Money & Business

New Franchising Campaign Appeals to Young Professionals

By / Mar 25, 2016 (iStock/Thinkstock)

Nineteen percent of franchise owners in the United Kingdom are younger than 30, and a new campaign launched by the British Franchising Association aims to attract more to the industry.

Hoping to attract more young professionals into the franchising world, the British Franchising Association (BFA) has launched a new campaign that showcases the benefits of becoming a franchisee.

Called In Business by 30, the campaign highlights the successes of young Britons, some who started their businesses during their teen years and are now leaders in their respective franchises, and proclaims “if you’re good enough, you’re old enough.”

Data collected by BFA and Natwest in 2015 showed that one-in-five U.K.-based franchisees who launched their business in the last two years were younger than 30. The franchise sector is currently worth more than £15 billion to the economy of the United Kingdom and employs approximately 621, 000 people.

One such success story is Richard Swayne, a Dartford, England-based Snap-on franchise owner. Swayne, speaking to StudentTimes.org, says he sees his age as an advantage, not a barrier.

“[I]f anything [my age] helped me. Because I’m younger I get on with the 18-40 year olds a lot better. The things we’re talking about, socially and so on, we’re on a similar level,” Swayne said.

Paul Stafford, public relations manager for BFA, said young entrepreneurs are a natural match for franchising.

“Good franchise companies offer comprehensive training and support to help their franchisees launch and grow their businesses, which can fill any gaps in previous career experience or knowledge of running a business that a younger entrepreneur may have,” he said.

Stafford added that the enthusiasm and energy that young entrepreneurs often have can be even more of an asset in a franchise environment, since they can worry a bit less about business models and instead can focus their efforts on growth.

So, who are these young people, demographically speaking? Pretty much everyone.

“One of the most pleasing aspects of the demographics behind the growth of younger franchisees is their diversity. Both men and women are succeeding in equal measure, and are coming from backgrounds ranging from the armed forces to the corporate world, straight out of university, or from working alongside a franchisee after leaving school,” Stafford said. “We’re even starting to see former apprentices in their twenties taking over the franchise they started working in at 16 years old.”

While BFA doesn’t have a specific growth metric attached to the campaign, comments from its younger members further reinforced that the organization has the right idea in reaching out to a powerful and growing segment of its membership.

“We don’t have a specific proportion in mind, as ultimately the growth of franchising will be driven by the right people matching with the right business opportunities at the right time,” said Stafford. “However, comments from the young franchisees that have featured in the campaign show that they unanimously believe that more of their peer group should know more about the sector and its opportunities, so we’ll be closely monitoring the demographics in future research on franchising.”

Newton Holt

Newton Holt, a former senior editor of Associations Now, is a freelance writer, editor, and communication strategist in Washington, DC. More »

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