Local businesses and individuals are encouraged to ‘Franchise It’

BUSINESSES and individuals in the Banbridge Council area are being encouraged to combat current downward economic trends by harnessing the potential created by the resurgence of the franchising business model in Northern Ireland.

With unemployment and redundancy on the rise, many people are now turning to self employment to make a living. But self employment is often perceived as a high risk option as small firms struggle to compete with bigger brand names.

One way to increase an individual’s chances of business success is to start a business through the franchising model. Franchises enjoy a 91% success rate, find it easier to access funding and despite popular belief, costs of franchises start at as little as £2,000.

That’s why an innovative new business development programme, designed to help individuals and businesses explore the franchising model, has been launched in the Banbridge area by Banbridge District Council, Banbridge District Enterprises and Franchising NI, Northern Ireland’s Franchising experts.

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 Banbridge look at franchising as an option.”

“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 Banbridge 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.”

More information can be found at www.franchisingni.com/SEED and applications can be requested from barry@franchisingni.com . The deadline for applications is Friday 30th November.

The programme is open to individuals and businesses that are resident in the Armagh City & District Council, Ards Borough Council, Banbridge District Council, Craigavon Borough Council, Down District Council and Newry & Mourne District Council areas.

The SEED ‘Franchise It’ Development 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 & Mourne District Council.  The ‘Franchise It’ programme is being delivered by Ortus, Northern Ireland’s leading franchising experts.