Saturday, August 12, 2006

Franchise Management 401

St. Scholastica's College is pioneering a four-year course in franchising, one of the most successful business models around.

By Maria Teresa O. Herrera

St. Scholastica's College offered a full course in entrepreneurship in 1965 and a two-year program on small business management three decades later. Now it has decided to add a new course in franchising, one of the most successful business models around, and signed a deal with GMB Franchise Consultants to develop a curriculum on franchise management. "Based on the report of the Philippine Franchising Association, there were only 50 franchisees in the country in the early '90s," says Delfin Mauricio, chairman of the school's Department of Entrepreneurship. "Today there are over 500 franchises in the country, which accounts for an 80 percent increase."

St. Scholastica's says its franchising course will combine management knowledge, the marketing power of a large organization, and the motivation and dedication of owner-managers. It aims to prepare students for leadership roles in entrepreneurship and franchise management by teaching them current business theories and practices and the language of business. "The course intends to mold students to become certified entrepreneurs and franchise executives with a strong sense of social responsibility," says Mauricio. "The program will expose them to the business community, hone their management skills, raise their understanding of the market economy, expand their creative thinking, and improve their decision-making skills."

Mauricio says no other college or university in Asia offers a degree program in franchise management, which St. Scholastica's is pioneering with support from the franchising industry. The course will expose students to in-house professors and instructors and speakers from the Association of Filipino Franchisers and other specialists. They will train on and off campus. "This course will enable students to apply the concepts, techniques and skills that they have gained in all the subjects taken, and they will be exposed to different business settings," says Maurico.

St. Scholastica's will propose the course to second-year and third-year commerce students, but next year it will start accepting new students for the four-year program. "We will also open this course to all interested students even if they're beyond school age," says Mauricio. "We aspire to produce world-class women entrepreneurs and franchisees. We want to be known as the premier school for franchise management."

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