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500,000 new jobs could be created in franchising

The government is being urged to consider the benefits of franchising as a way to boost job creation over the next five years.
According to Prof Roy Seaman, managing director of Norwich-based Franchise Development Services (FDS) “We are talking next year of creating 100,000 new jobs through franchises,” he said. “Franchises are a solid foundation with which companies can expand and new jobs can be created. “We are looking at about 2,000 new franchises over the next five years which means by 2016 it will mean an extra 70,000 new businesses. That means 500,000 new jobs and that’s being totally realistic. What would happen if we could increase that by 10pc?” Speaking to a group of bankers and UK Trade and Industry  officals over the weekend Prof Roy Seaman extolled the virtues  of using a tried and tested business model when starting a new business. If the government accepts the recommendations, potential franchisees are set to receive even more support and recognition in an economy that urgently needs a boost in employment. Currently franchises have shown to be more successful than ordinary start-ups in a number of areas. According to the NatWest bfa franchising report 2010, franchises contribute over £12.4bn to the British economy annually, with more than 520,000 employed through franchises, with franchises employing more than 11 people. With London and the South East getting the benefit of the highest number of franchises, and the highest number of franchises per population, there is great scape to expand this benefit to other areas of the UK suffering from high unemployment. With insufficient capital cited as the number one roadblock facing potential franchisees from starting trading, any endorsement or encouragement the government could give to banks would help boost the industry. Mark Scott, director of franchise development at NatWest, said all banks were eager to lend to franchisees, while a £100m fund set up by NatWest this year has already seen more than half of the funds drawn. “We are definitely in this for the long-term, and we are very committed to the sector,” Mr Scott said.
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