Yum! Brands and the University of Louisville Team Up

Yum Brands

New Center for Global Franchise Excellence will seek out people of color and women for schooling as future entrepreneurs

Yum! Brands Inc. and the University of Louisville have launched the Yum! Center for Global Franchise Excellence, which will provide current and future franchisees with online instruction about various types of franchises. In recruiting students, the center will specifically target women and underrepresented people of color, teaching them about franchising opportunities as a vehicle for bringing their entrepreneurial dreams to life.

The Yum! Center for Global Franchise Excellence is part of the Yum! Brands’ Unlocking Opportunity Initiative. Last year the Louisville-based company pledged to contribute $100 million during a five-year period to advance equity and inclusion, education and entrepreneurship for employees, front-line restaurant workers and communities around the world.

University of Louisville President Neeli Bendapudi hailed the center as “an unrivaled resource for world-class training in franchising that will help people everywhere, particularly underrepresented people of color and women, succeed in franchise ownership and management.” She added that the initiative “aligns with U of L’s commitment to empowering our communities and supports our vision to become the nation’s premier anti-racist metropolitan research university.”

Scott Catlett, chief legal and franchise officer of Yum! Brands, said the center represents “a path to economic opportunity and successful ownership for talented, underrepresented people while bringing diverse voices and ideas to the broader franchising community.”

The Yum! Center for Global Franchise Excellence builds on the university’s existing franchising education tracks within its College of Business. The school already offers a graduate program and an executive-level Franchise Management Certificate. New at the center will be an undergraduate franchising track within the bachelor of business administration program. Yum! Brands leadership will provide resources along with franchise industry insights and developments related to the industry. 

The center’s mission includes:

  • Recruiting diverse students to its undergraduate, graduate- and executive-level programs.
  • Researching franchise ownership with case studies, white papers and more to analyze why more people of color and women aren’t franchisees. 
  • Developing and airing podcasts and a journal to share news with franchisees and franchise managers.

Our goal is to uncover and reduce barriers to franchise ownership, starting with education.

Kathleen Gosser, Ph.D., Executive-in-Residence, University of Louisville’s College of Business

Kathleen Gosser, Ph.D., executive-in-residence in the University of Louisville’s College of Business is a fan of franchising as “one of the best paths to entrepreneurship, creating an opportunity to build generational wealth.” By year-end, the International Franchise Association predicts that the industry will increase to more than 780,000 outlets employing 8.2 million people in the U.S. “Our goal is to uncover and reduce barriers to franchise ownership, starting with education,” Gosser said. 

In addition to Yum! Brands’ recent grant to the University of Louisville, Yum! Brands is investing $6 million over five years to advance equity and opportunity across Louisville, particularly in West Louisville. Its aim there is to offer a helping hand to Black students, educators, entrepreneurs and social-change agents. 

The opening of the Yum Center is one of several Yum! actions taken to promote diversity, equity and inclusion. According to a report in Restaurantdive.com, the company this year joined OneTen Coalition to develop, retain and advance diverse and underrepresented talent into U.S. restaurant management, field leadership and corporate roles. It also was recognized in the 2021 Bloomberg Gender-Equity Index for its efforts to advance women’s equality and transparency in gender reporting, and Yum! made Dow Jones’ Sustainability Index North America and was ranked among the top 100 Best Corporate Citizens by 3BL Media.

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