69. Turtle Tots
The ‘aqua-yoga’ franchise helping babies to swim and their mothers keep fit
Founders: Gabrielle Lixton and Caroline Sparks
Founded: April 2011 (launched July 2011)
Listed on Startups 100 for the third year in a row, the baby swim school franchise continues to provide ever-increasing numbers of babies with swimming skills through its programme of ‘aqua-yoga’ lessons, which also allow their parents to participate and keep fit. Since winning approval as a licensor by Lloyds TSB last year, the franchise has been able to greatly increase the number of licensees carrying the Turtle Tots brand, who are attracted by the businesses’ fun, strong branding and the opportunity to fit the lessons around their own lives.
29 licensees are now signed up across 52 territories on a royalty fee model, all but one of which are mothers of young children themselves. With more than £84,000 profit on a turnover of £178,000 last year, the founding duo plan to add 16 new licensees over the next year and have trademarked the Turtle Tots brand in Australia, the USA and Ireland en route to introducing their first global licensees.