According to the 2010 Census, minority groups make up 49 percent of the U.S. population. Research has shown that minorities, which includes Asian, Hispanic, African-American, Pacific Islander, and African-Indian groups, have made up 80 percent of U.S. population growth in recent years.
These rapidly growing American cultures will have a significant influence on the future development of the U.S. By increasing the number of minorities involved, the franchise industry will better reflect the diverse nature of the U.S. population. Presently, minority groups make up approximately 20 percent of the franchise industry.
Franchising opens up opportunities to learn new skills, grow and expand a business, or acquire a new one. Due to these opportunities, the IFA and other associations have set up programs in recent years that specifically support minority populations in their business pursuits to help boost their involvement in franchising.
With increasing numbers of franchise companies actively recruiting qualified minority franchisees, diversity and multiculturalism within the industry are flourishing more than ever before.
The DiversityFran program and the National Minority Franchising Initiative (NMFI) are two such projects that aim to expand the total of number of minority franchisors, franchisees, and firms involved in the franchising industry. They are both detailed further below.
Both programs host minority recruitment conventions that create opportunities for prospective franchisees to participate and meet with franchisors, companies, and experts paving the way for minorities to enter the franchising industry.
Launched by the International Franchise Association in 2006, DiversityFran (originally MinorityFran) is a “franchisee education and recruitment program designed to assist IFA members in reaching emerging markets and increasing diversity while educating diverse prospective franchisees about opportunities in franchising.”
The main goal of DiversityFran is to let minorities know that franchising is an affordable way to become a business owner. The program has relationships with several prominent organizations including the National Urban League, Minority Business Development Agency, U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, National Black MBA Association, Association of Small Business Development Centers, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors among others.
National Minority Franchising Initiative (NMFI)
The NMFI was established in 2000 to address the under-representation of minority groups in the U.S. franchise industry. The program seeks to provide a cost-efficient tool for franchisors to increase minority representation in their respective franchise systems. In 2006, the program was underwritten by 20 franchisors noted on the Minority Franchising website.
The NMFI teams up with minority organizations across the country to provide seminars on various franchising topics. Its publication, The Minority Franchise Guide, is a resource for both minorities and franchisors interested in recruiting minorities.
The initiative boasts a vast network of organizations, companies, and associations that are dedicated to minority groups in franchising. The network combines a broad range of resources, including publications, consulting and advisory services, and an informative online website, all of which make the NMFI a top provider of information to minority groups in the franchising industry.