According to the U.S. Census Bureau, ethnic minorities account
for nearly 30 percent of the population. This number, however, is
not reflected in franchising. Some companies estimate that only 1
percent of their franchisees are minority owned.
The National Minority Franchising Initiative wants to change that. Using education to increase minority franchising, the for-profit organization has created a Web site (www.minorityfranchising.com), has published a book (Bonds Minority Franchising Guide) and sponsors seminars held in seven major cities. "The seminars devote nine hours to a discussion about the elements of franchising," says Rob Bond, president of Source Book Publications, the founder of the initiative.
Bond perceived a need for educating minorities about franchising, but hopes the seminars will go a step further, by also connecting minorities with franchisors. Franchises involved with the seminars include the 12 underwriters of the initiative, chosen for being leaders with-in their fields and for boast-ing outstanding records of recruiting minorities.
One such underwriter is General Nutrition Centers, which has ethnic minorities representing nearly one-fourth the company's franchisees. "We are extemely fortunate to attract strong candidates from a broad segment of the pop-ulation," says Russ Cooper, senior vice president and general manager of GNC Franchising Inc., which is based in Pittsburgh."Given the large demographic base of our customers, we want franchisees who can serve those customers' needs especially well."
GNC provides direct financing and guarantees leases for all franchisees as well.
GNC, (800) 766-7099;