Irish Franchise Association celebrates 25 years!

As the Irish Franchise Association celebrates its 25th anniversary the Irish economy has gone into a recession. However history has shown that this could be good news for the franchising industry Derin Ibrahim reports

Established in 1983, the Irish Franchise Association was founded by Cork based accountant John Neenan of Neenan & Company Auditors and Accountants with a group of like-minded individuals. John was inspired to set up the Irish Franchise Association after visiting the USA and seeing the success of franchising in that country.

Over the years, the Irish Franchise Association has grown alongside the franchising sector in Ireland to become a significant force within the Irish economy. According to a 2006 survey conducted by Franchise Direct there are over 270 different franchises in operation in Ireland that employ in excess of 25,000 people. The sector has continued to enjoy growth over the last year despite the economic downturn and according to the Irish Franchise Association Chairman John Green, membership to the Association has increased by almost 10 per cent over the past 18 months.

'Franchising is a very vibrant industry and this has been achieved with out any recourse to State assistance or intervention, and I must say that our policy makers should not overlook the importance of the franchise sector,' explains John. 'Numerous reports have highlighted the growing importance of the service sector in delivering future wealth and employment growth in Ireland and I think that the Irish franchise industry has a valuable contribution to make towards shaping the future of industrial and business policy.'

In order to reflect the progressive nature of the Irish Franchise Association and its network of franchisors and franchisees, in 2007 the Association developed a new corporate identity, which it rolled out across its branding and literature. Past experience has shown in both the USA and UK that the franchising market has often done well during times of economic downturns. With Ireland now in a recession, the franchising sector led by the Irish Franchise Association is in a great position to brace itself against the current economic uncertainties.