November 07, 2008 // Franchising.com // Washington, – As the nation prepares to inaugurate a new president, the echoes of history will be unmistakable, for nearly 150 years ago another president addressed thousands of spectators near the U.S. Capitol calling for national unity and the end of a long and costly war.
President Lincoln's second inaugural address, delivered as the Civil War was grinding to an end, included the promise "to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan." Today, it is the official motto of the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs and is etched into the American consciousness as a deep and abiding appreciation for those who have fought and died to preserve the union.
On Tuesday, Nov. 11, Veterans Day, America will pause to honor its veterans of military service, more than 23 million of whom are still living. In this time of economic uncertainty, many of those are seeking employment; others desire to pursue the American Dream of starting their own small business.
In partnership with VA's Center for Veterans Enterprise, the International Franchise Association offers veterans a path to business ownership through its Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative, known as VetFran.
According to a just-completed survey of 352 franchise companies that participate in the program, 1,224 veterans have become small-business franchisees since 2002 by taking advantage of financial incentives, typically discounts off the initial franchise fee which in some cases can lower up-front costs by thousands of dollars. And there's more to come: 200 veterans are past the decision stage and have entered into negotiations to acquire a franchise using the VetFran discounts.
The award-winning program not only links veterans with participating companies through its Web site www.franchise.org, but also offers comprehensive information that is designed to aid prospective small-business franchisees in investigating a franchise before purchasing. Available is a free, online course "Franchising Basics: Introduction to Franchising," that describes how franchising works, lists key questions to ask and reviews the laws and regulations that apply, in addition to a variety of articles and research studies that profile the growing industry.
Veterans may also attend, at no charge, IFA-sponsored trade shows in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Miami that feature seminars especially designed to address veterans' questions about purchasing a franchise. Dates and locations are posted at www.franchise.org under "Events."
Top 10 (Actually 11) Franchises Popular with Veterans (Survey results 11-08)
Franchise - VetFran Sales
* Numbers 5, 10 and 11 are brands of The Dwyer Group.
The International Franchise Association, the world's oldest and largest organization representing franchising, is the preeminent voice and acknowledged leader for the industry worldwide. Approaching a half-century of service with a growing membership of more than 1,300 franchise systems, 10,000-plus franchisees and more than 500 firms that supply goods and services to the industry, IFA protects, enhances and promotes franchising by advancing the values of integrity, respect, trust, commitment to excellence, honesty and diversity. For more information, visit the IFA Web site at www.franchise.org.