County Durham toddler teaching business prepares for French expansion

Angela Sterling created the Lingotot business while taking a break from teaching to care for her two daughters

Angela Sterling (centre) with Lingotots first two franchisees from the new graduates scheme; Kimberley Bannister, who has set up in Northumberland, (left) and Rachel Raby-Elmer, who is launching her franchise in South Bristol

A toddler teaching business set up by a North East mother in her kitchen is preparing to export overseas.

Angela Sterling has revealed plans to launch Lingotot France as part of wider plans to expand her company throughout the second half of 2015.

The Consett-headquartered company has franchises across the country and teach toddlers and babies a variety of languages using fun resources and they are also designed to deliver key stage 2 children languages in primary schools.

The number of franchisees have almost doubled to more than 20 over the last year, and two have enjoyed so much success they recently bought the rights to their neighbouring areas.

All the resources, such as books and songs, can also be used by pre-school children and involved a number of business in the region.

Mrs Sterling first set up the business four years ago while taking time out from teaching to care for her two daughters, and she designed all of the resources.

“One of our franchisees in the south of England has moved to France and approached me about setting up Lingotot in France,” she said.

“She had been so impressed with the lessons and the resources that she felt Lingotot would be a success there too, because the fun way in which children learn is effective.

“She said that in France children are taught languages in a similar academic way to what we do here, but Lingotot is based on fun, which makes learning more easy.”

Mrs Sterling is now involved in negotiations to expand the business abroad and has been working with Growth Accelerator.

Plans to develop an online Lingotot game to further increase awareness of the brand are also underway.

She said: “It’s an exciting time for Lingotot, and I never thought of exporting the business. But when our Brighton franchisee left for France, she said she thought the way the resources are designed would travel well.

“I’m also looking forward to expanding the franchise in the UK, and we recently launched a graduate scheme to help young entrepreneurs. When I set up I never imagined how successful it has become.”

Abigail Curtis runs the North Tees franchise, covering areas such as Hartlepool. She is now trebling the size of her business after buying the franchises in Stockton and Middlesbrough.

Meanwhile, Liz Burdis, who runs Lingotot Hertford, has now doubled the size of her business after purchasing the franchise for Enfield North London.

The firm has also welcomed its first two graduates on to its recently-launched graduates scheme.

Kimberley Bannister and Rachel Raby-Elmer will be setting up Lingotot franchises in Northumberland and South Bristol while being mentored by Angela.

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