Founded in the mid-1970s by innovative educator, musician and kinesiologist Robin Wes, The Little Gym® is now the leading children’s enrichment company and offers a unique business franchise opportunity. Robin’s idea was simple - to create a
non-competitive, nurturing environment where children could explore their physical development, while also growing socially, emotionally and intellectually. Today, his original vision serves as a springboard for life’s adventures and a fun franchise opportunity.
The Little Gym concept is born as Robin Wes opens his first gym
The Little Gym begins franchising
Over 300 locations in 25 countries
Expansion reaches six continents with European locations in 12 countries
Top 500 Franchises
2017 & 2016 Entrepreneur
Top 50 Franchise Satisfaction Award
2017 Franchise Business Review
Best Fitness Franchise
2017 & 2016 FranchiseRankings.com
Top 200 Franchises
2017 Franchise Business Review
Top Personal Service Franchise
2016 Entrepreneur Magazine
Franchising's Fastest-Growing Global Brands
2016 Entrepreneur Magazine
Best Global Children’s Centre
2015 Wealth & Finance International
Top 50 Military Franchises for Vets
2014 USA Today
Every The Little Gym owner has a unique story, however there is a common thread. Most of our owners already have a successful business career. They came to The Little Gym as parents, fell in love with The Little Gym concept, and wanted to share it with other children around the world.
I discovered The Little Gym while working as a consultant at McKinsey. In my career, I had always been passionate about managing talent, developing teams, and unleashing people’s potential. With The Little Gym, I found a way to not just help entrepreneurs reach their potential, but also to make a positive difference in the community.
I remember the first time I walked into a The Little Gym class. The children’s eyes sparkled. They had huge grins, and there was a joy and excitement that was unforgettable. At The Little Gym Europe, we are passionate about helping owners across Europe have that same experience, and giving franchisees the opportunity to nurture and grow children in their communities.
Today, we have 48 gyms in Europe run by an incredible group of people that care deeply for the children and parents visiting each week. And our network will continue to grow – but only as we find more of the right people. People that are passionate about growing a generation of strong and happy children – all while making their little eyes sparkle with joy.
We are family at The Little Gym, and at The Little Gym Europe we care deeply for our franchisees. Part of my job is to make sure that we provide franchisees in Europe with the strongest possible support. Read on to meet some of the team that will support you on your journey to open your own The Little Gym franchise.
My journey with The Little Gym is definitely unique. I wasn’t a The Little Gym parent or an instructor. I had been an international management executive, working for some of the biggest luxury beauty and fashion companies in the world including the Gucci Group, L’Oreal Group and VF corporation.
After working in the corporate world for many years, I decided to break out on my own. I wanted my independence, and I also wanted to feel like I was making a positive difference. I started designing natural scents based on essential oils. One day, The Little Gym asked me to create an all-natural signature scent that could be diffused in gyms across Europe. What I didn’t realise is that creating a scent for The Little Gym would change my future so dramatically.
Today, I’m the Chief Operations & Marketing Officer at The Little Gym Europe, applying my experience to build The Little Gym brand in Europe and support franchisees. Every day, I come to the office thinking ‘How can I support our owners with new initiatives to develop their business?’
I have the chance to work with an amazing team at The Little Gym Europe, a team that is passionate about supporting our franchisees. We are committed to making sure your experience with The Little Gym is positive – from your first call to our sales manager, to becoming a franchisee and starting to live your dreams, to using our state of the art tools to make your job easier and allow you to focus on your business.
Many of our franchisees across Europe start their The Little Gym journey as a The Little Gym parent. My career with The Little Gym Europe started the same way.
My son was a baby when we joined The Little Gym Waterloo in Belgium. I loved The Little Gym, it was my special time with my child. No distractions, just a blissful hour together. I enjoyed seeing him discover the world, experience bright colours, music, movement, and other children. And I loved the nurturing attitude of the teachers, they were really something special.
I’d worked in finance for international companies, such as Price Waterhouse Coopers, Levi Strauss and Proximus, for many years. However, I didn’t want to re-enter the corporate world after my son was born. I wanted to have a different professional experience, both for myself and my family.
One day, I received an email from The Little Gym Europe. The email went out to all members in Belgium. They were looking for a Chief Financial Officer. I knew instantly that this was the job I wanted. That was in early 2015 and I’m fortunate every day to be associated with the success story of The Little Gym Europe.
Today, I enjoy giving franchisees support and advice on financial matters related to their franchise. The Little Gym is about making a difference to children and families. My job is about making a difference to you – partnering to help you optimise your business operations and run a successful The Little Gym franchise.
Gymnastics has been part of my life from the age of four when I attended my very first class at school. I competed in my first international competition at the age of 14, and represented Great Britain on 10 occasions, including The World School Games and The European Championships. I shifted to sales after retiring from competition, but I couldn’t resist getting back into gymnastics and eventually became general manager at one of Great Britain’s most successful clubs.
My journey with The Little Gym Europe started when my wife found The Little Gym Camberley. I immediately liked The Little Gym – it was bright, fun, friendly and nurturing. For me, it was the perfect learning environment for children.
Whether your child wants to play rugby, pirouette across the floor, kick a ball or swing a racket, gymnastics gives them the strength, balance and coordination they need – it really is the foundation for all sports. And The Little Gym is truly special as it takes gymnastics one step further, using it as a tool to nurture courage, character, confidence, resilience, friendships, and a host of other life skills.
I’m usually the first person that you meet when contacting The Little Gym Europe. I’ll walk you through our comprehensive selection process, explain our business model and operations, introducing you to The Little Gym Europe team, and showing you what life is really like for a The Little Gym franchisee.
Our selection process is designed to help you decide if the life of a The Little Gym owner is right for you, and that you fit the criteria we look for within each of our franchisees. We are passionate about bringing the right franchisees on-board, and ensuring they are supported on their journey to ownership.
My The Little Gym journey started a short while after I moved to Belgium from the US. I was looking for an opportunity to continue my career in digital marketing when I came across an ad for this position. I have a passion for children photography, so the link with children made it an easy choice.
Over the years, I have had the opportunity to live in 4 different countries and to develop an international experience. I now work on the development of the different marketing platforms that build brand awareness for The Little Gym in Europe including the recently developed website and updated brand look and feel. I enjoy working with The Little Gym owners on their pre-opening and post-opening marketing initiatives as well as continuously develop and update tools to support you in your local marketing activities.
The Little Gym was made for me. Or I was born for it. I know that it was one of the two.
I discovered The Little Gym after finishing a degree in Elementary Education. I saw an ad in the newspaper for an instructor role at The Little Gym Manila, and thought – “That ad is written for me. No one else… they are looking for Coly!”.
I was a cheerleader, passionate about child education, and determined to make the world a better place. That was in 1997, and I’m still all those things today – except now I cheer on The Little Gym franchise owners, not the high school volleyball team.
Since then, I have held just about every possible role in a The Little Gym franchise. I was an instructor for a decade, and ran The Little Gym franchises in Manila and Singapore. I have grown existing gyms, opened new gyms, and now I have the best job of all – helping owners across Europe realise their dream of opening their own The Little Gym franchise.
Today, I’m a Business & Training Manager at The Little Gym Europe. Every day, I get to speak with owners from across Europe, share my expertise, and help them to not just offer an amazing programme for children and parents, but to think operationally and run a strong, successful business.
I’ve helped many The Little Gym franchises open across Asia and Europe, and I’m working with several fantastic new franchisees planning to open within the next couple of months. The Little Gym owners dream of running a business that cares for and educates children. And I want to help you create a successful business making your dream become a reality.
I'm passionate about graphic design and will be working with you to support you with local tools to help you feel confident in marketing your local The Little Gym.
When I'm not designing, I enjoy drawing, discover new ways to express my creativity, listen and play music.
My The Little Gym career started when I met Alexander de Wit, our CEO, when we were working together in another one of his companies. A few years apart, Alexander contacted me to come and work for The Little Gym where I have been since 2013.
I really enjoy working with all franchisees and look forward to offer you support with your The Little Gym training and curriculum platforms, ordering process for equipment and pro shop, and organising training and conventions that build on long lasting memories. I'm your go to person for any questions you have that you don't know who to ask.
When I'm not working, I enjoy being on my boat and a good meal with friends.
I'm your resident accountant, and have been with The Little Gym Europe since December 2015 when I first started as an accounting intern. I joined the finance team in September 2016 after finishing my Bachelor in Accounting.
When I'm not keeping numbers in check, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.