The National Franchise Centre (NFC) is the first 3rd level franchise development & research centre in Europe; it is a centre of excellence which promotes professional, ethical and high standards amongst potential franchisees and franchisors.
The NFC was established as a not for profit venture in 2010, by Limerick Institute of Technology in partnership with Limerick Chamber.
The impetus for the project was the announcement of large scale redundancies in the Mid-West Region of Ireland. Limerick Chamber and LIT took a pro-active position, facilitating a utilitarian and ambitious solution in the form of a franchise focused enterprise centre.
Since its establishment, the NFC has supported the development of business through the following actions :
- Enterprise Development & Incubation Programmes - 6 to 12 months duration.
- Franchise Development Supports - catered to Franchisees & Prospective Franchisors respectively.
- Business & Community Engagement - misc. events, seminars and conferences.
- Indigenous Business Start-Ups - provision of advice and office support.
- Research & Development - hot-desking, franchise research and Marketing Masters.
The NFC demonstrates extensive leadership and advancement, whereby it continues to focus on:
- The specific entrepreneurial profile of those who find themselves unemployed/redundant offering a support model which is aligned to their specific risk profile.
- Promoting scaled sustainable growth using business models (franchise, licence, distributorships) amongst existing businesses.
- Unifying academia and industry by developing symbiotic relationships which benefit start-ups, existing businesses, researchers and staff.
- Participant centred approaches and ethical practices. If a potential venture/person is unsuited to business development, step-down support is offered to them in returning to employment or education.
- The utilisation of the Chamber network: Start-up client’s benefit from 100% sponsored Limerick Chamber membership in year 1, 50% in Year 2 and 25% in year 3- leveraging a commercial and peer group.
National Franchise Centre, LIT O’Connell Street Campus, Bank House, 106/108 O’Connell Street, Limerick