FranchisingWorks is an innovative programme that reduces unemployment by helping unemployed people to create new businesses and jobs through franchising. It has also developed a unique financing model to lend to successful candidates with insufficient financial resources of their own.
Self-employment is a proven way back into employment. However, few unemployed people have the entrepreneurial skills, experience and resources to start up a business on their own. Franchising is a form of supported self-employment: the owner of an established business provides expertise, training and on-going support to enable another person to set up a similar business elsewhere. As a result, franchise businesses are three times more likely to be operating after 5 years than other start-ups.
Working closely with local employment agencies, private and third sector partners, FranchisingWorks seeks to:
• Raise awareness and understanding of franchising
• Encourage the unemployed to explore franchising as a route into self-employment through a series of in-house workshops, one-to-one sessions and independent research
• Introduce promising candidates to approved franchisors
• Provide financial assistance to those without adequate finance by purchasing the franchise licence on their behalf until their businesses can afford to buy it
The FranchisingWorks programme is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund. A £1.2 million investment from Big Society Capital and the Esmée Fairbairn Finance Fund has supported the setting up of the ‘FranchisingWorks Licence Fund’, which invests in franchise licences on behalf of franchisees.