Vetfran FAQ From Veterans in Franchising Supplement – Part One

You can read the full, VetFran FAQ, Veterans in Franchising Supplement here.

What is VetFran?

IFA’s VetFran strategic initiative, founded in 1991, includes over 530 IFA franchisor member companies offering financial incentives, training and mentoring to veterans interested in small business ownership and/or a career path in franchising.

Why was VetFran founded?

VetFran was founded by the IFA in 1991 in an effort led by Chairman Don Dwyer, Sr. (USAF, Ret.), founder of The Dwyer Group, to support veterans returning from the Gulf War transition to the civilian economy.

What is Operation Enduring Opportunity?

As hundreds of thousands of young men and women return from Iraq and Afghanistan, including many wounded warriors, the International Franchise Association and franchised businesses have launched Operation Enduring Opportunity, a campaign to hire, and recruit as franchise owners, 75,000 veterans and their spouses, and 5,000 Wounded Warriors, through 2014.

How does it work?

The IFA has partnered with the White House Joining Forces Initiative, VFW, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the Small Business Administration, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and others in this unprecedented recruitment effort. Members set company targets through the VetFran program, which offers recruitment tools and solutions as well as outreach to veterans.

How many veterans have chosen franchising as a career path?

One out of every seven franchise businesses are owned and operated by veterans of the U.S. military, according to a recent study conducted for the International Franchise Association Educational Foundation based on U.S. Census data. More than 66,000 veteran-owned franchise businesses in the U.S. provide jobs directly for 815,000 Americans, and generate more than $41 billion in GDP. Since the November, 2011 launch of Operation Enduring Opportunity, over 64,000 veterans started careers in franchising, including over 4,300 new franchise business owners.

Why are veterans successful in franchising?

  • Veterans come back with strong leadership skills and a thorough understanding of teams. Military experience includes leading people, improving processes, and accomplishing the mission. Just like in the military, in franchising, the mission is accomplished by the team.
  • Franchises run on systems. Implementing systems and following procedures with precision, emphasized in military training, leads to success in franchising.
  • Franchises provide training. Veterans are trained and taught very specific skills to be used to carry out very specific tasks. Franchises have comprehensive training and support built into their opportunities. This means a veteran can enter into a completely new field, follow the franchisor’s proven business model, and receive the training, guidance, and support a new business owner needs to succeed.
  • Franchises offer support. In franchising, you’re in business “for” yourself, but not “by” yourself.

Is the Wounded Warrior component distinct from the effort to assist non-wounded veterans?

Many disabled veterans are successful in franchising. The Wounded Warrior component focuses on industries that may be particularly suited to disabled veterans, such as franchises in Information Technology and tax preparation. Yet, given the range of disabilities and warriors’ ability to work through them, the VetFran program has a track record of placing disabled veterans in a wide variety of franchise roles and companies.

What should veterans consider when exploring franchise opportunities?

Seek out other veterans in the franchising business. Create and access support networks. Prioritize what’s important. Consider different models (home-based vs. office-based, capital requirements, etc.) to find franchises that will be a good fit. Do research to understand the history of the franchise business and meet others who know and have succeeded in the franchise.

How can I find out about specific franchise ownership incentives for Veterans?

The VetFran Toolkit includes a Franchising 101 online course, a finance assessment, a workbook for prospective franchise owners and partner links. U.S. military veterans can also access the VetFran Mentor Network. IFA VetFran members list incentives and training opportunities by company in our VetFran Directory at

What is the International Franchise Association?

The International Franchise Association (IFA) is the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. Celebrating over 50 years of excellence, education and advocacy, IFA works through its government relations, media relations and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising. Through its media awareness campaign highlighting the theme, Franchising: Building Local Businesses, One Opportunity at a Time, IFA promotes the economic impact of the franchise industry, which supports nearly 18 million jobs and $2.1 trillion of economic output for the U.S. economy. IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees and companies that support the industry in marketing, law and business development.

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