Veterans Turn To Franchising: Record Number of Veterans and Military Spouses have Joined Franchising Ranks Since 2011
The White House and IFA recently announced that 290,000 veterans and military spouses have been hired or trained in the franchise business since the launch of the White House Joining Forces initiative in 2011.
The IFA and more than 500 franchised businesses that are part of IFA's VetFran strategic initiative, were part of the first private sector commitments to the White House Joining Forces initiative on Veterans Day in 2011. The IFA and its membership pledged to hire and recruit 80,000 veterans and military spouses by 2014, including 5,000 wounded warriors as team members and franchise small business owners. In the first year alone, nearly 65,000 veterans have started careers in franchising - including 4,314 as franchise business owners using discounts offered by VetFran member companies.
The IFA first launched VetFran in 1991 as a strategic initiative to help Gulf War veterans access business ownership opportunities in franchising. In 2011, Operation Enduring Opportunity was launched to expand that initiative to include hiring.
"With the war in Iraq over and the war in Afghanistan drawing to a close and more than one million service members projected to leave the military in the next several years, franchise businesses have realized that hiring our veterans, military spouses, and wounded warriors is not only the right thing to do, but it makes good business sense," says IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira. "With its rapid training opportunities, scalability, and need for operational execution and excellence in following proven systems, franchising provides an ideal structure to enable returning veterans to become leaders of and productive participants in the U.S. economy."
IFA maintains a VetFran Toolkit, available at www.VetFran.com, with tools and solutions for veterans, military spouses, and wounded warriors interested in franchise ownership or careers in franchising, including:
- A finance assessment that lets veterans enter their financial details (such as their credit score and how much liquid capital they have) and the general information about the business they want to start to find out about in terms of how fundable they are. The app can also connect them directly to over 2,200 funders through BoeFly. This tool, along with BoeFly's services, is offered free of charge to veterans by BoeFly.
- A franchising basics online course that provides individuals with a comprehensive introduction to franchising. The course describes how franchising works as a business, the questions to ask, the laws and regulations that apply to franchising, and the companies and types of businesses that comprise the franchising field.
- VetFran Mentor Network, led by volunteer veteran franchising leaders including Gordon Logan, founder & CEO of Sport Clips, Inc. and retired US Air Force; Jim Amos, IFA Hall of Famer, chairman of Tasti D-Lite and 16 times decorated Vietnam veteran; and Mary Kennedy Thompson, past chair of the VetFran Committee, president of Mr. Rooter and former USMC captain. The Mentor Network provides connections and relationship-building with business leaders, including C-level executives of IFA's leading member companies.
- Making the franchise decision, an extensive workbook by Michael Seid, author of Franchising for Dummies, is a tool to evaluate franchise opportunities, written by a well-respected industry leader.
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