According to the American Council on Education, approximately 1.5 million service members will be transitioning out of the military in the next three to five years and will be seeking employment opportunities. Owning a home-based franchise provides veterans flexibility to maximize family time while earning a living. For the fifth year in a row, home-based travel franchise CruiseOne / Dream Vacations will be hosting its annual “Operation Vetrepreneur: Become Your Own General” contest, which has given away $250,000 in franchise opportunities to 20 military veterans since inception. Military veterans interested in an adventure with a new career selling all types travel experiences from the comfort of their home can enter the contest beginning Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, 2016, through Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016.
“Franchising is an appealing career move for military veterans who have been out of service for many years and for those who have recently transitioned because of their leadership skills, the system-based model, ongoing training opportunities and familial atmosphere,” said Tim Courtney, vice president of franchise development and ambassador of veteran affairs for CruiseOne / Dream Vacations.
The CruiseOne / Dream Vacations franchise contest is open to former members of any of the five branches of the U.S. military (Army, Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard) who are retired, off active duty and/or honorably discharged prior to the contest start date.
Candidates will participate in three rounds of judging. First, they will participate in a phone interview with a CruiseOne / Dream Vacations franchise development specialist. Semi-finalists will be required to submit a franchise application, business plan, video and resume, all of which will be scored by the CruiseOne / Dream Vacations executive team. Final candidates will be invited to participate in follow-up phone interviews before winners are selected.
Five winners will be notified in September 2016. Each grand prize is valued at $12,700 and includes a complimentary CruiseOne / Dream Vacations franchise with a waived $9,800 initial start-up fee and monthly service fees. The new recruits will report for active duty in November, when they participate in a weeklong franchise training boot camp at the CruiseOne / Dream Vacations’ state-of-the-art world headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Winners will be reimbursed up to $500 for their travel and provided with complimentary accommodations during the training program. Once training is completed, winners will be armed with all the tools and knowledge they need to begin their dream business creating dream vacations.
“Military veterans are such an important member of society that we are honored to have the opportunity to ease their transition to civilian life and make their business dreams become a reality,” said Debbie Fiorino, senior vice president of CruiseOne / Dream Vacations. “Plus, they have the option to select and operate as a brand that reflects what they truly want to sell.”
A member of the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) VetFran initiative, CruiseOne / Dream Vacations is committed to giving back to the military community and offers many incentive programs including a 20 percent discount off the franchise fee and additional discounts for hiring former members of the U.S. military or active-duty military spouses as associates. More than 30 percent of the home-based travel franchise system are military veterans or active-duty spouses.
Consistently recognized by leading industry publications as a military-friendly franchise, CruiseOne / Dream Vacations’ accolades include a number one ranking the past two years in a row by Military Times in its “Best for Vets: Franchises” list, inclusion on G.I. Jobsannual “Hot Franchises for Veterans” the past six years and recognition by MSC Cruises in its first-ever Seaside Salute Award. Additional accolades include being named “Top 10 Military Friendly Franchise” by Forbes, “Top Veteran-Friendly Franchise” by Entrepreneur and U.S. Veterans magazines and inclusion on USA Today’s “50 Top Franchises for Military Veterans.”
“I love being a travel specialist with CruiseOne / Dream Vacations because of their strong commitment to the travel industry, and their never ending support to the agents, regardless if it is your first day or you have been with them for a decade,” said Army Veteran and Franchise Owner Mattie Johnson. “Most importantly, CruiseOne / Dream Vacations honors veterans on a level which changes lives…mine has definitely changed for the better as a 2015 Operation Vetrepreneur honoree.”
CruiseOne / Dream Vacations is committed to being “Rich in Diversity” and empowers all owners, agents and employees to reach their highest potential by leveraging their broad range of talent, experiences, personalities, viewpoints and ideas to generate business growth.