April 2019: Featured Entrepreneur

2019-04-01T13:50:03+00:00March 31st, 2019|Tags: , , , , , , , |

An innovator who runs her business with passion

by Jill Abrahamsen

Sharon Estroff lives her brand. As the mastermind of Challenge Island®, she describes her unique franchise with the same playful enthusiasm that sparked her to start the innovative business in 2002. Estroff never intended to launch a leading franchise system with more than 90 locations worldwide. The growth and success of Challenge Island is a byproduct of her desire to make a difference—and she has.

A former teacher, Estroff created Challenge Island as an after-school program to get kids excited about learning. Inspired by her favorite reality TV show, she designed a curriculum that was fun and engaging, but at the same time helps kids develop important life skills such as collaboration, compromise, resilience, and critical thinking. “We turn the classroom into an island, divide students into tribes, and create challenges. Kids don’t realize they are learning. They are having too much fun,” she says.

Estroff and her team create and constantly add to the curriculum, which incorporates science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM). “We have a blast coming up with new challenges,” Estroff says. Cross-curricular Island themes include Cool Carreers which is made up of whimsical engineering destinations like City Planner Speedway, Marine Biologist Bay, and Pet Emergency Room. The summer camp curriculum includes kid-approved themes such as Slime Squad Camp and Island Tube Camp.

Franchisees can customize their offerings by using the hundreds of themed lessons to run after-school enrichment classes, camps, birthday parties, scouting events, and even senior programs. “Our franchisees have a lot of creative freedom, which is something you don’t get in most franchise systems,” Estroff says.

While the brand attracts former teachers and corporate moms, you don’t necessarily need to be a parent or have a teaching degree to run this business. “Our owners come from a variety of backgrounds: former investment bankers, lawyers, marketing executives and everything in between. They all share a passion for working with children and a desire to make a difference as well as an income,” says Estroff. For more information, contact (985) 209-8430 or franchising@challenge-island.com.

Share this story

An innovator who runs her business with passion

by Jill Abrahamsen

Sharon Estroff lives her brand. As the mastermind of Challenge Island®, she describes her unique franchise with the same playful enthusiasm that sparked her to start the innovative business in 2002. Estroff never intended to launch a leading franchise system with more than 90 locations worldwide. The growth and success of Challenge Island is a byproduct of her desire to make a difference—and she has.

A former teacher, Estroff created Challenge Island as an after-school program to get kids excited about learning. Inspired by her favorite reality TV show, she designed a curriculum that was fun and engaging, but at the same time helps kids develop important life skills such as collaboration, compromise, resilience, and critical thinking. “We turn the classroom into an island, divide students into tribes, and create challenges. Kids don’t realize they are learning. They are having too much fun,” she says.

Estroff and her team create and constantly add to the curriculum, which incorporates science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM). “We have a blast coming up with new challenges,” Estroff says. Cross-curricular Island themes include Cool Carreers which is made up of whimsical engineering destinations like City Planner Speedway, Marine Biologist Bay, and Pet Emergency Room. The summer camp curriculum includes kid-approved themes such as Slime Squad Camp and Island Tube Camp.

Franchisees can customize their offerings by using the hundreds of themed lessons to run after-school enrichment classes, camps, birthday parties, scouting events, and even senior programs. “Our franchisees have a lot of creative freedom, which is something you don’t get in most franchise systems,” Estroff says.

While the brand attracts former teachers and corporate moms, you don’t necessarily need to be a parent or have a teaching degree to run this business. “Our owners come from a variety of backgrounds: former investment bankers, lawyers, marketing executives and everything in between. They all share a passion for working with children and a desire to make a difference as well as an income,” says Estroff. For more information, contact (985) 209-8430 or franchising@challenge-island.com.

Share this story