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'Franchising offers great opportunities to young Scots'

The franchise model offers ambitious young Scots a well-tried route to profitable business ownership, according to a keynote speaker at Scottish Franchise Week.

Lisa Tobias will make the comment in her address to the main event of the British Franchising Association's Scottish Franchise Week, which runs from tomorrow until Friday, May 2. She is a former high school gymnast who abandoned a university PE course to work at, then manage, a branch of Domino's pizza. She then went on to own and manage a chain of seven outlets.

She said yesterday: "The point of Scottish Franchise Week is to build awareness of how successful you can become by owning a franchise. People think it's not the same as owning your own business, but in fact there's a lot of money to be made.

"It's a matter of choosing the right franchise, as there are good and bad ones out there. The importance of the British Franchising Association is that they give the comfort of knowing that their members have checked out as reputable brands."

During 2013, the franchise sector accounted for 28,000 jobs in about 2000 individual businesses in Scotland, representing almost 500 different franchise brands and contributed £700 million to the Scottish economy.

As well as Tobias - who had six stores across Ayrshire and Glasgow before she was 30 years old and is the most successful female Domino's franchisee in the UK - speakers at the business breakfast event on Thursday include Gordon Shedden, the 2012 British Touring Car champion, and Trevor Brocklebank, chief executive of Home Instead Senior Care.

Brian Smart, director general of the British Franchising Association, said: "Scotland is a market where there are serious opportunities for serious brands.

"The UK franchise sector is a maturing one, and that means that a greater number of growing businesses are looking to expand further across the entire UK."

Franchising specialist David Kaye, a partner at Harper Macleod LLP, said: "The franchising market in Scotland is buoyant at the moment. We are seeing an increase in clients following this model across an incredibly diverse range of businesses and they are reaping the benefits.

"With role models like Lisa Tobias, who purchased her first Domino's franchise aged 23 and now employs more than 250 people, taking part, Scottish Franchise Week is tremendous for raising awareness of the opportunities presented by franchising."

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