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The franchising sector is bucking the downward trend in British business with record numbers of companies successfully franchising their businesses and individuals buying these business opportunities.

At a reception in Norwich on Friday (23 September), MPs, officials from UK Trade and Industry (UKTI), as well as representatives from major banks heard about how many more people want to be their own bosses and that banks have funds readily available for this sector.

National Franchise Week starts on Monday, 26 September and culminates with the National Franchise Exhibition on Friday, 30 September and Saturday, 1 October at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.

Professor Roy Seaman, CFE, Managing Director of Franchise Development Services(FDS), a Norwich-based leader of the field, says that there are currently more than 1,500 franchisors trading in the UK and 2,500 businesses looking at expanding their business this way.

“More than 95,000 people own and operate a franchise and FDS has a further 105,000, who have registered an interest with FDS in owning a franchise,” he added. “The sector had an estimated turnover of £12.4 billion in 2010 and employs over 500,000 people.

“HSBC has already lent 150 per cent of the whole figure for last year on the back of a record figure for 2010 and has told us that there is no limit on the amount of capital available it can lend to the franchising sector.

Mark Scott, Director, Franchise Development at NatWest said: “The launch of our £100 million fund earlier in the year demonstrates our commitment to the franchise sector in our 30th year. It has been exceptionally well received by franchisors and franchisees alike, with over half the fund drawn or allocated in just a little over six months. With the last quarter of the year approaching, this is traditionally the busiest time for franchise lending and we look forward to the coming months.”

Lloyds TSB Commercial has 50 trained franchise managers across the UK who are available to support people looking to invest in franchise opportunities.

Richard Holden, Head of Franchising at Lloyds banking Group, added: “There is no limitation on the finance available from the bank to assist people set up their franchise business. Demand for franchising finance is high and Lloyds TSB Commercial views franchising as a key market.”

FDS has also announced that it has commissioned MBA students at the UEA to carry out a major research on the impact and benefit of franchising to the economy, as well as co-hosting an Export By Franchising seminar with UKTI at IWM Duxford on 13 October.


For further information please call Roy Seaman on 01603 620 301.

Notes to Editors:

Established in 1981, Franchise Development Services (FDS) is an international franchise consultancy and publishing group dedicated to providing a portfolio of services to franchisors and franchise owners.

Franchise Facts

£12.4 billion – The franchise industry’s estimated total economic contribution to the UK economy in 2010-2011
540,400 – The amount of people working in the UK franchise industry
95,000 – The total number of franchise units in the UK
15% - The increase in UK jobs created by new franchise start-ups in the last 12 months
1,511 – The number of franchisors trading in the UK
2,490 – The number of potential franchisors in the UK
100,628 – Number of potential franchisees in the UK
£335,000 – Average franchise owner annual turnover
78% of UK franchise systems are owned by an organisation based in the UK
31% of franchisors award master franchise rights outside the UK, as well as their domestic operations
5% – The current annual increase in franchisor’s contribution to the UK economy since 2009-2010
£81,900 – Average investment cost paid by franchise owners to acquire a franchise.
£100 million – The amount NatWest set aside for franchises for this year
22% – The rise people expressing a wish to own a franchise, according to HSBC
15% - The rise in companies wanting to expand their business by franchising, according to HSBC

Information taken from the NatWest/British Franchise Association Survey 2011 & FDS database

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