I am very excited about the Chamber’s involvement with the newly established National Franchise Centre at Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT). The Centre is the  first of its kind in Europe offering  dedicated programmes in excellence for franchise development. The Chamber is delighted to be supporting LIT on this project as the Insitute has a proven track record in business support measures such as the Enterprise Acceleration Centre.

What is most exciting about this Centre is that €1 million in funding has already been secured from the European Globalisation Fund (EGF) meaning that the centre will be able to offer courses for up to 100 former Dell workers from January 2011! Although the funding from the EGF is ring-fenced for former Dell employees the centre hopes to offer up to 100 additional places to non-Dell workers.

This Centre will provide the ideal opportunity for those who have always dreamed of setting up their own business.  Operating a franchise allows you the freedom of being your own boss but with the support of a greater network around you. Typically 80% of franchise companies succeed in the first five years!

This centre will coach those looking to set-up a franchise through various business skills from marketing, staff relations, business planning, finance, time management, presentation techniques and many others. In addition, banks provide up to 70% funding to purchase franchises, such is their confidence in their success rate. The centre will facilitate funding negotiations for individuals participating in the programme as well as doing a compatibility match to select the best franchise.

Unfortunately the current economic climate has resulted in many people losing their jobs. This has resulted in a pool of  talented, creative and innovative people with the drive and energy to create something new for themselves and their families future. The establishment of this Centre will provide the ideal opportunity for people to turn this current climate into their successful future.

For more information on the Centre and the Programmes on offer visit www.lit.ie or www.limerickchamber.ie