Franchising in the UK is set to grow 10 per cent over the next five years, according to Professor Roy Seaman CFE, Managing Director of Franchise Development Services.

Making the announcement at a conference before the launch of the UK National Franchise Week, Professor Seaman urged the government to realise that franchising had the potential to kick-start the economy more than any other sector of British industry.

“With government support and continued preferred lending from British banks, franchising could achieve a 10 per cent growth in the number of new franchisors in the next five years.

“Only 10 per cent of franchisors have reached saturation point, which means the majority of franchisors still have enormous growth potential.

“If we then assume that with continued bank support and government encouragement, we should see a 10 per cent growth per annum.” He pointed out that people who own and operate their own business outperform people who are employed.

“The time has arrived when we should recognise that unemployed people can be encouraged to become franchise owners and not re-join the ranks of employees,” added Professor Seaman.

Norwich South MP Simon Wright, who has pledged his support for the franchising sector, said: “I see the importance the franchise model has and the impact it makes on the economy.

“I can assure you that the government does want to support franchising.” Mark Scott, Director of Franchise Development at NatWest, said that his bank had a £100 million fund set aside to help the sector this year and already half the funds had been allocated.

“We are definitely in this for the long term and we are very committed to the sector,” he said. “The failure rate in any one year is less than five per cent and nine out of 10 are profitable.”

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