5 Answers To The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Start Up Loans

5 Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Start Up Loans

What defines a start-up business?

This definition may vary, so it is important to clarify with your prospective lender whether you fit their definition of a start-up. Typically, a start up is a new company founded by entrepreneurs who want to bring a new and disruptive offering to the market. Given the high percentage of start ups that don’t make it past the first year, such ventures are associated with a certain level of risk, meaning it can be difficult to secure financial backing. As a result, many start-ups are running on a skeleton budget until they begin to generate revenue.

Working in a start up business can offer an exciting and fast-paced environment, often bringing together a group of people who are passionate about the idea. Some of the world’s most successful start-ups are not global organisations such as Microsoft, Facebook and Airbnb.


What funding options are available for start-ups?

Start-ups can access a wide range of financing solutions, from traditional and structured offerings to more alternative funding sources. Start-up businesses may struggle to get approval from mainstream lenders, especially if their business concept is a new and unproven model. However, there are still traditional business loan options available, often in the form of an operating lease or chattel mortgage. Such loans are generally secured using collateral like your home, vehicle, or savings.

If you do not want to put this collateral at risk, you may opt for a form of alternative funding. Non-bank lenders, private investors, crowdfunding and loans from family and friends are all great options. Non-bank lenders offer tailored funding solutions under more flexible terms and are a great fit for new businesses. If you are happy to consider exchanging a financial investment for equity in your start up, private investors and family loans can be a great option, especially if you are looking to launch an unconventional concept.


How much money do I need for my start-up?

This is something that business owners should figure out before approaching any funding providers. Lenders of all kinds will want to see proof of how much money your venture needs, rather than what you would ideally want. You should take the time to work out how much you need for tangible items such as equipment and fit-out, and how much is required for soft costs such as legal fees, marketing, staffing and rent. Depending on what funding option you choose you may not be able to access funds for soft costs, so it is important to have a clear breakdown of these expenses.


What are lenders looking for in a start-up loan application?

Typically, lenders are guided by ‘The 5 C’s of Credit’. These principles help funding providers evaluate the borrower and business viability, ensuring that responsible lending guidelines are followed. The 5 C’s are: Character, Capacity, Capital, Collateral and Conditions.

These guidelines build a holistic picture of the venture risk by looking at the character and reputation of the borrower, the businesses financial capacity to repay the loan based upon income, expenses and existing debt, how liquid the borrowers financial position is, what collateral is available to secure the loan, and the conditions of the finance term including interest rate and fees.

Whilst lenders each have their own unique application process, there is some standard information that will likely be required. Collating documents including ID, a business plan, asset and liability statement and financial projections can all make the process run smoothly.


Why might my start-up application be declined?

There are a range of reasons that potential lenders may decline your application for a start-up loan. These reasons likely relate to The 5 C’s of credit identified above, such as your perceived ability to repay the loan, the outlook of your cash flow forecast, and your ability to secure the loan.

However, some lenders only operate within specific markets, may seek to mitigate risk by not funding certain business models, or have a cap on funding limits for particular sectors. Based upon the information supplied in your business plan, a funding provider may opt not to approve your loan or invest in your start-up. This can be unrelated to the quality of your application and may be at the discretion of the lender and their own business decisions, if this is the case they will likely indicate this as the reason for decline.


New Support for Victoria’s Small Business Sector

New Support for Victoria's Small Business Sector

Recently Victorian business owners were told they can expect another wave of relief, with the Government announcing a third round of the Business Support Fund designed to help businesses through the struggles of trading in a pandemic landscape. This support is specifically available to businesses operating in Victoria, and is in addition to the Federal Government’s $40 billion Coronavirus SME Guarantee Scheme.

This new round of funding (Business Support Fund 3) will offer eligible businesses between $10,000 – $20,000 depending on their employee payroll expenses. The funds can be used towards a range of things to keep the business operational, including rent, salaries, legal support, marketing, and other business costs. As many small businesses try to continue operations despite decreased trade, they are still incurring overhead expenses relating to rent and staffing, which are significantly impacting revenue potential causing many to run on a loss.

To break this package down further, businesses whose annual payroll is less than $650,000 are able to access $10,000 in support funds. Those whose annual payroll falls between $650,000 and $3 million can receive $15,000, and between $3 million and $10 million may be eligible for $20,000. These figures mean that most small business owners can expect to receive at least $10,000 in funding.

Under Business Support Fund 3, only businesses operating in specific industries and sectors will be eligible for support, as they have been identified as the hardest hit because of COVID-19. These sectors include:

  • Tourism, Culture, Entertainment, Events, Sports and Recreation
  • Consumables and Services including Hospitality, Hair & Beauty, Real Estate and Retail, etc.
  • Community Services including Education, Healthcare, Veterinary Services, etc.

For a comprehensive list of the eligible classes, you can view the full list from the Victoria State Government here.

Eligible businesses can apply up until the 23rd of November 2020, and funds will be granted through an application process in which businesses will be crosschecked against the State Revenue Office and Worksafe among other government agencies to confirm their circumstances.

In additional to the third round of the Business Support Fund, the Victorian Government has also announced a range of other grants and incentives targeted and Sole Traders, Licensed Venues and Alpine Businesses.

The first of these builds on the existing Hospitality Business Grant program which offers grants to licensed venues such as bars, restaurants, pubs, and clubs. The government has assigned $251 million to be distributed in one-off grants of up to $30,000 to eligible businesses. Little details have been made available as of yet, but the level of funding will be based upon venue location and capacity.

The next program is designed to offer support for Sole Traders, who cannot access the current Business Support Fund currently available. The $100 million package offers grants of $3,000 to sole traders who are tenants of licensees in commercial locations. This is expected to provide relief for approximately 33,000 business owners.

Finally, the government has set aside $4.3 million to help alpine businesses cover fees and overheads after their high season was essentially shut-down, distributed in grants of up to $20,000.

As well as this new round of support packages being created to support struggling Victorian businesses, the government has announced they will be deferring $1.8 billion in fees and taxes to ease the burden during the pandemic. Businesses with payrolls up to $10 million will be eligible for deferrals across areas such as stamp duty, landfill levy, congestion levy, liquor licenses, residential land tax and payroll tax. At this time it is unclear whether this will be processed automatically or if businesses will have to apply.

Why the Government’s Coronarvirus SME Guarantee Scheme has delivered less than 4% of the $40 Billion allocated to it…

Why the Government’s Coronarvirus SME Guarantee Scheme has delivered less than 4% of the $40 Billion allocated to it…

When the federal government announced it would guarantee up to $40 Billion worth of loans to SME’s in order to keep funds flowing through the COVID-19 pandemic, business lenders cheered, but now those cheers have fallen silent. The funds have failed to flow and many people, including small business ombudsman Kate Carnell, are asking ‘why?’

So, let’s consider some of the hurdles…

  1. The Scheme specifically applies only to “Unsecured Loans”. Often this is one of the most expensive lending products pitched at small business, and whilst it may be one of the most flexible (the business can spend the money where they need to) many lenders charge a considerable premium compared to say equipment finance or other ‘Secured’ loans.

    Somewhat confusingly the Scheme Rules [3.2(b)] state that the loans must not be secured by any Security Interest (typically the goods financed by the lender which can be repossessed if the borrower defaults) other than personal guarantees or any Security Interest so long as the lender undertakes not to enforce it!

  1. Lenders are instructed to “determine lending standards in accordance with their usual credit assessment process”. A lender’s normal credit process is usually quite straight forward, put simply – “lend to businesses that can prove that they can and will pay you back.”

    Of course, in these abnormal times the usual credit assessment process simply isn’t realistic. Many small businesses cannot show that they will have any way to repay a loan without a change in circumstances, and without support (government support, community support, and creditor support).

  1. The fear of AFCA (Australian Financial Complaints Authority) Even though consumer Responsible Lending regulations don’t typically apply to small businesses, AFCA still hears (and often upholds) complaints in some form of “It was obvious I couldn’t afford the loan, the lender should never have lent me the money.”

    Wisely, the treasurer has amended AFCA’s terms so that an AFCA Decision Maker must consider complaints on the basis that lenders are allowed to disregard the impact of COVID-19 when determining the financial situation of the borrower (of course this is in complete conflict with “normal credit process”). More relevantly though, this ‘exemption’ applies only to Unsecured Loans under this scheme.

  1. The final nail in the coffin – Scheme loans cannot be used to refinance any existing debt. Surely this makes sense, right? Why would the government allow lenders to convert existing loans which it hasn’t guaranteed into new ones which it does guarantee? It’s important to understand that many small businesses do not access finance directly from a bank but via a ‘finance company’ (which may in turn be funded by a bank, or through another source).

    When COVID-19 hit and businesses started to miss repayments, the banks were given some relief around the treatment of impairments. However the finance companies were, and remain, at the mercy of their agreements with their wholesale funders. As bad debts increased many of these wholesale funding facilities have turned off the lights and gone home, or are simply overwhelmed trying to ‘fix’ the problem of existing customers who are behind in their payments, they have no intention of acquiring new potential problems.

What does all this mean?

Let us imagine for a moment you’re a small café struggling with limited trade due to COVID-19. You need to replace your broken coffee machine which costs $10,000.

You can apply for asset finance from your bank (it’s cheaper than an Unsecured Loan, remember) but the lender doesn’t approve it because:

  • The government guarantee doesn’t apply to this type of loan.
  • You’re a poor risk to repay the loan as trading is down and the future remains uncertain.
  • The lender needs to show that it appropriately applied its usual lending standards and credit policies.

OK, you say, I’ll pay a bit more and get a $10,000 Unsecured Loan under the Scheme, but is the lender any more inclined to approve you?

  • You’re still a bad risk to repay the loan.
  • If you don’t pay the lender, it does get back $0.50 in the dollar from the government, but to get any more it has to come after you personally (assuming it has your personal guarantee) and run the risk of being the big-bad-bank that sent you bankrupt.
  • The lender can’t even repossess the coffee machine as it would normally.

In either circumstance if you’re already behind in payments on some other loan the lender may not be able to lend you the money even if it wanted to!

So, how does the government fix this?

  • Allow the scheme to apply to all the typical major types of finance used by small businesses including leases and loans.

    This means that businesses can access cheaper rates when using the loans to buy things and they can take advantage of the Treasurer’s other flagship business stimulator ‘Accelerated Asset Depreciation’.

  • In allowing the Scheme to apply to leases and loans, allow lenders to take security over the assets they have financed as they normally would, but allow them to take personal guarantees only when not taking security over the assets being financed.

    This gives lenders confidence in their ability to recoup losses through a combination of the guarantee and sale of assets as they normally would and gives business owners comfort that their home isn’t necessarily being put on the line in these uncertain times. You could even have the draw on the guarantee only allowed once the assets have been sold (so if the assets get more than $0.50 in the dollar the government pays out less).

  • Extend the scheme to any approved lender which holds the loan on its own balance sheet or assigns the benefit of loans to its wholesale funding facility.

    This would mean these lenders can assign the benefit of the guarantee to their wholesale funders and (hopefully) turn on the broader tap of business funding once more.

  • Allow lenders to refinance a certain amount of existing customer debt within the scheme (perhaps 50% of the drawn loan amount). This could be limited to existing customers that had a facility which were up to date when COVID-19 struck.

    This would certainly have a significant impact in allowing lenders of all types to turn the tap back on to the customer. Yes, it means the taxpayer may be on the hook for funds which the lender had already committed, but it also means that the lender is far more likely to be comfortable extending their risk further to this customer.

Wrap all of the above in a set of simple rules that ensure lenders cannot enforce security or guarantees too soon in the process, and must be flexible around payment arrangements for COVID-19 impacted customers, particularly where circumstances change (like a renewed lockdown as we’re seeing in Victoria).

Digital Integration Booming Amid COVID-19

Digital Integration Booming Amid COVID-19

With Australia’s population hyper-aware of how their behaviour may put them at risk of COVID-19, the country’s retail sector is experiencing a wave of digital transformation. Whilst digital ordering and payment technologies have been around for some and seeing a steady increase in adoption rates, the recent health crisis has pushed forward this change and caused a boom in usage.

Many businesses are informing consumers that their preference is tap-and-pay in an effort to avoid the contact required by cash payments, resulting in Australian’s making 800 million card transactions a month as of March 2020. In fact, Australia has become the largest user of contactless payments globally, with 83% of point-of-sale card transactions being contactless according to the Reserve Bank of Australia. It’s clear that the country has been heading in this direction for some time, but the circumstances resulting from COVID-19 have meant businesses and consumers are truly embracing the no-contact movement.

The logical next step is the integration of digital payment technologies, which often go hand in hand with digital ordering platforms. This may come in the form of McDonald’s kiosks which eliminate the need for face-to-face interactions, or it could be a virtual platform such as KFC’s click-and-collect app. As these facilities become more popular, suppliers are racing to product savvy point-of-sale systems and software to support the demand.

On the consumer front, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay all offer digital wallet technologies which allow people to make payments using their phones and smart watches. Such services are now used by 10.8% of Australian’s. In this space, there are several trends emerging to ensure security and reduce the chance of theft or fraud. Biometric authentication is one of the most popular options and includes methods such as fingerprinting and facial recognition.

Longer standing digital payment providers such as PayPal are also getting involved, with many online and app-based ordering systems prompting consumers to connect their PayPal account for easy one-touch payment. This is part of the appeal of food delivery services such as Uber Eats where consumers can have food delivered completely contact-free with only a couple of clicks.

However, it is not only retailers that can benefit from adopting such digital technologies. Third-party providers are also taking a share of the market with a steep rise in the use of apps which allow users to send and receive money from friends. All you need to do it connect your credit card, bank account or PayPal and then you can use these apps to split the bill, send a gift or even manage rent payments among house-mates.

COVID-19 and the new health-conscious consumer landscape is certainly fast-tracking the adoption of digital technologies in both small and large business alike. However, we expect to see new and innovative ordering and payment technologies continuing to rise in popularity is both consumers and business owners seek convenience and efficiency.

Instant Asset Write-Off Extension Announced

Instant Asset Write-Off Extension Announced

With Australian small businesses across many industries feeling the pressure of the economic downturn triggered by COVID-19, the extension of the governments Instant Asset Write-Off scheme is a welcome announcement. The scheme was due to end on EOFY 31 June but has been extended until the end of 2020.

Originally offering an immediate deduction with a threshold amount for each asset of $30,000, the program is designed to support small businesses and encourage them to continue to invest in their own growth and expansion. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the threshold was extended to $150,000 as an incentive for more businesses to take part. Eligible businesses are those with an aggregated turnover of less than $500 million, however you can check your full eligibility here.

Whilst some advocates are pushing for the scheme to be made permanent in order to help bolster the growth of the counties small business sector, others are highlighting the $300 million cost of just extending the scheme another 6 months.

The government states that the extension will help support over 3.5 million small businesses who purchase new or used assets over the period. By enabling business owners to deduct the asset value in one hit rather than spacing it out over several years, cash flow and growth timelines can be improved. However, there is speculation of the schemes success as research suggests that many operators do not have the initial capital required to purchase the assets.

However, if this is the case there are several options which will allow small business owners to take part in the scheme. Utilising equipment financing is an option that allows for the immediate purchase of assets without having to dip into the businesses cash reserves. Common options are Operating Lease and Chattel Mortgage solutions.

Under a Chattel Mortgage loan, borrows own the assets from the outset and pay off the value over a set term. This allows business owners to depreciate the assets on their balance sheet, as well as have the potential to claim a tax input credit for any applicable GST on the purchase. Whereas under an Operating Lease the financier owns the equipment over the term of the loan, and at the end a residual value is paid to transfer ownership. The option is generally 100% tax deductible and popular among small business operators.

The extension of the Instant Asset Write-Off scheme is an opportunity for small businesses to invest in their growth and recovery post COVID-19. Whether owners are looking to invest in new technology, operating equipment or machinery now is a great time to consider purchasing.

Wellbeing: A Field Manager Self-Check

Wellbeing: A Field Manager Self-Check

A role as a field management can be dynamic, challenging and rewarding. However, when working in the field, managing your own mental health is an important part of the job. Not only does it help you maintain a healthy work-life balance but is a vital element in your ability to achieve success in your role. Often, those working in management rolls can ignore their own stress or neglect their wellbeing when addressing the challenges of their franchisees.

Field work, case work and people management can be stressful careers, and those who work in such roles need to ensure they are taking time to undertake a self-check and remain aware of their own wellbeing. This may come in many different forms, depending on how you experience stress and what helps revitalise you. Common stress responses include physical manifestations such as headaches, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, and muscle tightness. However, stress can also display itself through behavioural symptoms irritability, anxiety, disengagement, and inability to concentrate.

Field managers are often excellent at picking up these signs and symptoms in their franchisees yet may struggle to identify them within their own behaviour. Dealing with franchisees who may be doing through a period of distress can be emotionally draining for field managers. Often, people may take on the problems and stresses of their franchisees at the cost of their own mental health.

In a recent FRI breakout session, the Cashflow It Group team gained some valuable insights from field managers on how they maintain their energy and manage the challenges they face everyday in their role. There were some clear trends, however it is important to consider that what works for one person may not be right for you.

Traditional self-care activities such as daily exercise, meditation and mindfulness are all popular choices. There were however some more unique responses such as learning new skills to share with franchisees, collaborative work projects, and future planning. These activities can help build more personal connections with franchisees and refocus thoughts towards more optimistic times ahead.

No matter how well you manage stress, it is important to take the time to step-back and undertake a wellbeing self-check. Try to consider if you are placing your wellbeing at the forefront of your priorities, and if not, carve out some time in your schedule to dedicate to self-care.


A Guide to Conducting Effective Virtual Field Visits

A Guide to Conducting Effective Virtual Field Visits
The way we communicate and connect with those around us has changed dramatically as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across the globe. Many franchisees have had to adapt their operating model in order to meet social distancing standards, and this same methodology applies to those working on the franchisor side of the business. Field managers’ roles often involve travelling around and logging face-to-face hours with their franchisees, however at this current time it just is not feasible, and as a result virtual field visits are becoming more common.

Despite the many ways that virtual field visits can increase efficiencies, such as reduced travel time and more flexibility in scheduling, this can be counteracted by technical issues and distractions and at time derail meeting plans. So, how can field managers best conduct effective virtual field visits?

The tools you choose to use matter. Opting to conduct visits over a video platform is a great choice as it helps to make the conversation personal and allows participants to gauge each other’s reactions and engagement. However, ensure that there is the option to partake with audio only, as video requires a strong internet connection which may not be accessible. Another important step is for both the field manager and franchisee to do a test-run ahead of time. Making sure that the chosen software is installed correctly, webcams and microphones are working, and that everyone is familiar with the program will avoid any frustrations.

The next step is to plan an agenda to ensure that the meeting stays on track. This is something that field managers would likely do regardless, however during a virtual visit it is vital that the conversation stays focused. Field managers should reach out to the franchisee in advance and ask if there is anything they would like to discuss in the meeting. This allows both parties to prepare any necessary resources and ensure that each issue can be properly addressed during the virtual visit.

The sharing of information and resources is also an important consideration. The software or platform being used to conduct the meeting will determine the process for sharing of resources. Some platforms will allow for the live sharing of documents during the meeting, whereas others may not have this capability meaning that documents should be sent ahead of time via email.

Finally, it is important that all participants are given time to talk. Just like in any field visit, there should be a balance between what the franchisee is bringing to the table and what the field manager is contributing. Ensure that the environment is collaborative and productive, this can be achieved by discouraging multi-taking or the use of any ‘mute’ functions.

We hope that these tips help both franchisees and field managers in adapting to our new normal (at least for the moment). Field visits are an important part of the franchisor-franchisee relationship and the ability to continue conducting such visits despite social distancing restrictions will help keep the network connected.


Co-working Spaces, A New Opportunity in Franchising

Co-working Spaces, A New Opportunity in Franchising

Co-working spaces are trending globally as employees call for more flexibility in their working arrangements and companies embrace the remote workplace. The concept of shared office spaces is not a new one, with many small companies opting to pool their resources into a shared office space. However, this trend has evolved into the co-working spaces we know today, unique multi-purpose buildings often located in city hubs and retail precincts.

International Workplace Group reported that by 2030, it is predicted that 30% commercial real estate will be flexible workplaces. This figure is quite realistic, with the co-working market current worth $36 billion and at least 50% of workers doing their job remotely a couple of day a week. A survey of 18,000 business leaders found that an overwhelming 89% believed utilising flexible workspaces helps their business grow.

With flexible workplaces and remote working set to become the new normal, we can expect to see changes in city plans, with a shift away from corporate parks and office districts towards a more integrated approach. A significant appeal of many co-working spaces is their proximity to dining and retail amenities, often located in the heart of the city.

As an industry set to see significant growth in the coming years, co-working spaces present an opportunity for the franchise industry to grow and diversify. Whilst traditionally the franchise model is associated with retail and quick service restaurant brands, getting involved in a flexible workplace franchise is an investment in a new era of corporate operations.

With lower overheads and operating costs than more traditional franchise businesses, co-working spaces present an opportunity for high return. There are a range of options for those looking to invest, ranging from a full service office space, with hot desking, private offices, meeting rooms and communal areas, or simply a desk within a large open plan space.

So whether you are looking to purchase your first franchise, or diversify your existing franchising portfolio the co-working market could be the right investment for you.

Accessing Business Finance With No Property Backing

Accessing Business Finance With No Property Backing

There is no doubt that access to funds has been a major barrier to small business ownership for a long time, and over the fast few years the complex application requirements of the big banks have become more restrictive. Recently, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported that 1 in 3 Australians don’t own a home. The increasing volatility of the country’s property market means that home ownership is becoming increasingly unattainable, and further those who do own property are struggling as property values fluctuate.

Even though 60% of small business owners are looking for funds to grow their business, the concern of property backing is becoming an increasing challenge. This is where non-bank lenders and alternative finance providers can help. Whilst such lenders have always played an important role in bridging the gap between the offerings of traditional banks and the varied needs of small business owners, their role in Australia’s lending landscape is becoming more important than ever.

Non-bank lenders are experiencing a steep rise in adoption rates. Though many are unable to compete with traditional providers on interest rate, they offer a wealth of other benefits which appeal to small business borrowers. Quicker and simpler application processes, reduced paperwork, flexibility and transparency were among some of the favour characteristics of alternative lenders. However most notably, non-bank lenders willingness to secure against business assets rather than personal property assets has been a key differentiator.

Whilst banks are still resistant to offer business loans which don’t take personal property as security, the flexible funding options of non-bank funders are more aligned with the circumstance of many of Australia’s small business owners. Whilst it is likely that borrows will have to compromise on rate, studies found that this is not a major concern. A recent SME Growth index found that a hopping 91% of SMEs would be willing to pay a higher interest rate to avoid using their home as security. This percentage reflects the impact that Australia’s property market is having on business owners.

The key takeaway is that if you are not a homeowner, or you don’t want to risk your home as security, there are options out there to suit you. Whilst banks and traditional lenders are a staple of Australia’s lending landscape, small business owners should consider non-bank and alternative funding sources that may be a better fit for their business finance needs.

CSR in Franchising

CSR in Franchising

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become an important part of an organisation’s activities and branding. Such activities are for the social, economic and environmental benefit of employees, customers, the wider community and the planet, and are being place higher on the priority list of many franchise executive teams. It is important for brands to be good corporate citizens and engaging in activities which are socially responsible and aligned with the brands values and beliefs is for the benefit of all involved.

Research conducted by YouGov Omnibus found that 87% of Australians strongly supported CSR, and the majority of consumer feel that businesses have a responsibility to ensure that their supply chains are ethical and sustainable. Further, it was found that consumers do take into consideration CSR when choosing a brand, especially actions such as supporting charity.

Throughout the franchise industry, there is no doubt that organisations are taking on the advice and doing their part to reduce their impact on the environment, support struggling communities and local charities.

On the environmental front, Chatime recently announced the ‘Project Happy Turtle’ campaign, part of their goal to be free of single-use plastic by 2020. This campaign is in response to feedback from their consumers, who would like to see brands becoming more environmentally conscious across the board. Chatime started small, swapping out their plastic straws for a paper alternative across their 125 locations. The next step is making the move to compostable cups and lids across their network.

Muffin Break has also taken initiative to reduce the impact of their business on the environment, partnering with Closed Loop through their Simply Cups program to encourage recycling of their disposable coffee cups. The installation of specialised coffee cup recycling bins will help reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfill and is part of their broader efforts to remove all single-use plastics from their stores.

QSR franchise Zambrero have been leading the way in their actions as a good corporate citizen. Their annual Plate 4 Plate day aligns with World Food Day and involves thousands of volunteers packing meals to be sent to schools around the world. The initiative operates year-round and donates one meal to those in need for each meal purchased through the franchise. In 2019 over 450,000 meals were packed during the three-hour event, contributing to Zambrero’s goal to end world hunger by 2030.

Fundraising initiatives also play a large role in the CSR actions of Australian franchises, such as tyre retailers Birdgestone announcing a partnership with the Leukaemia Foundation. The ongoing initiative will see $2 for every Turanza Serenity Plus tyre sold donated to the charity. Plus Fitness has also just donated $70,000 to Beyond Blue, raised during their Lift Yourself Up initiative which saw $0 for ever new member in August donated to the charity.

No matter whether it is a donation of time, money or resources, businesses within the franchise industry are becoming more involved as corporate citizens. Launching initiatives, both one off and ongoing to mitigate their impact on the environment or support communities and groups in need is becoming more and more common.