Franchising continues to be an integral part of the American economy with more people of color starting businesses with a trusted brand. Answering the call to boost opportunities for minority entrepreneurs is Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. The parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins has teamed up with the NAACP to create a Diversity Franchising Initiative meant to increase the number of African American-owned franchise businesses in the United States. Through the partnership, communities of color and would-be franchisees will gain access to in-depth franchising education and training as well as assistance in overcoming the financial challenges related to becoming a franchise owner.
“Franchising can be a powerful economic tool that further enables the African American community and others to realize the American dream of business ownership,” said Cornell William Brooks, president and CEO of the NAACP announced at the group’s 105th annual convention in Las Vegas. “We are excited to announce this unique partnership with Dunkin’ Brands and to improve opportunities for people of color in the franchising sector because of the substantial impact these agreements have on empowering and employing people of color.”
The Dunkin’ Brands Diversity in Franchising Initiative will provide education, networking opportunities and information on critical topics including access to capital, added Dedrick Muhammad, senior director of the NAACP Economic Department. “Ultimately, we hope this program helps to increase the number of African-American franchise business owners in the U.S. in both the short and long term.” The NAACP Economic Department was relaunched in 2011 and currently has four program areas: Fair Lending; Economic Education; Opportunity and Diversity; and Community Economic Development.
With more than 18,000 points of distribution in nearly 60 countries worldwide, Dunkin’ Brands Group, headquartered in Canton, Massachusetts, is one of the world’s leading franchisors of quick service restaurants. At the end of fiscal 2013, Dunkin’ Brands’, nearly 100% franchised business model, included nearly 11,000 Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants and 7,300 Baskin-Robbins restaurants.
The new initiative is a part of Dunkin’ Brands’ ongoing efforts to provide resources to help qualified franchisee candidates overcome barriers associated with financing, including providing guidance on business plan development, facilitating access to capital, and forging relationships with local community lenders.
“We are proud to launch this partnership with the NAACP. Working together, our goal is to increase African American participation in the franchise industry, not just with Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, but across a wide spectrum of franchising concepts available in the marketplace,” noted Grant Benson, CFE, vice president of global franchising and business development, Dunkin’ Brands. “Additionally, we believe this partnership will enable Dunkin’ Brands to build a larger, more diverse pool of franchise candidates, accelerate our expansion in new and existing markets, and continue to build customer loyalty for our two brands across the country.”