An innovative programme that will give 50 unemployed Greater Manchester residents the chance to start their own franchise business is being financially supported by NatWest and the Royal Bank of Scotland.
The banks are to provide £150,000 of sponsorship finance to FranchisingWorks, which is being piloted in Greater Manchester. The programme’s core aim is to reduce unemployment by creating new businesses and jobs through franchising.
FranchisingWorks is part of the Shaftesbury Partnership, a social reform organisation, and was launched in Manchester earlier this year. The programme is backed by NESTA, the Association of Greater Manchester Authorities (AGMA) and Manchester’s New Economy.
During the course of the next eight months, the pilot aims to provide 50 unemployed local residents with the opportunity to become a self-employed franchisee. Each candidate accepted on the programme will go through structured training designed to equip them with the key business skills to run a franchise.
FranchisingWorks also provides financial support to buy franchise licences for those successful candidates who are unable to cover the full cost themselves. When the new business becomes profitable, the franchisee can buy the licence from FranchisingWorks and repay the initial investment.
One of the first candidates to complete the programme has been Colin Hughes, who was made redundant last year after a 25-year career in various corporate roles. With FranchisingWorks’ support and training, Hughes has started his franchise business with VIP Bin Cleaning, providing a wheelie bin cleaning service for domestic and commercial customers in South Manchester.