Bookmark and Share

Franchise Industry Launches New Tools for Veterans to Access Opportunities in Franchising

For immediate release
Alisa Harrison, 202-628-8000
Matthew Haller, 202-662-0770

WASHINGTON, June 28-The International Franchise Association, during events at veteran-owned franchise businesses in 12 cities, today launched new tools to put veterans back to work in franchising including a VetFran Toolkit and a Veterans Mentor Network, as part of its Operation Enduring Opportunity campaign.

"With over 70,000 veteran-owned franchises in operation already and a million troops returning home in the coming years, franchise businesses are looking to recruit additional veterans into small business ownership and create employment opportunities for our returning heroes," said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira. "These tools will connect veterans with information about franchise ownership, potential lenders and determine which military skills may best translate to available franchise opportunities."

IFA's VetFran program helps returning service members access franchise opportunities through training, financial assistance and industry support. VetFran was born out of the desire of the late Don Dwyer Sr. - founder of The Dwyer Group, to say "thank you" to our veterans returning from the first Gulf War. After the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, IFA re-launched its campaign to assist U.S. veterans at that difficult time. VetFran's ranks have grown to include more than 400 franchise systems that voluntarily offer financial incentives and mentoring to prospective veteran franchise small business owners. Thousands of veterans have become franchise owners through VetFran and other programs.

The announcements follow IFA's commitment to the White House Joining Forces Initiative to hire as team members and recruit as franchise business owners 75,000 veterans, military spouses and 5,000 wounded warriors by the end of 2014. Since last year, 6,900 veterans have started careers in franchising, including over 4,200 new veteran business owners.

The VetFran Toolkit includes:

A skills & attributes assessment tool developed by Caliper: The assessment tool identifies personality traits and aptitudes to make recommendations about careers.  They are trying to adapt it in order to direct veterans to the franchise category that will best suit them to make recommendations about their role within that franchise business, such as ownership, sales, and customer relations. 

A Finance assessment: This lets veterans enter their financial details (such as their credit score and how much liquid capital they have) and the general information about the business they want to start to find out how fundable they are.  The app can also connect them directly to over 2,200 funders through BoeFly, the online marketplace that harnesses technology to dramatically simplify the execution of commercial transactions , including all loan origination and sales-BoeFly connects lenders, franchisors, investors, buyers and sellers to a potential transaction and facilitates the efficient completion of these transactions.

A Franchising 101 online course: This is designed to provide individuals with a comprehensive introduction to franchising - especially those who are considering investing in a franchise as a business opportunity. The course describes how franchising works as a business, the questions to ask, the laws and regulations that apply to franchising, and the companies and types of businesses that comprise the franchising field.

The franchise leaders comprising the Mentor Network will share their knowledge of and experience in franchising with veterans in addition to any other professional guidance they are comfortable giving.  A VetFran Mentor Network Advisory Board will lead the volunteer network, including:

  • Gordon Logan, Founder & CEO, Sport Clips, Inc. (Chairman) (USAF) 
  • Melanie Bergeron, Chair of the Board, Two Men & A Truck 
  • Sean Collins, Vice President, GI Jobs and (USN) 
  • Jerry Darnell, Darnell & Associates (US Army) 
  • Ted Daywalt, President & CEO, (USN) 
  • Chuck Southern, VA Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization   
  • Greg Tanner, National Director of Franchise Sales, Aaron's (US Army) 
  • Mary Kennedy Thompson, President & CEO, Mr. Rooter (USMC) 
  • Bob Wallace, Executive Director, The Veterans of Foreign Wars (USMC)

In addition to this event here in Washington, DC today, events are taking place at veteran-owned franchises across the country in 12 other cities, including Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Denver, Miami, Minneapolis, Nashville, Norfolk, Austin, San Diego, and Tampa.

Participating companies include Foot Solutions, Aaron's Leasing, Tutor Doctor, Furniture Medic, FASTSIGNS International, PostNet, Brooklyn Water Enterprises, NOVA University, Tasti-D-Lite, Children's Lighthouse, Valpak, FranNet, The UPS Store, Helgerson Franchise Group, SIGN-A-RAMA, Abrakadoodle, Faegre & Benson, The Ground Guys, The Dwyer Group, Rapid Refill, Waterfront Financial Group, Novu Glass and The Entrepreneur Source. Allegra Network, Big Boy Restaurants, CiCi's Pizza, Franchise Times, Genuine Parts/ NAPA, Guidant Financial, Hungry Howie's, KidzArt, Lenny's, Moran Family of Brands (Mr. Transmission, Milex, Alta Mere, Smart View, Cobrand), Service Brands International (Molly Maid, Mr. Handyman, 1-800-DryClean, ProTect Painters), Sport Clips, The Owners Alliance, Tim Horton's, Two Men & a Truck International, WIN Home Inspection, Applebee's, Bank of America, Big Boy Restaurants, College Hunks Hauling Junk, Genuine Parts/ NAPA, Handy Pro International, Happy's Pizza, The Hertz Corporation, Home Instead Senior Care, Ilitch Companies (Includes Little Caesars), Sears, Snap-On Tools and State Farm Insurance.

About the International Franchise Association
The International Franchise Association is the world's oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. Celebrating over 50 years of excellence, education and advocacy, IFA works through its government relations and public policy, media relations and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising. Through its media awareness campaign highlighting the theme, Franchising: Building Local Businesses, One Opportunity at a Time, IFA promotes the economic impact of the more than 825,000 franchise establishments, which support nearly 18 million jobs and $2.1 trillion of economic output for the U.S. economy. IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees and companies that support the industry in marketing, law and business development.