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NatWest and RBS Launch £100m Franchise Fund to Kickstart Growth and Create Jobs

Fund offers reduced fee of 1% and 12 month capital repayments holidays
Fund creates opportunity for 24,000 new jobs in the UK
Research shows attractive growth in sector with 9 out of 10 franchises remaining profitable in recession
Recognising the potential for new and growing firms in the franchise industry, NatWest and RBS are making £100 million of new loans available to the sector with discounted fees. The fund could finance up to 1,800 new franchise businesses and 24,000 new jobs (based on typical start-up costs and franchisees typically employing around 13 staff). New franchises will also benefit from 2 years’ free banking.

Peter Ibbetson, chairman of small business, NatWest and RBS said: “Everybody wants to see banks funding business growth, as well as helping new businesses get off the ground to create jobs – this is exactly what this fund will deliver. The industry has shown itself to be virtually recession-proof, so for the many people left out of work by the recession franchising is a great way to start up a business – plus they get the support of a big brand behind them.”

The most recent survey by NatWest and the British Franchise Association* shows why franchising has become so popular with Britain’s entrepreneurs. In the height of the economic downturn, the industry’s turnover increased to £11.8 billion – with 94% of franchisors optimistic about the future. The franchise model has always represented an attractive route to running a business and is now encouraging more women to take the leap into enterprise. The annual survey shows the number of female franchisees increased by 86% in the last seven years.

The fund will also provide loans to help existing franchise businesses finance investment and ensure they are poised to take advantage of any opportunities as the market recovers. In addition to the fund, businesses can also benefit from the support of dedicated franchise teams within NatWest and RBS, drawing on 30 years experience supporting the industry.

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