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Franchise Conference Remarks University Of Chicago

November 15, 2003

Good Morning:

Today, we hope that this conference will provide participants with the recognition that these franchisers are committed. They are here to help the citizens of this community to achieve their financial and personal goals through business ownership.

Franchises have two things in common: they all started small, and they were started by mostly white men.

I think it is obvious that we need to get more African Americans into the franchise business. Today, minorities account for 14.6% of all businesses in the United States. Although minorities in business are increasing, minority business ownership is nowhere near the level of businesses owned by whites.

Minority-owned franchises are all around us, such as:

Fatburger Founded in 1952 in Los Angeles, California, by an African American woman. It now has 48 units in California and Arizona and Washington State. It was recently bought by an investment group headed by Earvin Magic Johnson.

Golden Krust Carribean Bakery Founded in 1989, in the Bronx, N.Y. by Lowell Hawthorne (and his 11 brothers and sisters). This franchise has grown to more than 60 units mostly on the East Coast.

Famous Daves Barbecue started in 1994 by a native American from Chicago. The company now has more than 70 franchise units around the country.
So what does it take to own your own franchise?
It takes a good product.
It takes a lot of passion.
It takes persistence.
And, that is why we are here today.
These professionals are here today to tell you what franchising is, and how to evaluate your franchising options. They are here to explain to you what it is like to be a franchisee and share their experiences and advice. These franchise executives will explain concepts and what they look for in a potential franchise operator. We have representatives from the U.S. Small Business Administration to explain to you the basic process and requirements for financing your franchise.

Today, during this conference, we will show you how to investigate a franchise and sign franchise agreements. We have representatives today who will outline funding sources and technical assistance programs to help you open and operate your franchise business successfully.

You will also meet franchise representatives of companies that are interested in expanding into the Chicago area.

I want to thank the International Franchise Association, the National Minority Franchising Initiative. I want to thank the University of Chicago for hosting this event, especially Mr. Hank Webber. In addition, I want to thank the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the State of Illinois Treasurers Office, and the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity.

I want to give special thanks to Mr. C. Everett Wallace, of the National Minority Franchising Initiative, and Mr. Matt Lathrop, of the International Franchise Association.

So take control of your destiny here today.
Find your opportunities!
Seize the moment! The time is now!!!!!!

Thank you.