The franchise model allows entrepreneurs across the globe to grow their companies at a rapid pace, while providing the opportunity to own a business for themselves, but not by themselves. Recognizing that thousands of exceptional business concepts from young entrepreneurs exist without the resources or expertise needed to succeed in franchising--and our strong desire to help them--stimulated the idea to create the NextGen in Franchising Global Competition five years ago.
In 2013, the IFA Foundation identified a niche way to connect with millennial by investing in emerging business owners who possessed the passion and drive that would inevitably fuel the future of franchising. While veteran brands remain at the forefront of the industry, these young concepts have far exceeded their ability to not only stay afloat, but to prosper, and NextGen has proven to be the vehicle that connects these businesses to franchising opportunities.
Since the inception of the NextGen in Franchising Global Competition, nearly 2,000 millennial entrepreneurs from more than 75 countries have applied. The franchising community maintains an incredible level of support and through the years has continued to be an asset to the growth of the previous winners of the competition.
Finalists have hailed from countries around the world, from Canada to Uganda, Nigeria, Australia, and the Philippines--to name a few. We've welcomed both traditional franchises, as well as social concepts that often were forged out of pure necessity and creativity. As we enter the fifth year of the competition, we took the time to connect with past winners to reflect on the growth they have garnered from their connection with NextGen and IFA since presenting their concepts at the annual IFA Convention years ago.
FOUNDER OF JIBU
2015 NextGen in Franchising Grand Prize Winner
Galen is a social entrepreneur who founded Jibu in 2012. Based in Africa, the company provides thousands of customers with the ability to access affordable drinking water. When Galen traveled to the United States to participate in the competition in 2015, Jibu had only two successful franchisees.
"The experience was eye-opening! We continue to learn more everyday through all the mentors and investors who have joined Jibu since. Being connected with franchising experts in various departments like legal and strategic support was the differentiator in the level of success we've reached over the past three years," he...