Franchise sector gives back to local communities


Michael Paul | Chairman | Franchise Council of AustraliaThe vital contribution of franchising to local communities, local employment and local economies cannot be underestimated.

Indeed, one of the great strengths of the franchise business model is that while the franchisor provides support to franchisees through systems, training, processes, brand recognition and marketing, the franchisees themselves are still local small business owners, and are very much involved at a grassroots level in their communities.

The franchise sector as a whole is a strong supporter of charitable and community organisations and it’s always pleasing to see members of the Franchise Council of Australia extending a helping hand. Gloria Jeans Coffees is one example that, earlier this year, made a $5000 donation to support the victims of the devastating Waroona and district fires in Western Australia.

For many franchise systems, charitable contributions and support are an ingrained part of the corporate culture. This is the case, for example, with OPSM, the winner of the Franchisor Social Responsibility Award at the 2015 MYOB FCA Excellence in Franchising Awards. OPSM have supported OneSight, a non-profit organisation providing sustainable access to vision care for communities in need since 1988. The FCA is pleased to recognise their efforts in this regard.

The Franchise Council of Australia’s annual Excellence in Franchising Awards celebrates excellence in a broad range of areas with community and social responsibility being a core theme that runs through many of the award categories. These awards recognise the vital role franchises can and do play in the local communities in which they operate, providing franchisees, franchise head office staff and franchise systems with the opportunity to showcase their achievements in the franchise sector.

The FCA is proud that franchising plays a part in so many community initiatives and, in particular, would like to take this opportunity to celebrate the franchisees who give up their time or expertise to contribute to their local community and make it a better place to live. As an association, we believe that these are important stories to tell.

Indeed, at a franchisee level the Excellence in Franchising Awards recognises Franchisee Community Contribution and Responsibility, a category that, in 2015, was won by Alexandra Lincoln, John Bleakley and Kim Taylor of PRDnationwide Real Estate, Toowoomba City (QLD).

These PRDnationwide Real Estate franchisees were recognised for their outstanding local community contributions, and support of local charities. This included the team spearheading a community-wide ‘Home is Where the Heart Is’ fundraiser, including the sold-out charity gala ball that raised more than $15,000 for the Heart Foundation.

The 2016 Regional Excellence in Franchising Awards is now in full swing, and once again we are seeing some fantastic community contributions by franchisees. This has included Ryan Kirkham of Bakers Delight, Kawana & Maroochydore, who took out the Qld/NT Franchisee Community
Contribution and Responsibility Award this February.

As a local business owner on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Ryan believes in the importance of putting back into the community and supports a range of charity groups and initiatives. This includes the support of Wishlist, a Sunshine Coast charity that raises money for the improvement of local public health services, and Life Church where Ryan makes weekly bread donations that go to help homeless people and struggling families within the community.

This is just a snapshot of some of the great work franchisees are doing in their communities and I look forward to hearing more stories as the Regional Excellence in Franchising Awards program makes its way across Australia over the coming months.