The Faces of NextGen


Stories of the dozen finalists in the 2019 NextGen in Franchising Global Competition.

By David McKinnon, CFE

In the 5th year of the NextGen in Franchising Global Competition, welcomed 12 bright young entrepreneurs to IFA 2019 in Las Vegas.. It was another incredibly competitive year. We received more than 500 applications – across 75 countries – from business owners vying for a chance to be a part of this year’s NextGen class.

I’m excited to share the stories of this year’s stellar 2019 NextGen in Franchising Global Competition finalists. Jeremy Hassell and Tim Butters of City Cave took first place. Congratulations to all!

Brooke Gagliano - Frutta Bowls (United States)

While on a trip out west, Brooke had her first açai bowl and the idea for Frutta Bowls was born. With the support of her friends and family, she opened her first store in May 2016 in Howell, N.J., at age 23. The Frutta Bowls dream started as a local idea with two locations. It has since grown into a nationwide concept, continuing to positively affect many lives along the way. Frutta Bowls sets itself apart by not only its commitment to providing healthy and delicious food, but also by its involvement in the communities surrounding each location.

Ruth Agbaji - Code Wiz (United States)

Ruth worked as a software engineer for tech giants like Microsoft and Kronos. Desiring to make a direct impact on the next generation and having a need for flexibility in 2017, Ruth quit her day job to open Code Wiz. Her vision was to have a center where kids of all abilities could rely on and learn about problem solving through coding and explore every corner of their imagination as they poured themselves into personalized projects. With her first center a success and a second one underway, Agbaji is looking to grow Code Wiz into a household brand name in the enrichment education space.

Jeremy Hassell - City Cave (Australia)

Recognizing the need for a health and wellness center that focused on longevity and total wellbeing of individuals, Jeremy launched City Cave. Since the opening of its first location in 2016, City Cave has grown to offer a combination of holistic and clinical services tailored to each guest’s needs, and provides the ideal space for relaxing and meditation. From float therapy to infrared saunas and yoga, City Cave aims to deliver the perfect facility that adds years of quality life to those in the community. Today, City Cave has four locations across Australia, with plans to continue its expansion.

Jason Dolan - Core9 Fitness (Australia)

In 2013, Jason channeled his unique 15-year military expertise and insight into Core9, which has grown to seven franchise sites within three states across Australia. Core9’s mission is to revolutionize the fitness industry by offering elite training methods used in a fun, fully flexible 31-minute workout that breaks down all barriers that see people shy away from fitness and health. Core9’s vision is to offer a quality fitness product to the public while providing a career path, culture and sense of belonging to military and emergency service personnel re-entering the civilian world. Six veteran-owned clubs are now in operation with more to open in 2019.

Gamal Albinsaid - Garbage Clinical Insurance (Indonesia)

This micro health insurance program was launched in 2017 with the sole purpose of providing locals access to health facilities at an affordable price. With Garbage Clinical Insurance, customers pay for the services they were provided with garbage from their homes. His inspiration for this program comes from Gamal’s firsthand experience with the poor health services available to lower income families in his native country. As a result of this groundbreaking initiative, Gamal was awarded the HRH Prince of Wales Young Sustainability Entrepreneur Award and looks forward to expanding this program across other regions.

Abed Al-Zghoul - Bread for Education (Jordan)

Bread for Education is a nonprofit organization launched in 2013 dedicated to recycling leftover bread from local businesses and institutions to help underprivileged kids and young adults go to school. Passionate about educating the local community while tackling poverty in his home country, Abed has already made a great impact. The monetary funds collected from selling the bread has helped more than 30,000 kids with scholarships and expanded to help those across Palestine, Morocco and Dubai. So far, the project has collected and recycled more than 40,000 tons of bread and employs 80 workers across these countries.

Reka Oszlanczi - Creppy (Hungary)

Having grown up with parents in the catering industry, Reka experienced what it takes to succeed in that environment and the dedication required to open a business. After graduating from the University of Miskolc with a sociology and teaching degree, Reka dove into the catering business herself. In 2014, she launched Creppy Brand, a crepe catering company. After years of improving the system, the brand started franchising throughout Hungary.

Timea Vas - Don’t Panic English (Hungary)

An entrepreneur since 19, Timea has spent the last 12 years helping people around the world speak English. After graduating in Budapest, Hungary, then Oxford, United Kingdom, she taught English throughout Budapest, Oxford and at the University of Auckland. Her passions include providing education to underprivileged children, protecting the environment and creating workplaces where her colleagues just can't wait to come to work on a Monday. Don't Panic English is the most flexible communication-based English school in Hungary and employs the most inspiring teachers who can help English learners break through their emotional barrier related to speaking a second language.

Princess Diana Rosario - What’s Your Flan? (Philippines)

What’s Your Flan? was founded in 2016 and is the product of her passion for cooking. What’s Your Flan? serves original mouthwatering desserts that are all freshly made, natural and have no food coloring or preservatives. From humble beginnings and 14 failed businesses, she was shaped to be a better business owner, influencing the launch of her Philippines-based business designed to help fellow entrepreneurs have the opportunity to become their own bosses. After two hardworking years of business, What’s Your Flan? has expanded from a single location to 70 franchisees nationwide, one international franchise in Dubai UAE and hundreds of registered resellers.

Samuel Munguti - Farmers Pride (Kenya)

Inspired by the hardships he experienced during his childhood in Kenya, Samuel launched Farmers Pride, an agriculture solutions company providing rural farmers in Kenya with quality products, tools and services needed to properly run a farm. After completing his MBA in marketing and management in 2015 and working for global brands like Coca-Cola, Samuel founded Farmers Pride with hopes to establish a reliable distribution center farmers in surrounding areas can trust for top-quality ingredients and priority services that would enhance their business and growth potential. So far, Farmers Pride has reached more than 9,000 farmers and grown to four locations.

Venuste Kubwimana - A Water Kiosk at School (Kenya)

Venuste was inspired by personal experiences growing up in communities where students walk long distances to gather water for their families before and after going to school. As a result, many children in the area have a high tendency to drop out of school in order to meet their needs. A Water Kiosk at School is a school-based and student-managed business selling clean tap water to community residents at an affordable price. It consists of financing community schools to set up onsite water kiosks with sustainable products for the students to transport water directly from school to their home.

Rihab Hasanain - Blooming Bs (Saudi Arabia)

Through her social enterprise, Rihab is on a mission to reduce the growing burdens of non-communicable diseases by providing healthy lunchboxes for children and raising awareness about how to embrace a healthy lifestyle. As a researcher, she has been and will continue to measure the increase in healthy food uptake amongst children through Blooming Bs. Being a leader by nature, Rihab is eager to empower local women to be part of her social and impactful endeavor by offering jobs, mentorships and training to empower new and upcoming leaders in the society.

David McKinnon, CFE, is founding sponsor of the NextGen in Franchising program and chair of the NextGen in Franchising Committee.