ALLIED Irish Bank has launched a £50 million fund to help British franchise businesses – which could create more than 1,500 jobs across the country.
The new Franchising Fund, launched by the Irish firm this week, will be available to franchise businesses operating more than five units.
Their model will provide a “holistic” banking service for franchise clients and has the potential to create 1,500 British jobs, the firm claims.
AIB has hired to senior bankers to lead the fund, with Senior Franchise Manager Irving Lyon bringing 31 years of experience in the sector to the role.
He is joined by Francine Allen, Head of Franchising for the new fund, who said: “Our primary markets include fast food chains, coffee shops, retail and the hotel business.”
She added: “From a franchisor perspective, the franchise model provides them a way of developing their business with lower levels of investment, making it easier to quickly gain market share. For a franchisee, it gives the owner the benefit of a strong and proven brand.”
A 2013 survey carried out by the British Franchising Association and NatWest bank revealed that the overall contribution of franchising to the British economy has grown by 20% over the past 5 years.
The franchising model continues to prove popular with small and medium-sized business owner managers, according to Gerard O’Keeffe, Head of GB Business at AIB.
“The franchise market has experienced strong growth and shown itself to be resilient to the challenges of economic cycles,” he said.
“Many business owners and entrepreneurs are attracted by the risk mitigation and support associated with a quality franchise business,” he explained.
“This franchising fund is evidence of our continuing growth in the UK market and it fits perfectly with our expertise in the owner managed business segment. We are delighted to continue to support this business growth in the UK, contributing to new employment opportunities across the country.”