Inani job creation and empowerment project vs INANI NPC Incubator Accelerator

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With the unemployment rate at an unprecedented level due to the pandemic, FASA’s partnership with Inani Projects vs INANI NPC Incubator Accelerator, the talent incubator and business enabler that works with and represents a number of government and employee associations, has taken on an even more urgent focus.

According to Nico Botha of Inani vs INANI “the success of this initiative has seen us bridge the gap between public and private partnerships with the involvement of some major franchise brands that have benefitted from learnership training that promote learning through accredited theoretical training with practical exposure, whilst the learner adds value to the workplace, and learners are able to support themselves through a subsidized stipend. This translates into talent for the business with the focus on accelerated transformation and increased inclusivity of the differently-abled.” Read More

Farewell and thank you to Vera Valasis FASA’s executive director

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After fifteen years at the helm of the Franchise Association of South Africa as Executive Director, Vera Valasis has resigned from FASA and is moving on to new challenges. She holds the distinction of being the first woman to hold the position in FASA’s 41-year existence.

Her experience in franchising spans over many years – from her early days managing restaurants and in retailing – to holding the position of managing director for leading brands Milky Lane and Juicy Lucy under the Pleasure Foods banner and subsequently as MD of Debonairs for Famous Brands.

Ian Jacobsberg, one of FASA’s legal advisors and past Chairman, had the pleasure of working with Vera for many years. “I have known Vera for about 23 years, having first worked with her in her capacity as Managing Director of  Milky Lane and Juicy Lucy at Pleasure Foods. Her belief in and dedication to the brands and the products she championed was always an example and an inspiration to everyone she worked with. This passion was carried forward to her position as Executive Director of FASA, where she was always, a strong believer in, and advocate for, the franchising industry – always taking every opportunity to promote its potential as a driver of economic growth and employment with Government, financial institutions and the public.”

Vera’s experience in all aspects of franchising – both from a franchisee and franchisor standpoint – gave her the unique insight to understand franchising in all its complexities. Her work in steering the association through both the good times and in the trying recessionary years is to be lauded.

From lobbying government on the role that franchising can play in furthering entrepreneurship and in job creation to overseeing the promotional activities of FASA which included educational seminars, conferences, awards and exhibitions, Vera was a strong advocate for franchising as a key player in South Africa’s economy.

She represented FASA and South Africa internationally at the annual World Franchise Council meetings ensuring that franchising was recognised as an important contributor not only to the South African economy but represented on the world stage.

The chairman and board of FASA join its members in thanking Vera for her commitment to FASA and wish Vera success in her future endeavours.

Shereen Davids, FASA’s longest serving staff member, will be taking over the role of acting Executive Director. Shereen joined FASA in the early days when it was a fledgling representative body assisting Jack Barber, the executive director at the time, and his successor Nic Louw in growing the association. Over the years, Shereen has managed various key areas within the association – from handling the accounts to being office manager and show manager for FASA’s many franchise expos.

Preparing for recovery

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“The Franchise industry will make a faster and better recovery post-Covid-19 than most other business categories.”

With that in mind, the Franchise Association has partnered with the Sunday Times to produce its definitive Franchising print and digi-mag on the 27th September 2020 which will take a closer look at how the franchise sector has fared during this pandemic and why it is poised, as a proven business format, to bounce back and reclaim its position as an important cog in the South African economy – which in 2019 contributed almost 14% to GDP through its over 800 franchise systems and over 47 000 outlets.

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The importance of being a Fasa member – now more than ever

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Among the sad casualties of Covid-19 have been the many industry associations that have seen a drop in membership due to the economic impact of the pandemic. The franchise sector has been hard hit by lockdown and many fledgling franchise brands may not survive these hard times or be faced with survival challenges or disputes with their franchisees.

It is especially in these hard times that franchise businesses have the support of an industry representative that can guide them, act on their behalf, lobby government and ensure the stability, protection and recovery of this important sector that, in 2019, contributed close to 14% to the country’s GDP, says Eugene Honey, FASA’s legal advisor.

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Franchising looks to the future – post Covid-19

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Franchising has at its heart the spirit of entrepreneurship but amidst the Covid-19 pandemic that has resulted in immeasurable destruction of small businesses, the question remains whether the entrepreneurial flame can be re-ignited for future growth.

The franchise sector, which in South Africa is represented in around 14 different business sectors, represents the highest and most diverse range of entrepreneurial endeavours and is the most suited to lead the post-Covid recovery.

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Re-opening – How to reconnect with customers

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In its quest to keep its franchise members and the public in the loop with developments in the sector under Covid-19, the Franchise Association has embarked on a series of webinars where experts and brands share their insights into how to navigate the future. A recent webinar looked at how things had changed for the franchise food sector and how important marketing and social media is to maintain customer engagement and adapt to changing trends brought on by the pandemic. Facilitated by Vera Valasis of FASA, the webinar included strategists Mohammed Ehtesham of Manthan, Ian Pearce of RAiN and Patrick Lawson of the Spur Group shared his group’s approach to staying relevant in the midst of global upheaval.

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Calls for comments on franchise industry code

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In a surprise announcement, the Department of Trade & Competition (dtic) notified the Franchise Association of South Africa (FASA) that it was asking for comments on the discussion document relating to the publication of the Franchise Association of South Africa (FASA) Industry Code “The Code”.

Welcoming the move, Vera Valasis, Executive Director of FASA has called on all stakeholders in the franchise industry to take time to read the proposed Franchise Code and send their comments and suggestions directly to government by the 15th July 2020 via email to SSasayi@thedtic.gov.za or send their concerns to the Association so that their comments can be incorporated in an official response from the association. “Especially in these trying Covid-19 times, the stability, protection and recovery of the franchise industry will be crucial to the survival of our sector and its future growth.”

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The winter of discontent or disenchantment

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Eric Parker of Franchising Plus, one of franchising’s stalwarts and a founder member of the Franchise Association with over 40 years of franchising experience gives his perspective and advice on how to handle the crisis we are facing.

“It has now become evident that 2020 will be a difficult year! For you, your family and friends, your country and the world at large. We believe the best way to get through this is to focus on the 1st of January 2021 and set up plans to get through 2020. Life normally gives you lemons along the way, and you need to overcome them and if possible, turn them into lemonade.”

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