The EU statistics office Eurostat has released the latest Eurozone unemployment rates and the results are at a record-breaking high, with the youths (under 25) being hit the hardest. While unemployment is far worse for young people in Greece than here, when we compare the UK’s under 25 unemployment rate of 24% to the national level of 8%, it shows that our younger people are far below the nation’s average. This difficulty in finding a job makes the idea of self-employment – and being a franchisee – suddenly much more appealing to young people.
Unemployment rate averages February to May 2013:
|Country||National Level||Youth (Under 25)|
|Austria (lowest at national level)||4.85||8.43|
|Germany (lowest for youth)||5.4||7.7|
|EU 27 Member States||10.95||23.28|
Why Youths Are Good and Bad For Franchising
Like most age groups, under-25s have both advantages and disadvantages for being franchisees. What they lack in money and experience, they may balance out with enthusiasm and support. Money – or lack thereof – is of course a big obstacle to overcome. Few youths have the capital or personal guarantees required to pay for the franchise’s minimum investment, or to live off for the first year. However, banks will normally fund a high percentage of the start-up cost of a franchise that is good and established, and there are grants and funds such as the Shell LiveWIRE Scheme and the Prince’s Trust in place to support youths looking to set up their own business. Family members may also be willing to provide the financial resources for the recognised franchises; especially parents who realise that supporting a child while they set up a franchise will actually cost them a similar amount to sending that child post-grad. studying for a year. It could even result in some profit.
Speaking of the classroom, while our youths may not have much experience working in the world of business, they are certainly highly educated in comparison to previous generations, and they know well how to use a computer. Combine this with fresh ideas and enthusiasm and franchisors may be willing to overlook the lack of commercial knowledge. Indeed, the lack of experience may be an advantage to franchisors, as young franchisees may be less likely to challenge the successful franchise system and more willing to follow instructions.
Successful Young Entrepreneurs
Franchisees: Hitesh Patel and Harry Singh with Papa John’s.
Business partners Patel and Singh, both 26, set up their first Papa John’s pizza store just three months ago (in Derby) and already have seen so much success that they are opening their second one, in Bristol. They hope to gain three more franchised outlets over the next four years and Papa John’s business development manager Anthony Round is not intimidated by their youth: “Their enthusiasm…combined with the support that the Papa John’s franchise team offers, means this business minded duo have the right ingredients to deliver an exciting future.”
Independent entrepreneur: Matthew Mullenweg, developer of WordPress.
“Has it really been 10 years?” Matt asked recently. He was referring to the time he spent playing around with blogging before he founded Automattic, the company behind the globally successful blog web hosting service provider WordPress.com. At that time he had little experience in the business world, he was not educated in technology (he studied jazz saxophone at a performing arts high school), yet the 29-year-old is now believed to be worth around $200 million.
Particular Franchise Industries to Consider
Certain franchises are popular amongst the under-25s:
Computer/internet – information technology is at the core of any business, and for those who have grown up with computers and social media, here is a chance to apply your love for it to a world with a growing demand for IT professionals and trainers.
Pet franchise – pets are incredibly popular in the UK and there are many pet products and services franchises currently on offer.
Sports – outdoor, personal training, children’s fitness…sporting fans who don’t want to sit at a desk all day can run a business in anything from golf to gym. Recent surveys have revealed that three-quarters of adults have engaged in some type of sport in the past year. That’s quite a big market.
Event and wedding planning – mix business and pleasure by investing in a franchise that will provide you with the training and support needed to help create events and happiness.