East Coast Wings + Grill Commits 0,000 to International Franchise Association’s Franchise Ascension Initiative

Accelerator Program Aims to Narrow the Wealth Gap by Diversifying Franchise Ownership

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C., March 5, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — In support of the International Franchise Association’s Franchise Ascension Initiative, East Coast Wings + Grill (ECW+G), a casual dining restaurant franchise, has announced its commitment of $100,000 to the program over the next five years. The Franchise Ascension Initiative (TAI) is a 6-month accelerator program aimed at preparing qualified individuals from underrepresented groups and economically disadvantaged communities with the education, mentorship, resources, and support to successfully launch a career in franchise ownership.

“It was important for me to be an inaugural donor to this program because I have been working on a strategy for developing a diversity program for ECW+G and this program basically launches ECW+G into such a desire,” said Sam Ballas, CEO & Founder of ECW+G.

The inception of this program, aimed at narrowing the wealth gap by catalyzing diversity in ownership in franchising, stemmed from the acknowledgment of the racial disparities in financial well-being. The International Franchise Association recognized franchising as a path toward a solution to the problem. Franchising has proven to be a successful wealth-generation strategy for historically disadvantaged communities, with, for instance, Black-owned franchise firms earning 2.2x as much in sales compared to Black-owned independent businesses, on average.

In addition to their donation to the program, ECW+G plans to engage in the mentorship aspect of the program to educate potential franchise owners on the importance of unit level economics within any franchise model. Additionally, ECW+G plans to develop a business model in an attempt to assist the program’s candidates in bringing ECW+G to their communities.

“Founders of companies have power to make a difference in their communities, and I am a stout believer that you must give back and not be a consistent ‘taker’ from them,” said Ballas. “The Franchise Accession Initiative offers East Coast Wings + Grill, and myself, an opportunity to embrace the underrepresented communities as a part of a total strategy. It simply compelled me to be part of making a difference.”

The six-month long program consists of structured online training, interactive and experiential learning, concluding in a pitch contest case study where participants will have the opportunity to prepare for a pitch contest on a specific franchise opportunity, which includes preparation of a business and financial model and a presentation in front of a selected group of franchisees, suppliers and/or franchisor executives. The program’s first group is set to begin in late 2024 or early 2025 and seeks franchise candidates from the five following categories:

  • College Degree Seeking Candidates – This audience pursues franchise ownership as an alternative career path. Ideally graduate school candidates, although undergraduate candidates in community colleges and vocational tracks are also good candidates.
  • Fractional or Outright Path to Ownership for Experienced Business Managers – Managers with 5+ years of successful management-level experience (in franchise, retail or other systems) who are interested in owning their own business either 100% outright or via a fractional path to ownership with store management. 
  • Conversion Franchising – Existing business owners with a single unit or two that want to grow their business as part of a larger proven franchise system with support and resources and who may not be aware of franchising as a growth path for their business.
  • Corporate refugees – Individuals undergoing career changes who may not be aware of the opportunities in franchising. 
  • High performing franchisees – These candidates will self-identify or be selected by franchisors with the potential for multi-unit ownership.

East Coast Wings + Grill is a full-service, family-dining franchise that spotlights Buffalo wings. The thoughtfully-crafted menu also offers a variety of other options to satisfy every family member’s taste buds. With more than 50 nationwide locations, the franchise has secured a spot on the Entrepreneur and the Franchise Business Review Top Food Franchise lists. The concept has also been named to the Franchise Business Review Hall of Fame for the past decade due to outstanding franchisee support and overall franchisee satisfaction. East Coast Wings + Grill is a member of the IFA, with CEO and Founder, Sam Ballas, serving as the second vice chair of the association. For more information about East Coast Wings + Grill or its franchise opportunities, visit www.eastcoastwingsfranchise.com.

SOURCE East Coast Wings + Grill

Originally published at https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/east-coast-wings–grill-commits-100-000-to-international-franchise-associations-franchise-ascension-initiative-302079571.html
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