The facts and figures behind franchising
By Maplebrook Wills
5th Dec '19
If you’re thinking about taking a leap and buying a franchise business, you’re in good company.
Statistics gathered by the British Franchise Association (BFA) and published by NatWest show that there are now over 700,000 people employed in franchises, about half of whom work full-time.
That may be a small fraction of the UK’s 32.5m total workforce but it’s a figure that’s gone up by 14% since 2015.
More women are getting into franchising too, with 37% of new franchisees being female. That’s an increase of 20% in the last four years. What’s more, around 65% of people employed within franchise units are female.
Franchises are appealing to younger people in greater numbers too. Among new franchisees, 18% are under the age of 30.
They’re also increasingly important to the economy. Turnover worth a combined £17bn is generated by franchised businesses – a rise of £2.1bn since 2015.
A low risk choice
“Thanks to franchising, more people are starting their own business and more jobs are being created. These figures show that whatever your background, with the right attitude and ambition you can thrive.
“The rate of female entrepreneurship is well above the national SME average, testament to the franchise community’s drive to empower women into business. We’ve come a long way since 2005, when more than 80% of newcomers were male.
“And the sharp increase in under-30s starting their own business is thanks to the franchise model bridging the gap between experience and ambition. I’m delighted to see so many younger people realising they have a choice between going it alone or being employed.”
The BFA/NatWest report, entitled 2018 Franchise Landscape, also provides comfort for those worried about the likely success of a franchised business. It says:
“Statistics show that around half of all non-franchised start-ups fail within five years. It’s unsurprising that banks in the UK have typically favoured lending to franchised businesses over other stand-alone small businesses.
Franchised businesses have the benefit of an established brand and a proven business model and are therefore much less likely to fail… Failure rates for franchises remain very low, with fewer than 1% per year closing due to commercial failure.”