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Millennials Discover Alternate Career Path with Franchise Industry Three Kumon instructors find their passion through small-business ownership.
There are over 75 million millennials in the United States, representing more than one quarter of the nation's population. Even more pertinent to our economy is the fact that more than one-in-three American workers are millennials—making them the largest generation in the U.S. labor force.
Millennials, more than any other generation, aren't scared to change jobs. From work-life balance to purposeful labor to economic security, millennials have high standards for their careers and they are willing to change paths to meet them. Franchising is one of those industries checking a lot of boxes for millennials.
Here are three millennials discovering success with Kumon, the world's largest education franchise.
Meet Ellia Jang. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts-Lowell with a degree in psychology in 2014. For three years, she worked as an early childhood education counselor. Jang grew up in an entrepreneurial family. Her parents are business owners so she was always intrigued by the idea of running her own business someday. Realizing that she could combine her love for education and aspirations of small business ownership, she looked into the Kumon franchise.
"Once I was introduced to Kumon by a family friend, I found myself spending hours online researching and absorbing information about the Kumon Method," says Jang, owner and instructor of Kumon Math and Reading Center of Beverly. "And as soon as I stepped foot into a Kumon Center, I knew that it was the right path for me and the perfect business to grow into."
Jang believes that franchising is a great opportunity for millennials because it allows young entrepreneurs to run a business they are passionate about, under a brand with a proven track record of success.
"As opposed to starting from scratch, a franchise provides unparalleled support in the form of marketing, operations, immediate brand recognition, training and IT support," says Jang. "A Kumon franchise allows me to have the independence I want, but also gives me support and structure in owning and operating a business."
Meet Alex Tang. He graduated from the University of California Irvine with a degree in biochemistry in 2008. For seven years, he worked as an environmental scientist analyzing and discovering new and effective ways to treat and purify water. Realizing that he wanted to challenge himself with a new adventure, he moved back to the Bay Area and joined the Kumon franchise. Tang had a history with Kumon. As a child, he was enrolled in the program for eight years and his father is also a Kumon Instructor. When he heard that a center was for sale close to his hometown, the timing felt right for him to make a career change.
"Giving back to your community and society is one of the most rewarding things in life," says Tang, owner and instructor of Kumon Math and Reading Center of San Mateo Hillsborough. "My original aspirations were to give back through a medical career and now I'm able to continue that passion, but instead, positively impact the lives of youth in our society."
Tang believes that franchising is a good opportunity for millennials because it's an entry into the entrepreneurial world.
"Franchising allows you to become comfortable with small business ownership while having the support of a well-established company," Tang says.
Meet Susan Lenti. She always knew that she wanted to be a teacher. While majoring in education at Northeastern Illinois University, she worked as a center assistant at a local Kumon Center to gain experience working with children. During that time, she realized she wanted to become a Kumon Instructor and changed her major. She graduated in 2013 with a degree in business marketing.
"While working as an assistant at Kumon, I realized that I could continue with my passion for education, but instead of becoming a teacher, become a small business owner," says Lenti, owner and instructor of Kumon Math and Reading Center of Orland Park West. "As a Kumon Instructor, I had the opportunity to individualize my lesson plans for each child, while also having more economic security."
Lenti believes that franchising is a good opportunity for millennials because you are a part of something bigger than yourself.
"It's empowering to say that I own my own business, but with that being said, I don't think I could have done it without the support of Kumon," Lenti says. "Franchising allows you to join a brand that people recognize."
All three of these small-business owners had similar advice for aspiring millennials. Find something you are interested in and follow your passion. Success will come as long as your heart is truly into your career path. Learn more about the Kumon franchise opportunity.