The Young Ones

Successfully starting up a business can be difficult at the best of times, but for young people it can be particularly challenging. However, becoming a franchise owner offers a genuine way for them to make their business dreams a reality.

Young people can be forgiven for viewing their employment prospects with a degree of trepidation at the moment. After all, with unemployment among the 16-24 age group at a 15-year high, the current climate isn't exactly promising for them.

In the circumstances, the idea of starting your own business can seem an attractive option - but it can present young people fresh from school, college or university with a number of problems.

Not only will they struggle calling on the relevant experience and skills involved in setting up a new business successfully, they'll also face the daunting prospect of finding adequate financing options before they even consider making their entrepreneurial debut.

But it's not all doom and gloom. Franchising offers ambitious young people the ideal route to setting up their own business, since it enables them to follow a tried and tested formula with the backing and support of a well-established brand. Naturally, this can deliver dramatically higher levels of success. For young people able to provide the required level of financing and who can demonstrate enough skills and potential, becoming a franchise owner can be an effective way of making their business dreams a reality.

Although they're still a rare breed (only six per cent of franchise owners are under 30 according to the Natwest bfa Franchise Survey 2010), more young people are looking at franchising as a way of successfully running their own business.

Even for those without the finance options and experience, the world of franchising offers business-minded young people another genuine opportunity - it's the ideal environment in which to learn valuable skills and techniques, and can be a solid platform for future plans.

Indeed, successful franchise networks are increasingly looking to their own employees to recruit new franchise owners - and that's good news for the thousands of young people currently unable to find their perfect job or start their own business.

"Working for a franchise is an ideal opportunity for young people to learn the business and raise funds with a view to owning their own operation in the near future," says Tom Endean, Marketing Director at the British Franchise Association.

"We've seen many successful examples of this in the past and I'd urge young people to have this in mind when job hunting. What may seem like a simple job to tide you over at the moment could well be the first step to owning your own business."

Over the following pages, The Franchise Magazine interviews a range of enterprising 'young ones' who have successfully launched their careers in franchising.

Reported by Eric Secker