Those who have served our country deserve recognition and honor. They also deserve a helping hand in transitioning from the military into American business, especially our wounded warriors. The Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative, usually know as VetFran, is a strategic initiative by nearly 600 companies to offer financial incentives, mentoring and training for helping veterans get started in business through franchising. Currently, one in every seven franchisees is a veteran.
In fact, many franchisors like hiring veterans because they already have work and life experience and have earned it through years in an environment that values a systematic approach, just as you will find in franchising. The whole concept of franchising is that of providing to motivated men and women a structured system that has proven successful in business. Franchising is also many times a team effort and those who have served in the Armed Forces understand teamwork and leadership with real-life experience in carrying them out successfully.
In support of this, the International Franchise Association (IFA) and franchised businesses have come up with Operation Enduring Opportunity. This is a special campaign that goes through 2014 that seeks to sign up 80,000 veterans and their spouses. So far, 64,000 veterans have started franchises because of help from Operating Enduring Opportunity.
For more information, go to www.vetfran.org and fill out a short form that will give you access to their toolkit.
You can find the VetFran franchise directory by going to http://www.franchise.org/Veteran-Franchise.aspx. Here you will find hundreds of opportunities offered by franchise companies that have specifically shown an interest in bringing veterans into franchising. You will find companies like Fit Body fitness boot camp, Servicemaster, 7-11 Stores or Radio Shack.
These companies offer special financial incentives to veterans. In fact, companies cannot participate in the VetFran program except by agreeing to provide these incentives such as 10% or 15% off the franchise fee, as well mentoring and specialized training. And, it is in their best interest, as veterans have proven themselves to be worthy franchisees.
For veterans, franchising is a great way to become owners of small businesses despite often having limited financial capital. They bring capital of another kind – seasoned, tested, human capital and a desire to succeed in a proven system by applying their teamwork and other learned military skills to business. In the end, everyone wins, including our country.
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