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Empowering the Children of Shanghai to Learn English

blogpost-Claire-Shanghai ChinaClaire Jiang, Helen Doron’s Shanghai Master Franchisor, is a shining example of a young businesswoman who hit the ground running and successfully penetrated the highly competitive English education market in China. The quiet young woman related, “I wanted to be a real entrepreneur, and was looking for a promising opportunity that would allow me to do that. I was interested in a company that involved children: combining business and early education, because of my baby son. I heard about Helen Doron English and immediately realized that that this is my chance to join a successful, worldwide network, recently launched in China—with endless opportunity for expansion.” Before Claire became part of the international franchise network, she worked for BP Oil & Gas for the seven years immediately following her graduation from university. During that time, she also married and gave birth to her son, who is now four years old. “I was searching for a business of my own, instead of working for someone else. Claire currently owns and runs three Helen Doron English Learning Centres of her own in Shanghai. As a Master Franchisor, she oversees two more run by her franchisees, with a third under construction. She reports that she is also working on recruiting at least three more Learning Centre Franchisees with a goal of establishing a total of twelve Learning Centres in Shanghai within four years. ”I am very proud of what we have accomplished so far. Our Learning Centres boast an 85% retention rate and most of our new students come from referrals from pleased parents.” Claire described how her territory within China is very different from the market in Europe. “In China we have a very competitive environment, with MANY competitors who have already been in the market for twelve to fifteen years, and are already very well-known. Parents understand their children must learn English to get ahead in life. Not many people had heard of Helen Doron English when we opened our first Learning Centre in 2010, although the company was already very popular in Europe. So, we are pioneers in China, as we have superior products that really work. Our challenge is to make sure that parents understand that  Helen Doron English is the best choice. Our students really do learn to speak English, thanks to the mother-tongue methodology, created by an experienced linguist and educator.” Claire went on to explain that, “In China, most of the competition offers classes for children with material originally written for adults, which is not appropriate for early English learners. Another major competitor depends mainly on “high-tech, electronic media and popular Disney cartoon characters. There is no academic background, no teacher training, the classes aren’t small and specialized by age group and there is really no comparison.” Clair proudly concluded, “We have a product that was carefully developed and achieves its goals. We have trained teachers, we have passive learning at home using CDs, we have unique materials and music—we have real teaching! With Helen Doron, we have an exclusive methodology that allows children to learn through play and fun.” No wonder Claire is successful at building a thriving business for herself and strengthening the Helen Doron brand throughout China.