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Veterans initiative

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Veterans initiative

  1. 1. V e t er a ns i n Fr a nch isi ng Spot l ig h t o n V e t er a ns Veteran Franchise I n i t i at i v e ( V F I ) Launch Equity Grant Program “More than 1,000,000 Veterans will be returning home over the next five years to a slow economy with limited employment prospects.” Veteran Franchise Initiative (VFI) debuted recently at the MFV West Coast Franchise Expo in Anaheim, CA, to enthusiastic response from both Veterans and franchisors. Established as a benefit corporation, VFI was created to provide U.S. Veterans with equity funding grants, enabling them to secure business financing for the purchase of a franchised business opportunity. Independent business owners Richard Ashe of Veteran Franchise Centers, and Mary McKeown-Christie and Tracey Nelson of MMS::Maven Marketing Solutions formed the Veterans Franchise Initiative (VFI) in response to the issue of veteran unemployment and to the challenges encountered by Veterans wishing to start their own businesses. More than 1,000,000 Veterans will be returning home over the next five years to a slow economy with limited employment prospects. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 11.7 percent of Veterans are currently unemployed in the U.S., compared to 9.1 percent for the overall population. However, as multiple franchisors have discovered, most Veterans have the specific qualities that make great Franchising USA
  2. 2. “The overarching goal of the organization is to raise a minimum of $1.5 million dollars per year to fund at least 40 Veterans annually.” franchisees, including discipline, initiative, leadership and teamwork skills. VFI was founded on the belief that qualified Veterans who have already given so much to our country should be given the opportunity to build a business – and to succeed. Veteran entrepreneurship is a win-win for both Veterans and for the economy, not only providing Veterans with a means to stability and dignity through entrepreneurship, but also stimulating their local communities. Although the SBA has defined loan programs such as the Patriot Express Loan Program, and many franchisors offer discounts, equity requirements remain challenging for Veterans when securing the business financing and startup capital necessary to obtain loans. The VFI equity grant program’s goal is to address this problem for as many Veterans as possible. Grants are made possible through sponsorships and donations from companies, groups and individuals, and through a series of special events at MFV franchise expositions The VFI program is the first private initiative of its kind, and directly addresses the largest hurdle for Veterans to overcome when starting a business; equity funding to secure financing. The overarching goal of the organization is to raise a minimum of $1.5 million dollars per year to fund at least 40 Veterans annually. Veterans are nominated by franchisors, identifying them as individuals who meet their qualifications and to which they wish to award a franchise, but encountering difficulties raising enough equity for the requisite loans to launch their new business. VFI will hold a blind drawing among the nominees for the grants at three MFV Franchise tradeshows across the United States (Houston, New York, Anaheim) in 2014. The initial fundraising objective is to raise $100,000 by December 31, 2013 enabling VFI to issue grants to qualified Veterans in early February 2014 at the Franchise Expo South in Houston, TX. Griffin Legal PLLC, MFV Expositions, Multiple franchisors have offered to get involved with the VFI program through direct donations, sponsorships and fundraising campaigns. In addition to Veteran Franchise Centers and MMS::Maven Marketing Solutions LLC, foundational partners include to visit the link below and contact VFI to MaaSPROS and Fetch Graphics. Companies, groups and individuals who wish to thank U.S. Veterans for their service and assist them with meeting their minimum equity requirements are urged discuss working together in this important effort. The more funds raised, the more Veterans VFI helps. For more information: www.veteranfranchiseinitiative.org Franchising USA v e t er a ns i n fr a nch isi ng Page 69

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