The brave men and women of our military are the ones who have made it possible for each of us to enjoy the American Dream. I believe it’s our obligation to help those who have sacrificed so much by doing what we can to give them the tools and support to achieve that dream themselves.
Yesterday, Edible Arrangements International announced a major contribution to the International Franchise Association’s (IFA) VetFran program and the launch of “Hero’s Welcome,” a nationwide initiative designed to help veterans become business owners and re-enter the workforce.
We’re going to contribute $125,000 to VetFran, the IFA’s program through which franchise companies help military veterans make the transition to civilian life. In addition, Edible Arrangements will launch its own “Hero’s Welcome” program this year. The program, part of our Edible Cares umbrella initiative to give back, will be designed to provide special support to help veterans become franchisees. It will include specialized training, a franchise fee discount and mentoring from existing Edible Arrangements franchisees who are also veterans. In addition, we’ve set a goal of providing job opportunities and a career path for an additional 1,000 veterans throughout our franchise locations nationwide.
Through the IFA, I’m also participating in a new Veterans Business Accelerator program established by the Department of Veterans Affairs, which will provide free courses and resources for all veterans interested in entrepreneurship, including providing financial support to wounded veterans doing the coursework.
Within the Edible Arrangements system, former veterans already own and operate some of the most successful franchise locations. So I know from personal experience that veterans bring an exceptional level of passion and discipline to their business. I also know that they often face employment challenges once their service to their country is complete.