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Franchises as Catalysts for Community Development

From creating jobs to providing goods and services to underserved areas, franchises serve as integral contributors to the growth and development of their communities.

By Chris IrbyCopy Editor
8:08AM 06/13/24

Franchises stand as significant pillars within communities, not just engines of economic growth but also powerful agents for community development. Kelley Hoven, brand president of Gatsby Glass, recently spoke with 1851 Franchise to share her insights on how franchises go beyond profit-making to become vital contributors to the well-being of the neighborhoods they serve.

1. Job Creation and Economic Empowerment

Franchises are vital contributors to local employment, offering diverse job opportunities across various skill levels. From entry-level positions to managerial roles, franchises provide avenues for individuals to support themselves and their families. Notably, many franchises prioritize hiring locally, injecting funds into the community and lowering unemployment rates. By offering stable employment and pathways for career advancement, franchises empower individuals to achieve financial stability and contribute to the local economy.

“In many cases, opportunities empower people just entering the workforce,” Hoven said, “providing a wonderful opportunity to develop lifelong, transformative skills in business-related activities such as sales and customer services, as well as hands-on application within the installation trades in the home services industries.”

2. Support for Local Entrepreneurship

Franchising serves as a pathway for aspiring entrepreneurs, especially within underserved communities. By providing access to established brands, proven business models and ongoing support, franchises mitigate the risks associated with starting a business from scratch. This fosters a culture of entrepreneurship within the community, driving economic growth and diversification. Moreover, franchise ownership enables individuals to leverage the brand recognition and resources of a larger organization while retaining ownership of their local enterprise.

“[Franchise ownership] also transcends needing years (or decades) of experience within an industry,” Hoven said, “given an existing, proven business model is already in place, coupled with the training and support to be empowered accordingly.”

3. Community Engagement and Corporate Social Responsibility

Franchise businesses actively engage with their communities through various initiatives and partnerships. Through sponsorships, donations and volunteer work, franchises demonstrate a commitment to giving back to the communities that support them. Many franchises participate in community events and fundraisers, establishing strong ties with residents and local organizations. By aligning their values with community needs and priorities, franchises become trusted partners in driving positive social change and addressing pressing issues.

“Many owners will invest heavily in their local community through sponsorships and volunteer activities, as they truly care for the wellbeing of the constituents they serve, feel a sense of pride in being a community advocate and work to favorably impact the quality of life within their community,” Hoven said.

4. Investment in Human Capital

Franchise businesses invest in the development and growth of their employees, offering training programs and advancement opportunities, as well as a supportive work environment. By nurturing talent and providing avenues for skill development, franchises empower individuals to reach their full potential and contribute meaningfully to the business's success. Additionally, franchises often collaborate with local educational institutions to offer development initiatives like internships and apprenticeships, further strengthening the workforce within the community.

“In many cases,” Hoven said, “franchises work closely with local school systems to offer internships for students who are interested in learning more about business management or the trades.”

5. Provision of Essential Goods and Services

Franchises often provide access to essential goods and services within communities, particularly in underserved areas. By establishing franchise locations in these regions, franchises fill gaps in access to healthcare, retail, food and other critical services. This enhances the quality of life for residents and stimulates economic development by attracting additional businesses and investment. Furthermore, franchises that prioritize sustainability and environmental responsibility contribute to community well-being by promoting eco-friendly practices and initiatives.

From creating jobs to providing goods and services to underserved markets, franchises play a crucial role in driving community development. As catalysts for positive change and responsible business practices, franchises have the potential to foster inclusive growth and empower individuals to thrive in their communities for generations to come.

For more on the role franchises can play in community development, check out these related articles on 1851 Franchise: