A NEW franchising initiative set up by the Limerick Chamber and the Institute of Technology could deliver up to 500 jobs across five years, it has been claimed.
The National Franchise Centre, based in offices above AIB in O’Connell Street, is the first such centre of its kind in Europe.
Companies enrolled on the pioneering Franchise Acceleration Start Up Training (FAST) programme get comprehensive and inclusive enterprise training covering all aspects of running and working in a franchise business.
And last week, the first 20 franchisees graduated from the six month scheme, with the Limerick Chamber predicting up to 50 jobs will be created in the short term.
President of the Limerick Chamber Kieran MacSweeney said the centre was borne out of a desire to take a different approach to jobs creation.
“It matches people who have the entrepreneurial ability, and want to be their own boss, but don’t have the right idea, or necessarily the necessary business skills. Through a process of profiling, we match the appropriate franchise, then we give them the appropriate training over a concentrated six month period,” he explained.
A wide variety of companies were on show at the graduation ceremony, which took place on Tuesday.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Minister of State Jan O’Sullivan said: “We are celebrating the achievements of a group of 20 people who are living proof redundancy is not the end, that there are opportunities to be pursued even in these difficult times, and that their support is available for them to do just that.”
The second FAST programme is now open for applications. For more information, visit www.lit.ie.