NatWest and RBS are making £100 million-worth of loans available to franchisees
The fund could finance up to 1,800 new franchise businesses and 24,000 new jobs, claim the banks, which are also offering two years free banking as part of the new deal.
It will also provide funds to help existing franchises finance investment.
“Everybody wants to see banks funding business growth, as well as helping new businesses get off the ground to create jobs - this is exactly what this fund will deliver,” says Peter Ibbetson, chairman of small business, NatWest and RBS.
“The industry has shown itself to be virtually recession-proof, so for the many people left out of work by the recession franchising is a great way to start up a business - plus they get the support of a big brand behind them.”
The latest survey by NatWest and the British Franchise Association shows why franchising has become so popular with Britain’s entrepreneurs.
At the height of the economic downturn the industry’s turnover increased to £11.8 billion - with 94 per cent of franchisors optimistic about the future.
The franchise model has always represented an attractive route to running a business and is now encouraging more women to take the leap into enterprise.
The annual survey shows the number of female franchisees increased by 86 per cent in the past seven years.
“The fund is a great way of encouraging new entrants into this vibrant sector,” says Brian Smart, director general of the bfa.
“The UK franchise industry has performed well in recent years and we welcome the further investment to build on this momentum.”
In addition to the fund, franchisees can also benefit from the support of dedicated franchise teams within NatWest and RBS, drawing on 30 years’ experience supporting the industry.
For more information call 0800 092 9117. Alternatively, visit www.natwest.com/franchise or www.rbs.co.uk/franchise