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IFA's VetFran Partners with VA Accelerator Initiative to Encourage Veteran Franchisee Success

Contact:
Matthew Haller, 202-662-0770
Jenna Weisbord, 202-662-0766
mhaller@franchise.org
jweisbord@franchise.org 

WASHINGTON, Feb. 26--The International Franchise Association’s VetFran initiative has partnered with The Department of Veterans Affairs’ VA Business Accelerator program to ensure veterans acquire the professional skills and entrepreneurial knowledge base they need prior to starting a franchise. 

The VA Business Accelerator provides veterans courses, professional development resources and mentorship to help them start and operate a successful franchise with access to the online Sales and Management Institute through the Department of Veterans Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program.  

"With its rapid training, defined systems and need for operational excellence, franchising provides an ideal opportunity to enable returning veterans to become leaders of and productive participants in the U.S. economy," said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira.  “Together, the education provided by the VA Accelerator and the opportunities and incentives offered by VetFran can open doors for many veteran entrepreneurs to start and grow a franchise suitable to their interests.” 

The franchising industry has committed to hire as team members and recruit as franchise business owners 75,000 veterans and military spouses, plus 5,000 wounded warriors through 2014 as part of Operation Enduring Opportunity, an expanded campaign of IFA’s VetFran program. The Accelerator is free to all U.S. veterans and wounded veterans may even qualify for financial support from the VA while pursuing the coursework. 

"This is the type of program I wish had been available when I first transitioned from the Army to franchising," said Maurice Welton, who owns four Edible Arrangements locations in South Texas. "The military gave me the discipline and tools needed to be a successful business owner, but you also need to understand the basics of running a business. This program will be a great asset for veterans, and make the transition to the business world much easier." 

“VetFran is a valuable resource for VA Accelerator graduates, many of whom would like to pursue entrepreneurship through franchising post-graduation. The two programs share the commitment of helping veterans succeed in their career endeavors.” said Lieutenant Colonel Phillip Selleh, a service disabled veteran and founder of the VA Accelerator program. “Veterans have so many of the skills necessary to become franchisees. The VA Accelerator program wants to fill in the gaps of that skill set to make prominent and thoughtful business owners and leaders.  We hope this partnership will benefit many veteran franchisees across the country.” 

Veterans interested in VA Accelerator’s resources can visit VAAccelerator.com to use the free tools and gain access to the online courses and curricula. 

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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.