Challenge Island

31 03, 2019

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.

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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

28 03, 2019

Challenge Island® Ranked one of the Fastest-Growing Franchises by Entrepreneur Magazine

2019-03-28T16:22:06+00:00March 28th, 2019|Tags: , , , , , |

ATLANTA — Challenge Island®, the #1 STEM / STEAM franchise in Entrepreneur 2019 Franchise 500®, was recently ranked in Entrepreneur‘s Fastest-Growing Franchises list. This highly competitive list recognizes the 150 companies with the greatest franchise unit growth in North America.

“We are incredibly honored to be ranked #98 on Entrepreneur’s 2019 Fastest Growing Franchises list, as well as #307 on Entrepreneur’s 2019 Franchise 500®. These accomplishments are testament to the strength of the brand, our fantastic franchisees, our unwavering support team, the epically exciting Challenge Island® franchise opportunity, and our company’s contagious mission to positively impact the lives of children across the country and the globe.”

Learn More About Challenge Island at www.challenge-island.com and https://franchise.challenge-island.com/ 

Founded and led by Sharon Duke Estroff, an award-winning educator, Penguin Random House parenting author, internationally syndicated parenting columnist, and education contributor for numerous national magazines including Scholastic Parent and Child, Good Housekeeping and Parents, Challenge Island® has over 90 franchises across the US and internationally. “Thanks to our spectacular growth and momentum,” says Estroff who is also the company’s CEO, “Challenge Island® is on course to have touched the lives over 1 million children by 2020.”

“Franchising trends are always changing, and our ranking of the fastest-growing franchises offers crisp insight into what’s hot right now,” says Jason Feifer, Entrepreneur’s editor in chief. “And through this list, we’re also able to see the strategies that help newer brands ramp up quickly and that enable older ones to maintain their momentum.”

Entrepreneur’s 2019 Fastest-Growing Franchises ranking is based on each company’s net franchise-unit growth in the U.S. and Canada from July 31, 2017 to July 31, 2018. Challenge Island’s position on the ranking demonstrates the brand’s rising popularity with both franchisees and customers.

To view Challenge Island in the full ranking, visit entrepreneur.com/franchises/fastestgrowing. Results can also be seen in the March issue of Entrepreneur, available now on newsstands.

About Challenge Island®

Challenge Island® is a home-based/mobile children’s educational enrichment franchise.  Franchisees run STEM / STEAM afterschool enrichment classes, in-school field trips, camps, Girl Scout and Boy Scout badge workshops, as well as Challenge Island Junior™ and Challenge Island Senior™ programming in preschools and senior living communities.