March 07, 2012 // Franchising.com // MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Four ServiceMaster brands have joined forces with a new online fundraising program called Boost A Hero in an effort to help military veterans purchase franchise businesses. Boost A Hero, available at www.sprigster.com, provides a platform where vets utilize “crowdfunding” to raise the capital they need to purchase franchises like ServiceMaster Clean, Merry Maids, Furniture Medic and AmeriSpec – which are all ServiceMaster brands.
The four ServiceMaster brands are charter members of the Boost A Hero program, which was recently initiated by Sprigster in partnership with the International Franchise Association (IFA).
“The unemployment rate for military veterans is 50 percent higher than the national average, despite the fact that vets make outstanding team members and business owners,” said Beth Solomon, IFA Vice President of Strategic Initiatives & Industry Relations. “One of the biggest challenges vets face in starting their own business is funding their initial investment, because they often lack sufficient working capital. That’s why we’re working with companies like ServiceMaster, which has a strong reputation of supporting vets in this critical initiative to make more opportunities available for veterans in franchising.”
Boost A Hero helps qualified veterans raise money to purchase franchise businesses by posting their opportunity on the www.sprigster.com web site. Family, friends and supporters from across the country can make contributions to the vet’s effort online. Contributions to the vet’s account are not accepted until the veteran has secured all his funds and is ready to open the business, protecting the crowd’s investment. The program is free to vets, but a five percent fee from the pledges is payable to Sprigster to cover administrative fees. Vets, who must also have a significant financial stake in their business effort, may only raise money to purchase franchises from participating companies like ServiceMaster.
“Currently, about nine percent of our franchise owners are ex-military,” said Dave Messenger, Vice President, Market Expansion for ServiceMaster. We’re very proud that so many veterans are associated with our brands. They make great business owners and are wonderful employers. We see the Boost A Hero program as an excellent way to help vets get started in business and participate in the American dream. We want to encourage everyone to go to the website and boost a hero.”
With a global network of more than 6,900 company-owned, franchise and licensed locations, Memphis-based ServiceMaster is one of the world’s largest residential and commercial service networks. The company’s high profile brands are TruGreen, Terminix, American Home Shield, ServiceMaster Clean, Merry Maids, Furniture Medic and AmeriSpec. Through approximately 21,000 corporate associates and a franchise network that independently employs over 31,000 additional people, the ServiceMaster family of brands serves more than 8.2 million customers every year. Our brands hold market-leading positions in residential and commercial lawn, tree and shrub care, termite and pest control, home warranties, furniture repair, home inspections, residential and commercial cleaning and disaster restoration. Go to www.servicemaster.com for more information about ServiceMaster or follow us at twitter.com/ServiceMaster or facebook.com/TheServiceMasterCo.
Sprigster is the nation's only crowdfunding platform focused exclusively on franchising. Sprigster's initial franchise platform, "Boost a Hero,” was designed to facilitate access to capital for qualifying U.S. veterans. Sprigster was founded by serial entrepreneurs, Mark Mohler and Todd Jones, who have both spent the past 15 years focused on small business formation, with an emphasis on social entrepreneurship-based businesses. For more information about Sprigster, please visitwww.sprigster.com. Also, please follow us on Twitter at @Sprigsterllc and check out our Facebook and Google+ pages.