Report into whether franchising can help create quality jobs in London

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The International Centre for Social Franchising (ICSF) has released a new report ‘Franchising: The Potential to Create Quality Jobs in London’ which looks at the potential of franchises to provide quality employment for low income groups in London. Nicola Broadhurst, Head of Franchising at Stevens & Bolton LLP, was invited to take part in the research phase of the report and provide her views on the likely effectiveness of the different routes to providing employment put forward by the authors.

The ICSF’s report, produced in partnership with the Social Innovation Partnership and Numbers for Good, came out of research showing that there was a need for high quality, stable jobs in London. With the number of people employed in a franchise in the UK having grown 70% in the last 10 years, the ICSF looked to franchising to see if it could be part of the solution.

The ICSF looked at four different routes for creating jobs in the sector. The first option would be to have employment intermediaries recruiting and training low-income individuals to become franchisees and giving them support to access start-up capital required as well as providing on-going training and coaching to the individual. This was seen to potentially have a transformative impact on individuals and their families but would require intensive work to achieve.

The second and third options involved employment intermediaries matching low-income individuals with vacant positions in newly established franchise units and existing units respectively. The second route was considered to require financial benefit for the franchisee to be successful which may not be viable. The ICSF raised the prospect of the third route not creating new jobs but potentially duplicating existing employability initiatives already delivered outside the franchise sector.

The fourth option which many stakeholders supported was to apply the principles of franchising to mission led business. Whilst the ICSF considered there were operational issues put forwards in relation to the first three options, the fourth option was found to be worth exploring further.

Additionally, the ICSF considered that stronger ties between London’s franchising and employability sectors could increase employment of low-income individuals in franchises.

You can read the full report here.

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Nicola Broadhurst

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