Take on the world and win
AN INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION COULD HELP KIWI ENTREPRENEURS LEARN FROM THE WORLD’S BIGGEST FRANCHISORS, SAYS SIMON LORD.
INMYLAST column, I made mention of the fact that franchising had never really taken off in the UK compared to New Zealand, Australia and, of course, the US. I think one reason why New Zealanders, in particular, have taken to franchising in such numbers, is the culture of sharing that exists within the franchise community here. Ask a franchisor how they deal with such-and-such an issue within their business and they’ll freely share the information (unless you’re a direct competitor – and even then, it happens more often than you might expect).
By contrast, I’ve found the franchise sector in the UK to be rather more exclusive.
Our culture was developed by such pioneers of franchising in New Zealand as Colin Taylor of Stirling Sports and David McCulloch of Arano Juice. Along with a few specialist consultants and lawyers, they laid the foundation for an open, inclusive group that became the Franchise Association and helped hundreds of entrepreneurs learn about franchising and develop business models that took them further than they could ever have dreamed: to China, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and the US itself.
No wonder this year’s National Franchise Conference was sold out almost three months in advance.
These days, of course, we have ‘mentoring’ and ‘accelerator programmes’ – formal (and often expensive) versions of what Colin and the rest gave out of the goodness of their hearts.
But now there’s an international competition which can help young entrepreneurs all round the world to tap into the power of franchising.
NextGen in Franchising is an international competition run by the Franchise Education & Research Foundation of the USbased International Franchise Association (IFA).
Backed by the Franchise Association of New Zealand,
NextGen is looking for outstanding young entrepreneurs whose businesses are poised to take off, and to give them mentoring and support from some of the best franchise leaders in the world.
Winners will receive:
• A trip to the IFA Annual Convention in the US, complimentary convention registration and travel expenses up to US$1,500;
• A spot at the NextGen in
Franchising Summit – a two-day educational and networking programme for next generation entrepreneurs;
• A place on an Accelerator Programme with franchise industry leaders and CEOs;
• An opportunity to compete for additional cash prizes;
• Extensive, industry-wide media
exposure; and • Opportunities to engage directly with leading franchisors, franchisees and suppliers in franchising, and with other young entrepreneurs. The competition is open to entrepreneurs aged 21 to 35 with businesses that have been operating for one to five years, and applications remain open until 1st September 2017.
According to David McKinnon, chair of the organising committee, “While there are many entrepreneurial competitions and accelerators out there, NextGen in
Franchising is the only one focused on helping millennial business owners grow their concepts through the franchise model.
“This unique competition will allow winners to have the opportunity to meet personally with leaders within the industry to utilise as resources as they build their companies.” KIWIS ARE WINNERS TOO In case you think this all sounds a bit out of the reach of Kiwi entrepreneurs, consider this: winners of last year’s event hailed from the Philippines, Malawi, Australia, Nigeria, Mexico, Tanzania, Hungary, Nigeria, South Africa, the United States and Canada.
And in the 2015 version of the competition, which included franchise employees, Jessica Linnell of Exceed Maintenance in Tauranga was one of the winners. Jess and her fellow winners had the chance to meet many of the top names in the IFA.
“It was incredibly exciting to see people my age bring to life franchise ideas that will surely change the world of franchising as we know it,” she said afterwards.
Robyn Pickerill, CEO of the Franchise Association of New Zealand is thrilled to be representing this year’s NextGen in
Franchising competition. “The programme is built to open the door for outstanding entrepreneurs and potentially maximise the success of their start-ups and companies,” she says. “Jessica has shown that Kiwis can be winners on the global stage so we encourage any qualified millennial to contact us for more information and enter this prestigious competition.”
No doubt there will be plenty of help and encouragement available from the franchise specialists of New Zealand along the way. After all, helping others is as much a part of our franchise culture as taking on the world.