Franchising · 11 March 2016

Generation Y increasingly drawn to the benefits of franchising

Guidance, support and extensive training are some of the reasons more young people are choosing franchising

Some one-in-five franchisees who launched a business in the last two years were under the age of 30, according to newly published figures – demonstrating the increasing popularity of franchising as a career option for young people.

The results of the British Franchise Association (BFA) and NatWest’s Franchise Survey 2015 showed that young people were most attracted by the guidance and support offered by established franchisors, and the fact that extensive training offered means previous business experience to become a franchisee is not required.

Commenting on the figures, BFA CEO Pip Wilkins explained: “There is little doubt that franchising provides a proven and reliable business platform for young people to launch their own business.

“Age is no barrier when someone is hungry, determined and willing to work hard, especially when all the tools are already in place for them to succeed. Many of the skills young people bring to the table, such as social media knowledge which some older franchisees may not have, mean in some ways they are even better equipped to succeed,” Wilkins added.

The survey’s publication comes in tandem with the launch of the BFA’s “In Business by 30” campaign, which showcases young franchisees and aims to drive more young people into the sector by emphasising it’s success stories.

“The success stories just keep on appearing, and really are an inspiration to us all. We have franchisees who started out as young as 19 and are thriving,” Wilkins added.

Britain’s franchise sector is currently worth over £15bn to the UK economy, and employs over 600,000 people. The diverse sector attracts businesses of all sizes, and is populated by a range of small, specialist firms alongside national and international behemoths well-known for franchising models.

The sector has grown by nearly 14 per cent over the last two years, thanks in part to a host of new businesses waking up to franchising as a growth plan. According to the BFA, there are now over 44,000 franchisee-owned businesses across the country.

If you’re a young person interested in becoming a franchisee, you might want to check out some of the notable franchises we’ve met:

Health club chain Anytime Fitness
Forensic investigation workshop firm The Detective Project
Beauty brand with a different franchising vision, High Definition

What should you do when your franchisor abandons you? Read our expert’s guide.

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Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.