centre), Tutor Doctor, e2 Engineers and Seriously Addictive Mathematics. There are also more creative businesses helping boost education as a work-from-home or premises-based venture such as Fun Science and The Creation Station. Smaller, specialist niches are plentiful, including Little Mandarin Classes to teach young children this language and NLP4Kids which works with children who have emotional difficulties.
Do you dream of carving a niche in the non-statutory education sector? Then the good news is that all of the examples above are companies happy to share their business models with entrepreneurs.
It means that your new business venture can start life with one of their established brands that has already earned respect in their field. With a franchise partnership with an education service provider, you can also benefit from business management advice, good contacts and potentially technological support from a website.