International Franchise Association Promotes Veteran-Owned Franchises

It’s no secret that veterans possess skills many in franchising value. The leadership, business management and organizational skills many U.S. military veterans have translate well into business ownership. The International Franchise Association (IFA) is very active in supporting veterans and their spouses by creating programs that provide incentives, making it easier for veterans to become their own boss through franchising.

VetFran, a strategic initiative of the IFA, was founded in 1991 by the late Don Dwyer, Sr., founder of The Dwyer Group as a way to thank veterans returning from the Gulf War.  It was reenergized after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack by his daughter and past IFA Chair, Dina Dwyer-Owens. Since then, VetFran has grown to include more than 650 franchise systems that voluntarily provide financial incentives to former U.S. military servicemen and women seeking to own a franchise. Through VetFran, more than 6,500 veterans have become franchisees and realized their dream of business ownership.

VetFran members commit to offering an incentive to veterans, but it’s up to the franchise system how they want to structure their incentive. Some reduce their initial franchise fees and others might contribute to the franchisee’s initial cost of investment or reduce royalties. Some franchisors offer deep incentives.

“We are very proud of the work that the VetFran program has accomplished since its founding. We are continuously looking for ways to grow our franchisor community to ensure that our brave veterans have a resource to help them successfully transition back into the workplace once their military service is complete,” says Eric Stites, VetFran Chairman, CFE, CEO, Franchise Business Review. “We have been working over the past year to focus on improving the continued quality of VetFran and the upcoming 2017 Convention will provide us with a great opportunity to further discuss these important issues with professionals in the franchise community.”

For many veterans, easing back into civilian life and determining a career path can be an intimidating experience. It has been found that the skills, values and experiences gained during military service such as leadership, dedication and ability to follow protocol all translate very well into the franchising world. Thus, military training coupled with strong franchise support can prove to be quite the symbiotic relationship.

FASTSIGNS, a proud member of VetFran offers veterans who join the FASTSIGNS U.S. network specific incentives, including a reduced franchise fee of $22,250, a savings of 50 percent, in addition to reduced royalties and advertising fees for the first year. FASTSIGNS reports that over 10 percent of its franchisees are comprised of military veterans. The brand has been recognized as a top franchise for military veterans by leading publications including USA TodayG.I. Jobs magazine and Military Times magazine.

In addition to incentives, VetFran offers a number of resources.  The VetFran Toolkit includes online courses, financial resources and access to the VetFran Mentor Network. You can also find a searchable database of all VetFran companies with incentives or discounts in the VetFran Directory at

To learn more about franchising, visit the IFA’s website at The International Franchise Association is the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising globally.  The IFA’s 57th Annual Convention will take place Jan. 29 – Feb. 1, 2017 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.  With emphasis on providing education to drive performance, growth and sustainability of franchise brands, #IFA2017 will offer world-class speakers, providing more than 50 educational sessions and programs across four days.

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