Diversity in Franchising
The mission of the IFA Educational Foundation’s Diversity Institute is to serve as a key catalyst for promoting and fostering diversity and inclusion within franchising, including franchisors, franchisees, suppliers and employees. The Diversity Institute realizes that the rapid pace of demographic changes and population growth combine to create unique opportunities for franchising. We believe that diversity and inclusion has the power to accelerate the mission of franchising.
Launched in February 2006, the MinorityFran program was developed to provide one convenient place where racial/ethnic minorities and women could explore franchise offerings of companies actively looking to recruit these emerging markets. This program was re-branded in July 2013 as DiversityFran.
DiversityFran is a franchisee education and recruitment program designed to assist IFA members in reaching emerging markets and increasing diversity while educating diverse prospective franchisees about opportunities in franchising.
DiversityFran builds on relationships forged with leading organizations such as the National Urban League, Minority Business Development Agency, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, National Black MBA Association, Association of Small Business Development Centers, U.S. Conference of Mayors and various ethnic Chambers of Commerce across the country. We want to send a message that franchising is a model that works and is an affordable way to realize the American Dream of business ownership.
A study by the IFA Educational Foundation identified basic obstacles faced by minorities seeking to own a franchise and some challenges faced by franchisors seeking to recruit minorities as franchise owners. The three main obstacles were categorized as: (1) an informational gap, (2) a relational gap and (3) a capital gap. As a result of that study, in 2007 the Diversity Institute launched “One-Day Opportunities in Franchising for Women and Minorities” educational seminars across the country. These one-day seminars address all three gaps and include sessions on:
Franchising: A Business Model that Works (Fundamentals of Franchising): In this Franchising 101, participants receive an overview of franchising, have myths dispelled, learn how to evaluate a franchise and hear about special programs such as DiversityFran.
Experiences in Franchising: Panel of the Pros
Attendees hear from a panel of pros who have “been there and done that” or are looking to expand their franchise systems. Franchisees share their experiences and offer advice. Franchisors discuss what is expected from the franchisee and elaborate on the interview and selection process.
Legal Aspects of Franchising
Prospective franchisees learn about the Franchise Disclosure Document and what questions they need to ask before signing on the dotted line. They can also hear what steps they need to take to franchise a current business?
Finance and Technical Assistance
The ins and outs of franchising can be daunting. Once you have decided to move forward, where do you go for assistance? This session seeks to answer questions in layman’s terms.
The DiversityFran program is open to all IFA member companies that are committed to expanding opportunities in franchising at all levels – in employment, in franchise recruitment and supplier relations.
When organizations embrace diversity and inclusion, it generates a positive return on their bottom lines. It is simply good business and an excellent growth strategy.