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Millennials and Franchising

From student…to graduate…to boss: People entering the workforce no longer just want a job. More of them want to own their own business. And franchise organizations are welcoming them in growing numbers.

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For many years, franchise ownership was only fit for a very tight demographic of high net-worth individuals interested in a proven concept backed by a strong corporate support team. But now, that demographic has extended to millennials with a desire to skip the corporate ladder and go straight to the top after college.

Driven by the will to become their own bosses, millennials aren’t really different from others in the labor pool. They admire the capability to control their own schedules and create close bonds and meaningful relationships in the workplace. And despite growing up in a digital world amid economic uncertainty, they’re choosing to invest in a franchise opportunity to do just that.

Millennials are becoming a fast-growing segment of franchise owners.

This inventive and high–energy demographic wants to go into business for themselves, but not by themselves. BizCom has countless examples of twenty-somethings being awarded franchise agreements with leading national and international chains on the agency roster.

At the age of 22, Shameet Desai is now one of the youngest franchisees in the Huddle House restaurant network. A recent graduate of the Elliott T. Bowers Honors College at Sam Houston State University with a major in finance and minors in accounting and marketing, he has just signed an agreement with the 400+ chain to open three locations in Gainesville, Athens and Braselton, Georgia.

Shameet spent a greater part of his winter break researching various franchise opportunities on his own. And then he approached his uncle about becoming his business partner. Together they decided that Huddle House was the perfect opportunity for their family business.

Brett Bidwell, 29, grew up in franchising by watching his father at The Dwyer Group. Mike Bidwell started as a franchisee with Rainbow International, later became the first multi-concept franchisee for the organization and then was recruited to corporate headquarters. Today, Mike is the President and CEO of Dwyer Group with more than 2,600 franchise owners around the world, and Brett is among them.

After he graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a degree in economics, Brett researched countless franchise opportunities. And he decided to join Dwyer Group when he opened his own Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Greater Austin.

Like Shameet and Brett, Asja Randell, 24, is turning her dream of business ownership into a masterpiece. This summer she will open a Pinot’s Palette studio in Garland, Texas, with her husband Chris Randell. Originally from Estonia, she is now living the true American dream.

Chris, 26, is a business graduate from Abilene Christian University. And the couple is excited to be part of the fastest-growing paint and sip franchise chain in America. With the motto to “Paint. Drink. Have Fun.” Chris and Asja are on their way to entertaining success.

Shameet, Brett, Asja and Chris are the next generation of franchising. They embrace hard work with the added bonus of being in charge of their careers and financial destiny.

The NextGen of the industry.

Likewise, the franchise industry wants to offer networking tools, educational forums and access to top leaders for millennials joining the ranks.

Recognizing the shift in the traditional business model, The International Franchise Association launched a program called NextGen in Franchising to better educate millennials about the franchise industry. Popular initiatives like the Students in Franchising program creates a talent development pipeline for future franchisees, franchisors and suppliers all while earning an undergraduate degree.

The program provides networking opportunities for the previous generation of franchisees, who carry strong business acumen, to share with the incoming millennial group. Throughout the years, the core values of the franchisee have remained the same. Popular initiatives that welcome innovation, such as NextGen, are the powerful tools that connect the past to the future of the franchise model.

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