Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Franchising SME Franchising is the name of the game

By Minerva BC Newman (PIA-Cebu)

Cebu City (20 September) -— “In business today, franchising is the name of the game. It will make you rich, and even a billionaire,” thus said Samie Lim, chairman emeritus of the Philippine Franchising Association (PFA) during the 1st Franchise Conference and Expo 2006 held recently in Cebu.

Zorayda Amalia Alonso, Dept of Trade and Industry (DTI) undersecretary challenged the Cebuanos to seriously consider franchising business as Filipinos are now beginning to embrace the franchising evolution business.

Alonzo, who is also the chairperson and CEO of the Small Business Corporation (SB Corp), a financing arm of the government, said, this year, the SB Corp. aims to release about P12-15 Million funding assistance for its SME-Force (SME-Financing for organizationally Competent and Excellent Franchise Business).

“Under this program, SB Corporation provides credit access to franchisees that are eligible to secure new or additional financing from banking institutions due to insufficient collateral or other considerations. Last year, according to Alonzo, the SME-Force program released only P4.3M. It could be attributed to the lack of awareness of potential borrowers,” she added.

Alonzo further said, Cebu has the biggest loan portfolio outside of Metro Manila and she hopes that Cebuanos will make the most out of the available financing support from the government.

Meanwhile, Lim of the Philippine Franchising Association encourages the Cebuanos to venture into franchising as he mentioned more than a dozen franchisee opportunities to engage into. He added, Cebu is admittedly the center for tourism in the country and there is a tremendous window for entrepreneurs to develop tourism and wellness-related businesses through the franchising scheme.

“The possibility of entering into Clean Toilet business for franchise; shower facilities; mini-malls in port and terminal areas; health and wellness services; accommodation; food; internet café’s and other access infrastructure to support tourism,” Lim added.

He mentioned that in 1990, there were only 50 companies that offered their business for franchising. Today, it went up to more than 700 companies reaching more than 100,000 franchise outlets that generated about 500,000 jobs. Worldwide, 90 percent of business that into franchising succeeded and only about 15 percent of newly installed businesses were able to sustain operation in five years.

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