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Jane Chen
Sales Representative

RE/MAX Realtron Realty Inc.
Independently owned and operated

Phone: 905-470-9800  Fax: 905-470-7770  Mobile: 416-418-9568

Congrats, graduate.

March 14, 2012 - Updated: March 14, 2012

Happy graduation! I got you a business.

Hiring a kid to work in the family business after graduation is one thing. Buying them a business for graduation is quite another. According to the Wall Street Journal, more and more parents are buying businesses, especially franchises, for their kids to take over when they graduate. According to the story, “many parents see business ownership as a better bet for their kids’ future than a graduate degree”.

Though there are obvious risks involved, one parent who bought his son an Internet-consulting franchise told the Journal, “As a parent, the best gift you can ever receive is to see your children happy and successful.”

In this era of renewed interest in entrepreneurship, some parents we interviewed described it as a way of recapturing for their children a stake in “the Canadian Dream” – the opportunity to control their destiny and have a chance at gaining wealth.

Parents considering such a venture need an attorney experienced in representing franchisees, and both an accountant and an experienced business mentor familiar with both franchising and the target industry.

None of the parents interviewed expect any short-term return on their investment. A few viewed it as a gift. Some structured it as a loan and deferred repayment. Others took stock in the business, with an agreement that their child would use future earnings to buy it back. Some parents look farther ahead hoping their child’s business will support them in retirement.

Canadian unemployment has hit the highest recorded level since The Depression. With only a gradual return to economic health predicted, self-employment is becoming an increasingly realistic and necessary alternative to being a member of the salaried work force.

For many, graduating with tens of thousands of dollars in student loans debt and working for minimum wage, it is a bitter pill of reality to swallow. Working for a corporation, one never really knows what the job security is.

Most of Canada’s university graduates are hardworking high-achievers – a trait passed on from their Boomer-era parents. They find themselves discouraged at the dismal number of opportunities to showcase and practice their newly acquired knowledge. The traditional model of “working your way up the corporate ladder” and the resulting long-term faithful employment is quickly fading to make room for “job hopping.

In a society of rapid change and no guarantees, resourceful university graduates will thrive working for the company called Me Inc. They must brace themselves for a future that may include running their own business. The entrepreneurial revolution has certainly come of age.

Over 2.5 million Canadians run their own businesses; most of whom have prospered through franchising. They have focused on the belief that franchising is the way of doing business in the future. Many university graduates are discovering that franchising offers a sound strategy for establishing a small business and providing a means of good personal income in these tough times.

To meet the needs of thousands of university graduates seeking new business opportunities as a means of realigning their future careers, my company, M-Four International, developed a special program to assist university graduates across Canada. M-Four has selected those franchises offering low start-up costs and above average income and equity appreciation. Most of the franchises being marketed by M-Four represent “service type” businesses – home improvement, automotive after markets, health care, environmental control, educational, fitness – and require nominal investments to acquire the franchise.

To be in charge of one’s own destiny and have the ability of being their own boss is of great appeal to most. When this is combined with the financial awards that a successful franchise can provide, the outlook for today’s university graduate is encouraging.

Parents often say they would do anything for their child. Setting a child up in business is surely one big test of that bond.

By Martin Greenspon






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