Standard Bank Incubator programme to stimulate growth of SA franchises

In a bid to assist local entrepreneurs to take a step into the world of franchising while benefiting from hands-on experience from leading franchising experts, Standard Bank and Franchising Plus have collaborated to launch a unique ‘Franchising Incubator’ programme. 

The objective of the programme is to assist these businesses to develop a sound strategy for expansion, using franchising as the mechanism to do so. The first step in this process is to ensure that the fundamentals of the business are correct before the business can be replicated. Once the fundamentals are correct we then have a proven blueprint for successful replication which would lead to employment creation, entrepreneurship and business sustainability.

Simone Cooper, Head of Enterprise Development and Franchising at Standard Bank, says when it comes to the creation of local franchisors, South Africa lags behind when compared to the rest of the world. About 12% of national retail sales go through franchises. In the USA, franchises account for about 54% of national retail sales; in Australia the figure is more than 30%. 

This initiative is directed to businesses that have been on operation for two or more years, wishing to grow their businesses using the franchising principles. These businesses should be profitable, black owned and willing to invest their time and money in the development process. Currently we have 12 entrepreneurs attending comprehensive courses and benefiting from practical business consultations for 12 months.

“What makes the project relevant and exciting is that the businesses selected for the incubator programme represent a broad cross-section of business sectors. We have the fast-moving consumer goods businesses operating in the fast foods industry – traditionally a major franchising sector - through to individuals that are running successful technology-based companies that offer unique services to consumers,” says Ms Cooper.

“The business owners have been selected on the basis of their accomplishments and the ability of their businesses to be effectively replicated. The team from Franchising Plus is led by Eric Parker, Senior Partner, who has more than 20 years of experience in creating leading franchise brands and mentoring the growth of others.”

Two intensive workshops on the basics of getting a business ready for franchising are offered to the entrepreneurs. Implementation, supported by Franchising Plus, then follows, with each business owner receiving practical assistance as required for six months.

“The Franchising Incubator programme is a tangible initiative that we believe will not only help more South Africans to enter the world of franchising, but a programme that will create employment opportunities for many more of our citizens.”