Yum Brands launches ‘franchise accelerator’ to improve diversity in the franchise

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Yum Brands on Thursday announced the launch of the Yum Franchise Accelerator, an effort with Howard University and the University of Louisville that is designed to help women and people of color interested in franchising.

Ten second-year MBA students, six from Howard and four from the University of Louisville, were selected for the five-month fellowship.

The intensive course will conclude with a pitch competition in which winners will have the opportunity to become future franchisees of one of Yum’s four brands.

This effort is part of the Yum Center for Global Franchise Excellence, launched last year at the University of Louisville College of Business.

Scott Catlett, chief legal officer and director of franchises at Yum, called the partnership “groundbreaking” and said the effort is designed to provide underrepresented groups with training to help them advance their careers in restaurant franchises. .

“The scholarship is a win-win as students will benefit from unparalleled educational experiences, mentorship, and hands-on training, while Yum has the opportunity to host two talented business leaders and diverse aspiring franchisees in our American system,” Catlett said. in a report.

The effort is part of a growing movement within franchises to provide more ownership opportunities for people from underrepresented groups – McDonald’s, for example, launched its first recruiting effort in decades in a bid to diversify its franchise base.

Yum brings some of the best franchisees to the United States to help mentor program fellows. They will also receive restaurant training and a sponsored trip to Yum’s Restaurant Support Center in Louisville. Fellows will receive Yum Center training and other unique franchising experiences.

Grand prize winners will receive start-up capital, additional training and mentorship, and an opportunity to become a Yum operator. “I am certain it will be life changing not just for the participating students, but far beyond, through their future entrepreneurial success and those they mentor and inspire,” said Lori Stewart Gonzalez, Interim President of the University of Louisville. declaration.

Since June, more than 200 students have participated in the Yum Center for Global Franchise Excellence, including 100 undergraduates, 55 graduate students, and 75 in an executive-level management certificate program. Yum says it’s the first business program of its kind at a public university to provide existing and potential franchisees with online training focused on franchising.

“From the beginning, the goal of the Yum Center for Global Franchise Excellence was to amplify our world-class franchise model and give more people of color and underrepresented women access to ownership of a franchise and the ability to create generational wealth and legacy,” Wanda Williams, head of Yum Global Franchising, said in a statement.

Students learn directly from Yum executives, franchisees, and operators and interact with branded franchise recruiters. Students participating in the Yum Franchise Accelerator will be matched with a franchisee who will serve as a mentor.

The program was created as part of Yum’s global Unlocking Opportunity initiative, in which the company has committed $100 million over five years to promote equity and inclusion around the world.

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