Franchising and Community Development

Community Development is a general term used to describe practices used by civic leaders, local governments and concerned citizens to empower individuals within a community with skills and opportunities that will improve not only the social and economic conditions of the individual, but also those of their communities.  Although most community development efforts focus on disadvantaged areas, its principles hold at all socio-economic levels. From this more expanded perspective every franchise opportunity can be seen as a community development enterprise.

The most stingent definition of community development limits its practices to lower economic areas and to certain more charitable practices on which franchising efforts in the US are usually not focused.  Yet, since the late 90s several franchisors have made efforts to become more involved in traditional community development activities.  These activities have taken place mostly through partnerships between franchise companies and Economic Development Coporations. For more information see

Additionally, the International Franchise Association (IFA) through its Minorities in Franchising Committee has taken significant strides to use franchising as a community development tool. To learn more about the IFA efforts go to


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