BUSINESSES and individuals in Ards are being encouraged to explore the opportunities of franchising with the launch of a dedicated new programme, ‘Franchise It’.
The ‘Franchise It’ programme will provide information, advice and guidance on what’s available using the franchising business model, highlighting that franchises enjoy a 91% success rate, find it easier to access funding and despite popular belief, the costs of franchises start at as little as £2,000.
The programme has been launched locally by Ards Borough Council, Ards Business Centre and Franchising NI, Northern Ireland’s Franchising experts and is part of a wider SEED initiative which includes 5 other councils – Armagh City & District Council, Banbridge District Council, Craigavon Borough Council, Down District Council and Newry and Mourne District Council.
Chairman of Ards Borough Council’s Development Committee, Alderman Robert Gibson, said: “Self-employment is often seen as a high risk option, but taking on a franchise increases the chances of starting a successful business. This programme gives anyone with an interest in becoming a franchisee, a unique chance to establish not only what opportunities there are, but which would be the best fit for their skills, experience and aspirations”.
Franchising is defined as “the practice of using another firm’s established and successful business model” and is currently on the rise in Northern Ireland, with many successful local businesses now looking to team up with the right local person to grow their business.
Barry Kelly, Franchising Services Manager at Franchising NI commented: “Franchising allows those who want to start their own full or part time business to do so without such high risk by attaching them to an already established brand. That’s exactly what we aim to do by helping people in Ards look at franchising as an option, he said. “It is also a great growth strategy for established businesses that want to expand and this programme can also provide a comprehensive package of support to successful businesses from the Ards area who wish to do so.”
The ‘Franchise It’ Development Programme is part-funded by Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund under the European Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland.
Mark Bleakney, Manager of Invest NI’s Southern Regional Office, said: “Franchising has become a popular option for many entrepreneurs interested in starting a new venture or expanding their current business. The Franchise It programme will provide background information, advice and guidance for those interested in exploring this as a potential business model.”
The ‘Franchise It’ programme is being delivered by Ortus, Northern Ireland’s leading franchising experts.
The deadline for applications is Friday 30th November.