This investment has now been redeemed and is no longer part of Big Society Capital's active portfolio.
When jobs are scarce, self-employment can seem an attractive but risky option. Franchising is a form of supported self-employment that seeks to lower this risk. It is very sustainable - 90% of franchise businesses are still operating after five years. However the upfront cost of franchise licences can preclude the long-term unemployed from accessing this form of employment.
To overcome this barrier, the FranchisingWorks Fund has been established to help finance the purchase of licences from reputable franchisors on behalf of the franchisees. This will enable those without financial resources of their own to start new franchise businesses. In short, the Fund seeks to turn jobseekers into job creators.
The Fund aims to track the increase in sustainable employment for the target beneficiary groups. It will also track the ethnicity, gender and age of the beneficiaries targeted.
Over five years, the Fund will make investments designed to support up to 200 unemployed and financially excluded people in Manchester to set up their own franchise businesses and could create a total of 800 jobs.
The Fund aims to prove a sustainable and scalable investment model where social finance can be used to support unemployed and financial excluded individuals back into the labour market through franchising and supported self-employment.