Why Choose Lisbon for an Education Franchise?

Hello and welcome to the New Horizons English language franchise website. We believe you have found this page as you are considering the various education franchise opportunities that exist in your market. We are confident that Lisbon, Portugal is a great city with ample potential for an education business and would like to provide a few thoughts about this as well as give you a simple overview of our franchise opportunity.

As a potential business owner please review this page as well as our entire site to further understand what a franchise offer like New Horizons English can bring to your desire to build an English language franchise.

Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is a global city known around the world for its contribution in finance, arts, education, and tourism. It is the wealthiest region in Portugal and has a population of over three million. With that said, these can be great opportunities to open an education franchise in Lisbon. Let’s look at some facts on why Lisbon is a favorable location for a franchise business.

  1. Lisbon is the education center of Portugal with many schools, universities, and educational institutes.
  2. The Lisbon metropolitan area has a large population of 3.03 million (2016),[viii] providing a sizable market to an English language franchise.
  3. The city is the wealthiest in Portugal, contributing approximately 45% of the national GDP.[ix]
  4. Lisbon is a cosmopolitan city with world-class infrastructure. It is well connected to other European countries by train and flight.

Here are further reasons on why Lisbon is a location worth considering for an education franchise.

Education and English Learning

Education is of high importance to the Portuguese. The country has an impressive literacy rate of 95.7%[i]. A reason for it is that primary education in Portugal is mandatory and free for children of six to 15 years of age.[ii] Secondary education, which is also compulsory and free, lasts for three years after primary education. After completing secondary education, students may opt for vocational education and training, or join a university.[iii] There are as many as 52 universities, including 15 public universities and 27 private institutions, and 57 polytechnic institutions in the country.[ii]

As for English learning, students are exposed to foreign languages (English, French, German or Spanish) in the first or second cycle of basic education.[iv] They are introduced to a second foreign language in the third cycle of basic education. Early English learning has helped Portugal to have high proficiency in the EF index with a score of 59.68.[v] The country has been moving from high to moderate proficiency over the years. In 2012 and 2014, Portugal registered moderate English proficiency while in 2013, 2015 and 2016, it gained high proficiency.[v] However, it is interesting that 95.6% of adults in Portugal speak Portuguese while only 14.87% speak English.[vi] According to a survey,[vii] even those who can speak in English are most likely to use it occasionally. In Portugal, 66% of the respondent speakers of English said that they used the language occasionally.[vii] Though Portuguese is the fastest growing European language after English, the Portuguese understand the importance of English learning, especially in an international stage. English learning being an essential to the Portuguese, Lisbon provides a substantial market for an English language franchise in Europe.

Population & GDP

Lisbon is the largest city of Portugal. Due to its growing population, the city now extends well beyond its limits. The larger metropolitan area includes Sintra, Cascais and other districts, and is known as the Lisbon Metropolitan Area. The population of city proper is 547,631 whereas the population of the Lisbon Metropolitan Area is much greater at 3.03 million (2016).[viii] The Lisbon Metropolitan Area represents approximately 27% of the entire population of Portugal,[viii] and is the 12th most populous urban area in the EU.[ix] As for Portugal, it had a population of approximately 10.3 million, as of 2015.[xiii]

The economy of Lisbon has been nothing less than outstanding. Lisbon is the wealthiest region of Portugal, contributing approximately 45% of the national GDP.[ix] In fact, the GDP of the city was higher than the EU average, touching 108% in 2013.[x] For comparison, Portugal had a GDP of USD198.92 billion in 2015.[xi] According to the World Bank, the economy of Portugal is expected to growth at 1.4% through 2019.[xii] The two major markets in Lisbon are the service sector and the industrial sector. The city is rapidly developing into the technological sector and is set to become a major technological center. This is great news for one who wishes to set up an English education franchise in Lisbon as most service sector would require at least one English speaking staff.

Infrastructure and Facilities

A cosmopolitan city with excellent infrastructure, Lisbon has an extensive network of transportation. There are efficient railroads connecting the different cities and regions of Portugal. Lisbon’s subway systems and tram networks also add to the convenience of the commuter. It has one of the busiest international airports, the Lisbon Airport. The city is expected to have a new airport, as the government is planning to build a new one in Alcochete. There is no lack of connectivity in Portugal. The country has wide availability of broadband Internet with more than 90% of the Portuguese companies having broadband connection, and 90% of public services online.[xii]

Along with superior infrastructure, the city has other charms as well. There are the pleasures of gastronomy and wine, a vibrant nightlife, beautiful natural landscapes, and exquisite architecture. With the natural beauty of its seven hills and waterfront, and modern services that the city offers, Lisbon is a unique experience for new education franchise owners.

Being one of the busiest international airports, no wonder Lisbon is a top leading destination for tourists. With that said, the service industry would require English speaking staff as many do not speak Portuguese. This can be one of the many factors when one is considering to open an English language franchise in Lisbon.

Government Incentives to Businesses

Portugal is one of the most investor friendly countries in Europe.[xiv] Usually, it may take only 46 minutes to set up a business.[xiv] Both foreign and domestic businesses are treated the same way. Companies, both foreign and domestic, receive various kinds of incentives based on the type and amount of investment. Businesses that create jobs for those under the age of 30 get an increased salary tax deduction of 50% of the salary expense. [xv] Companies that are based in certain areas get their corporate tax reduced to 15%.[xv] For new businesses in such areas, the corporate tax rate is 10% for the first five years.[xv] Additionally, if the company creates any permanent jobs in these areas, they can deduct an additional 50% of social security payments.[xv]

To help and promote foreign investment, the government has set up an agency, the Portuguese Agency for Foreign investment and Commerce, which provides essential support and acts as an intermediary for investors investing over 25 million euros.[xiv] For small and medium enterprises, there are support agencies such as the IAPMEI and the Institute for Support for Small and Medium enterprises. This is great news for business owners considering to open an English language franchise as the Portuguese government supports new businesses.


Situated in Western Europe and having a considerable population, Lisbon is a good market for an education franchise in Europe. A wealthy city with good demand for English learning, the city can be considered one of the best locations for an English language franchise business in Europe. For viable choices for opening your franchise business, count on Lisbon.

New Horizons English Overview

We would now like to give you a simple overview of the New Horizons English franchise. Alternatively, you can visit our website and download our prospectus for more detailed information.

The New Horizons English franchise has been built with the intent to leverage the way modern, busy students learn – with flexibility. It is difficult to always be at the learning center when the student is a young adult (friends and activity are always more important) or a working adult (work, family, and life are always more important).

New Horizons English is the answer to providing instruction and test preparation for busy adults using an industry leading education platform to deliver a unique blend of multimedia, live instruction in-center, and on-line on any internet enabled device.

The New Horizons English teaching method enables students by giving them three key learning advantages:

  1. Learn at your own pace
  2. Learn anywhere, anytime with Online Live®
  3. Learn with your own teacher with Mentored Learning®

All of this is supported by a didactic team in state of the art learning centers designed around the student to give 360 degree support, every day of the week.

How does it work?

The New Horizons English Method uses the natural method of second language acquisition which focuses on the development of intuitive learning based on communication rather than learning the structure of the language. The result of this is the ability to speak the language far quicker than with traditional learning methods, in fact, the student will be speaking English from day one of their course.

The course is made up of 36 Cycles, each containing 9 multimedia lessons and 3 live lessons. The live lessons are divided onto Online Live® Progress classes and in-center Milestone classes where the student is assessed for progress to the next cycle. A cycle will generally require 1 month for completion. In addition, the student will be able to access digital workbooks which act as study aids and are available to download and use at the students’ convenience throughout the course.

Finally, the training center. We know that while our multimedia and online lessons are at the cutting edge, nothing can replace the human touch. For this reason we have carefully designed our centers to give the student access to teachers and a learning environment that has been designed to reflect the needs of today’s student. All our centers are fully equipped with the latest technology in specially designed zones that enable every student to tailor their learning experience with the New Horizons English education franchise.

We genuinely believe now is the right time for a new and modern approach to an English language franchise in Lisbon, Portugal. We are very interested to discuss in great detail with interested and qualified partners. For more details, please visit our site and download our franchise prospectus.


[i] https://www.indexmundi.com/Portugal/literacy.html

[ii] https://www.epnuffic.nl/en/publications/find-a-publication/education-system-portugal.pdf

[iii] https://www.oecd.org/edu/EDUCATION%20POLICY%20OUTLOOK_PORTUGAL_EN.pdf

[iv] https://www.angloinfo.com/how-to/portugal/lisbon/family/schooling-education

[v] https://www.ef.com/epi/regions/europe/portugal/

[vi] https://languageknowledge.eu/countries/portugal

[vii] https://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_386_en.pdf

[viii] https://www.centec.tecnico.ulisboa.pt/renew2016/travel_info.aspx

[ix] https://www.investineu.com/content/invest-lisbon

[x] https://m.algarve24.pt/en/news/Lisbon-above-EU-average-GDP/2015-05-23

[xi] https://www.tradingeconomics.com/portugal/gdp

[xii] https://data.worldbank.org/country/portugal

[xii] https://www.liveandinvestoverseas.com/country-hub/portugal/infrastructure-in-portugal.html

[xiv] https://investineu.com/content/invest-portugal

[xv] https://www.worldwide-tax.com/portugal/por_invest.asp