This is an exciting time for U.S. franchisors as the international marketplace beckons with opportunities for expansion. The demand for U.S. franchise concepts continues to grow steadily in mature marketsa whole . Franchise development conferences, road shows, and trade missions staged in strategic international locations are serving as platforms to bring franchisors and foreign franchise investors together to enable expansion on a truly global scale.
The Department of Commerceâ€™s U.S. Commercial Service ("the Service" is the trade promotion unit of the International Trade Administration) is in the businesmized soions for franchisors wishing to export their frand overseas. Thr Serviceâ€™sOur Gling Team works to help helps U.S. franchiheir international expansion goals through a global network of trade specialists inmestic offices and at U.SricanU.S. emassies and consulates in 80 c, tah
The high level of international activity and geographical dispersion of demand for U.S. franchise brands is reflected in the programs conducted by the Service during the first six months of this year.
Events have taken place across four continents including programs in Canada, Brazil, Turkey, France, India, and China. Increasing numbers of highly qualified investors are emerging from countries as diverse as Russia, Iceland, Vietnam, Panama, and Japan. The priority of the Service is to help clients, whether they are seasoned franchisors with established international presence or companies new to exporting.
Most recently, the franchising team in South Africa staged the U.S. Southern Africa Franchising Forum. The event brought together investors and government officials from 12 countries, united in the belief that franchising is an essential component of economic development for emerging nations. The conference received extensive national media interest, while behind the scenes several U.S. franchisors were busy meeting with prospective master licensees. It is anticipated that a significant number of master license agreements will be signed as a result of this regional initiative.
Buoyed by the success of the South Africa event, the Service is planning a U.S. Franchise Development Conference in Cairo in October. The conference, in partnership with Egyptâ€™s International Economic Forum and the International Franchise Association (IFA), will afford franchisors the opportunity to meet with potential franchise investors from Egypt, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Jordan, and other countries in the region. Also in October, the Service will support an IFA trade mission to the United Kingdom and Ireland, where participants will be briefed on the opportunities for expansion into Europe.
In an interesting development, franchising is becoming a solution of choice for not-for-profit organizations (NFPss" in the UnS. Nss they look to establish their own businesses to reduce their dependence on philanthropy and fund-raising, NFPs recognize that there is substantial potential for "social franchises" to enhance their revenue streams. nternational franchising offers a myriad of industry choices for NFPs such as accounting/tax services, automotive products &nd services, auto rentals, financial services, employment services, convenience stores, fitness systems, florist shops, and restaurants. The U.rvice is monitoring plans by NFPs to create business ventures through franchising to support their mission-related activities internationally.
Services available to facilitate global expansion for U.S. franchises include the following:
Educational Webinar series that highlight key opportunities in growth markets (upcoming Webinars will focus on Egypt, Mexico, and Greece);
business counseling on developing international expansion strategies;
customized market research reports on international franchising opportunities;
customized search strategies and programs based on ideal candidate profiles;
screening of potential master licensees, area developers, and franchisees;
scheduling of one-on-one meetings and local country briefings through a package of seminars, road shows, and individual customized services; and
participation in trade missions, USA pavilions, international seminars, and conferences; and
expert guidance on industry and trade policy issues.
For the latest information on market research and franchising events, visit the U.S. Commercial Serviceâ€™s Franchising e-Market Express at www.buyusa.gov/eme/franchising.html.
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