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NxtGen entrepreneurs bring new levels of ambition and purpose to franchise industry

“What sets these next generation apart is their ambition and purpose.” With this, Sam Christopher Lim, project lead for NxtGen, opened the night for the first ever “NxtGen in Franchising Award.”

Led by the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA), the “NxtGen in Franchising Award” seeks to promote franchising as a tool to accelerate business growth and recognize the brands and businesses that can scale up through franchising. It seeks to recognize young entrepreneurs who can be the next franchise leaders in the industry.
“When you look at businesses today, they look at hundreds to thousands of stores, and look at their market not in terms of the hundred million in the Philippines, but the hundreds of millions in ASEAN and internationally,” Lim said.

This ambition was seen in the night’s overall winner, Agri, a one-stop agriculture shop, represented by its owner, Mr. Joseph Calata. With over 100 stores, it continues to use franchising as a tool to accelerate their growth nationally. 360⁰ Fitness Club, a locally developed fitness club concept aims to conquer Southeast Asia through its fun, fast and effective fitness work outs. “We’ve started to join international shows and events and plan to expand first into Thailand and then to the rest of Southeast Asia,” said Joanna Pinon, co-owner of 360⁰ Fitness. While Homer Alvarez, owner of BluNektar, started as a bartender on a cruise ship and used his experience in creating concoctions to offer unique cake shakes. He dreams of catapulting his brand to be a recognized and respected beverage chain in the country.

But what sets these next generationentrepreneurs apart is their sense of purpose, of truly doing something to improve their customers’ lives and the community where they operate. They have a social mission that is integral to their business, and is not just embarking on another CSR project. Happy Helpers is a social enterprise that provides reliable and quality home cleaning services and at the same time, provides livelihood opportunities to women in living in Gawad Kalinga communities. The Paper Stone uses eco-friendly materials with the cheeriest, liveliest, and cutest designs for stationeries, journals, pens, and other quirky items. Another finalist, a high quality, but affordable skin andbeauty service center, aims to ensure that “that feeling and becoming beautiful is not a privilege but a right,” saysJasmine Sarmiento, owner of Beauty & Beyond from Cebu.

With the next generation’s continued sense of ambition and purpose, the Philippine Franchise Association hopes to continue to inspire more entrepreneurs to use franchising a tool to expand both nationally and internationally, and to follow the footsteps of Jollibee, Max’s, Bench, Goldilocks, and put more Filipino brands on the global map.

The NxtGen in Franchising Award is the first phase of the global search for the next generation of franchisors. To join the international contest and get a chance to win a trip to the United States together with an opportunity to network, make a pitch, and promote their ideas and concepts at the Next Gen in Franchising Summit to be held in the U.S., apply at http://nextgenfranchising.org/. Deadline is on October 30, 2015.

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