Company also sets aside $1 million in special financing to help with franchise start-up costs
MEMPHIS, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ServiceMaster announced today that it has committed $1.3 million over four years in direct grants and private financing to its Shane Battier Franchise Scholarship initiative, as part of its continuing pledge to diversity, business development and community outreach across the United States.
The company also announced that it will make up to $1 million available in special ServiceMaster Acceptance Corporation (SMAC) financing to help pay for equipment and other start-up costs associated with franchise ownership.
The Shane Battier Franchise Scholarship program, which launched in March 2007, awards commercial cleaning franchises to women and minorities to provide a significant opportunity for minority entrepreneurs and eliminate some of the challenges associated with starting a new business. The grants, valued at $1.3 million dollars, cover the full cost of purchasing a ServiceMaster Clean franchise and will put 34 new owners in business.
An average janitorial ServiceMaster Clean franchise has about 35 employees. Therefore, it's estimated the program could create approximately 1,200 jobs overall once the new franchises become established.
"Today we are making a major commitment in the form of a multi-year promise to provide opportunities to women and minorities through the Shane Battier Franchise Scholarship," said Shane Battier, a professional basketball player. "Our scholarship recipients will truly live the dream by using our foundation of support to create their own success stories.
"Memphis is a special place for me, but also special this week as we remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I can't think of a better time or place to share this good news."
Scholarship recipients receive two weeks of management and technical training (including travel and accommodations), a laptop computer (including accounting and proprietary software) and substantial start up marketing support. In addition to $1.3 million in scholarship funding, ServiceMaster will set aside a pool of $1 million in special financing to the recipients through the company's own credit services group—making it easier for the new business owners to purchase equipment and essential supplies to get up and running.
Now with additional funding in place, the challenge will be to find qualified scholarship candidates around the United States.
"As a global service company, we are deeply rooted in the principals of servant leadership and honoring our foundational objective, To Honor God in All We Do," said J. Patrick Spainhour, ServiceMaster CEO. "One of the ways that our 35,000 associates demonstrate our servant leadership and live up to our objectives is through our commitment to the communities in which we live and work. By placing our energies around serving our customers, serving our communities and serving one another, we can offer the best of ourselves and bring our objectives to life."
"We recognize that, beyond being good for our business, reaching out to expand ownership opportunities for minorities and for women is a very meaningful way for us to live our faith-based corporate mission. That is why we have committed to diversity in our franchise network," said Michael Isakson, president and chief operating officer, ServiceMaster Clean.
For more information on the program or to apply online, visit www.ownafranchise.com/battierprogram.
ServiceMaster Clean is a member of the ServiceMaster Family of Brands. ServiceMaster currently serves residential and commercial customers through a network of more than 4,500 company-owned locations and franchised licensees. The company's brands include TruGreen®, TruGreen LandCare®, Terminix®, American Home Shield®, InStar®, ServiceMaster Clean®, Merry Maids®, Furniture Medic®, and AmeriSpec®. The core services of the company include lawn care and landscape maintenance, termite and pest control, home warranties, disaster response and reconstruction, cleaning and disaster restoration, house cleaning, furniture repair, and home inspection.
Selected sixth by the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the 2001 NBA Draft, Battier now plays for the Houston Rockets. Battier won numerous awards throughout his collegiate career at Duke and, in 2001, he was named the National Player of the Year and received the Naismith and Wooden Awards. Battier joined the Rockets after five seasons in Memphis and is a member of the USA Basketball squad to compete in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.