RECRUITMENT is now underway for the second wave of the SEED “Franchise It” Programme following the successful completion of Wave one in March.
The programme is a joint initiative by the six SEED councils of Armagh City & District Council, Ards Borough Council, Banbridge District Council, Craigavon Borough Council, Down District Council and Newry and Mourne District Council.
This project is part financed by Invest Northern Ireland and the European Regional Development Fund under the Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland.
The programme works with business owners looking to expand their current business through the franchise model (The Franchisor Programme), and individuals who are looking to purchase a franchise as a route to self-employment (The Franchisee Programme).
The programme covers all key aspects of franchising, as well as facilitating the introduction of franchisors for the benefit of franchisees throughout the programme.
Barry Kelly, Franchise Services Manager at Franchising NI explained: “A number of franchisees on the first wave of this programme recently attended the International Franchise Show in London. This provided them with the perfect opportunity to explore and begin to source international franchise opportunities for the Northern Ireland Market.”
Mr Kelly is delighted with the success of the Programme and further commented: “Franchisors are actively recruiting in Northern Ireland, demonstrating the growth within the franchise market here in NI. We work hard to dispel the common misconception that franchising is a high cost involvement and participants learn that there are many affordable franchises available in Northern Ireland, operating within sectors of the market they may not have considered.”
Dennis Devine who participated in the SEED Franchisee Programme is one of the major success stories of the initiative. He said: “the Franchisee Programme has provided me with the tools and knowledge that I needed to help me to make the transition from employment to self employment. At present I am at the closing stages with a major independent communications company to take their franchise model forward and introduce it into the Northern Ireland market. This is an exciting prospect and the programme has certainly helped to facilitate this opportunity.”
Sara McGeary, Enterprise Development Officer at Banbridge District Council and programme manager commented: “The programme has provided a fantastic new opportunity for individuals to explore self employment, by giving individuals and businesses the specialist knowledge and support they need to develop or purchase a franchise. This is a welcome development for local businesses and individuals considering self-employment and we are proud to be part of this initiative. We are confident that we will see many more successful outcomes as a result of the programme.”
Recruitment is currently ongoing for the SEED Franchise It Programme.