VetFran helps veterans, military spouses and wounded warriors explore franchise ownership, employment opportunities: VetFran program celebrates momentous accomplishments.

Author:Blanchard, Kevin

Veterans Day marked a profound time of reflection for the International Franchise Association's VetFran program. In November 2011, IFA launched the Operation Enduring Opportunity campaign in partnership with the White House Joining Forces Initiative with the goal of hiring and recruiting as franchise owners 80,000 veterans, wounded warriors and their spouses through 2014.

To measure the progress of this goal, VetFran and Franchise Business Review conducted an industry-wide survey. The research determined that since January 2011, 151,557 veterans have started careers in franchising. Specifically, 146,365 found employment and 5,192 are new franchise business owners. Diligent recording of 1,159 participating franchise businesses enabled us to record this significant number.

In recognition of its hard work and VetFran accomplishments, IFA received the Capital One Award for Small Business Veteran and Military Spouse Employment during the Third Annual Lee Anderson Awards Dinner Nov. 12. IFA and VetFran member La Quinta Inns & Suites were honored with the Military Spouse Employment Award for hiring and support of military spouses in their search for meaningful employment in the private sector.

The dinner was hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's National Chamber Foundation, which launched Hiring Our Heroes in 2011 to help veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment. The program is an excellent example of how the public and private sector can work together in coordinating lasting improvements for veterans and their families in local communities. To date, Hiring Our Heroes has hosted more than 640 hiring fairs in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, helping 21,600 veterans and military spouses find jobs.

VetFran Signs Agreement with SBA

VetFran announced its formalized relationship with the U.S. Small Business Administration Nov. 5 by establishing a partnership to start, maintain and expand small-business opportunities for veterans in franchising. Through a Strategic Alliance Memorandum signed by IFA Pres. & CEO Steve Caldeira, CFE, and Acting SBA Administrator Jeanne Hulit, the association and SBA will work to support small-business development through specific training and outreach activities for veterans and their families.

"We are grateful for the support of the SBA to recognize the proven track record veterans have as employees and franchisees in our industry," said Caldeira.

"At the Small Business...

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