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Meeting the Demand for Green

Earth-conscious franchises attract like-minded entrepreneurs.

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This story appears in the December 2008 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Franchise development follows a typical cycle: Market characteristics determine what's hot, consumers eat it up and franchises follow suit. In the green scheme of things, the same holds true, says Mark Siebert, CEO of consulting firm iFranchise Group. "The trends you see with consumers are what you'll see in the franchise world thereafter," he explains. "You're not seeing a lot of pure green concepts yet, but the first wave [in green franchising] is just getting started."

That means franchising is rife with environmentally conscious opportunities in a variety of categories, including organic pizza shops, eco-friendly dry cleaning and green hotel chains. "Sometimes it's a matter of adding a green product line, and sometimes it's creating a whole new franchise," Siebert says. Either way, franchisors are trying to meet consumer demand first, then appeal to the franchisees who have a green streak.

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