Over 60 International Franchise Association members joined the association in a news conference and webinar today to hear about a new report showing that franchise business ownership by our nation’s veterans has jumped since the launch of Operation Enduring Opportunity in November.
Here’s the big news: the total number of veteran-owned franchise businesses among the most military-friendly franchise companies increased nearly 4,000 or 35 percent to a record 11,469 in the last year, with the average percentage of veteran-owned franchise businesses climbing to 28 percent in military-friendly franchise systems, a spike from 17 percent just a year ago.
The new research is part of the 2012 Military Friendly Franchise® list, compiled by GI Jobs and MilitaryFranchising.com, which surveyed more than 4,000 franchise companies. We’re grateful for our collaboration with GI Jobs. Sean Collins and his team do a great job each and every day, and they have been supporters of VetFran for a long time.
Tom Leney, the executive director of Veterans Small Business Programs at the Department of Veterans Affairs and his team also joined the webinar, along with Lisa Rosser of The Value of a Veteran and Keith Mathias of WIN Home Inspection.
Leney said the VA is making a renewed commitment to franchising. “We know it works for veterans,” he said. That’s why the VA will host the first-ever “Taste of Franchising Pavilion” at its annual National Veterans Small Business Conference and Expo in Detroit June 26-28. Already, 25 IFA members have signed up to participate. It will be another historic first for franchising. For more information, please contact Josh Merin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As Memorial Day approaches, the unemployment rate among some groups of veterans is as high as 18 percent. That’s why we have to keep our focus and keep the pedal to the metal on “Operation Enduring Opportunity,” our industry-wide campaign to hire and recruit 75,000 veterans and their spouses and 5,000 wounded warriors by 2014.
With 468 companies now members of VetFran and pursuing Operation Enduring Opportunity to enable our veterans to access opportunities in franchising, the IFA continues to raise awareness and help the franchising community access the tools and solutions they need to attract this exceptional talent in our nation into our industry.
And it’s not just the right thing to do. In an article in the Colorado Gazette this week, a new franchisee of The UPS Store and U.S. Navy veteran , Mickey Ayers, said being in the military and putting your life on the line “gives you the ‘just do it, failure is not an option’ attitude.”
That’s exactly what America’s franchise industry is looking for.
Beth Solomon is IFA vice president of strategic initiatives and industry relations.