IFA Program Helps Veterans Become Successful Franchisees
The International Franchise Professionals Group (IFPG) has joined VetFran, a program that educates veterans and franchisors in the ways that veterans’ skills make them uniquely qualified for handling the responsibilities of franchise ownership. VetFran has two key objectives: 1) encouraging franchisors to give discounts and other incentives to veterans, and 2) pulling together resources to support veterans interested in franchising opportunities.
VetFran is an initiative of the International Franchise Association and its nonprofit IFA Foundation. VetFran has been working since 1991 to grow the numbers of veterans who own franchises. One major way that VetFran reaches out to veterans is by participating in and networking at franchise trade shows; VetFran also produces and maintains a company directory of veteran-friendly franchise brands.
IFPG Gets Involved
Founded in 2012, IFPG is a franchise consulting network made up of more than 1,300 franchise consultant, franchisor and vendor members. IFPG’s franchise-broker members guide aspiring franchisees through the process of identifying and then investing in franchises that suit each individual entrepreneur’s interests, abilities and finances.
“I have great admiration for VetFran’s work and all the opportunities they create. Veterans deserve our gratitude for their service,” Daszkowski says, “and joining VetFran is one way for IFPG to show it.”
Daszkowski loves the mission of VetFran, which is to help military veterans own successful, thriving franchises. He has seen franchisors flourish with the addition of veteran entrepreneurs. “Franchisors always welcome veterans because they are proficient at team-building and following a system. They’re also resourceful and resilient,” he said.
IFPG franchise consultant Ralph Yarusso, who is the current chairman of the IFA Foundation’s VetFran committee, welcomes IFPG’s participation in VetFran and gives a firsthand testimonial to its effectiveness. “My involvement with VetFran spans more than 20 years – candidly, even longer, as I was able to buy my first franchise using my veteran status for a discount! I have served on VetFran’s executive board for five years and as chairman for the past two years,” says Yarusso, who is a U.S. Air Force veteran.
“The IFPG community is wonderful in how they embrace veteran candidates as franchisees and franchisors that offer significant savings to veterans on a quest to become business owners and franchisees,” he adds. “More importantly, the IFPG leadership team has become much more involved in VetFran and provides support and sponsorship to the IFA and the foundation that supports VetFran.”
Yarusso praises VetFran for creating “paths for veterans to entrepreneurship by leveraging franchisors, suppliers and vendor participation to make it happen. Franchisors love veterans because, simply put, they make good franchisees. Veterans make up 14% of all American franchise ownership, which is interesting since they only represent about 7% of the U.S. population.”
He and others on the IFA Foundation’s VetFran Committee are volunteers who share a commitment to helping veterans and also believe the franchise business model creates excellent opportunities for them. Others on the committee are CEOs, senior franchise executives and multi-unit franchisees.
The IFA Foundation is funded through charitable contributions and franchisor sponsorships. The IFA is the world’s biggest organization that represents the interests of franchising around the globe. For more information about VetFran, please visit www.vetfran.org. For more information about IFA, please visit www.franchise.org. For more information about IFPG, please visit www.ifpg.org or call (888) 977-IFPG.