Franchise Fun January/February 2022

Franchise Fun: Out of This World Education

As the world leader in science enrichment programming, Mad Science gives children hands-on experience with science experiments in homes, schools, and even online. And for youngsters with a flair for art, Crayola® Imagine Arts Academy™ provides art enrichment programming to foster their creative side while learning about real-world topics and applications through art projects.

One of the friendly faces behind these two franchise systems is Shafik Mina, CEO of 2inspire, the parent company that brought the brands to life. He notes that, “Our franchise concepts are focused on educational, engaging, and most importantly, inspiring content for children in various disciplines, [including] science and the arts.”

Mad Science has more than 35 years of history with teaching kids, but Mina adds, “When [Crayola® Imagine Arts Academy™] launched in September of 2019, [it] attracted more than 20 franchisees in the first six months. Unfortunately, this spectacular growth was slowed down by the COVID-19 pandemic. [However, now] it’s nice to see that momentum is starting to come back.”

Here, the adventurous, entrepreneurial, and food-loving Mina shares the unique people he’s recently had the opportunity to meet, one of his most enjoyable activities in life (there’s food involved, of course!), his desire to sleep less and do more, and his hope to see his own children blossom into inspiring people, among much more.

The most interesting thing I’ve done recently is… I had the opportunity to work closely with two different astronauts who’ve been to space, as well as to meet a real-life princess.

RELATED: Franchise Canada Chats Podcast – Season 4 Episode 9 | Mad Science Group – Shafik Mina & Kyle Upton

In its best form, work is… Inspiring, motivating, rewarding, and challenging in positive way.

A good franchisee… Is either a great marketer or a great operator, recognizes their strength and hires against their weakness, and of course respects the business model set out by the franchisor.

A good franchisor… Delivers a strong brand, processes, and on-going support to their franchisees.

My top advice for prospective franchisees is… Pick a business you can be passionate about and work closely with your franchisor, as they should be invested in your success.

My top advice for new franchisors is… Compromises made in early stages will be painful in the long run. Try to stay consistent and avoid exceptions to the rule.

The most important thing in life is… Health and happiness.

One of the most enjoyable things to do is… Enjoying a delicious meal with friends, family, or even complete strangers. Food has a way of bringing people together.

The hardest thing for me to do is… Lose 20 pounds.

My favourite drink is… A well aged single malt whisky.

If I could change one thing… I wish I could get away with less sleep than I actually need.

If I could meet anyone… From a business perspective, Elon Musk. He’s disrupted many industries. I’m curious as to how he would disrupt the education system, which I believe needs a reboot.

The person who has had the most positive influence on me as a businessperson is… A mentor who gave me the advice early in my career to treat and care for the company I work for as if it was my own—or find a new job if I didn’t care enough. 

Canadian franchising is… An awesome channel that harnesses and develops the creativity and entrepreneurial spirt of the Canadian business sphere. It contributes tremendously to the Canadian economy and yet isn’t given enough attention by political leaders.

The most positive influence on my life as a person are…  My parents. Each of them, in their own way, provided me with a set of values, skills, and beliefs that make me who I am today.   

The key to success is… To work hard, be humble, be content but aspire for more, and always be open to learn, including from your failures.

I’d like my friends to describe me as…  Kind, generous, someone that they can always reach out to when in need, and hopefully, slightly funny.

The accomplishment I look forward to the most is… Seeing my children blossom as good human beings and in careers they’re passionate about.

My personal motto is… Lead by example and if you’re going to do something, do it right!

One necessary item on my life’s “to do” list is… Visit as many countries and learn about as many cultures as I can.

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