Program to boost franchise opportunities for women, minorities

The University of Louisville is partnering with Yum! Brands to create a unique education and research center to increase business franchise opportunities for women and minorities.

The Yum! Center for Global Franchise Excellence will feature the first business program of its kind at a public university to provide existing and potential franchisees multiple levels of online education focused on the franchising model across industries.  It will also focus on recruiting and educating women and underrepresented people of color on franchising as a pathway to entrepreneurship.

“We believe that combining the resources and expertise of the University of Louisville with Yum! Brands will create an unrivaled resource for world-class training in franchising that will help people everywhere, particularly underrepresented people of color and women, succeed in franchise ownership and management,” said UofL President Neeli Bendapudi. “We’re excited about the new center as it aligns with UofL’s commitment to empower our communities and supports our vision to become the nation’s premier anti-racist metropolitan research university.”

The creation and funding of the Center is part of Yum! Brands’ global Unlocking Opportunity Initiative, in which the company committed $100 million over five years to promote equity and inclusion, education and entrepreneurship for employees, frontline restaurant teams and communities around the world.

“We’re proud to partner with the University of Louisville on developing a sustainable, globally scalable program that democratizes exposure to and builds knowledge of the franchising industry for all,” said Scott Catlett, Chief Legal and Franchise Officer for Yum! Brands. “Our hope is the Center will carve a path to economic opportunity and successful ownership for talented, underrepresented people while bringing diverse voices and ideas to the broader franchising community.”

In addition, to improve equity for underrepresented people of color and women, the Center will:

–Actively recruit diverse students to its undergraduate, graduate and executive-level programs offered through UofL’s College of Business.

–Conduct research to develop new knowledge surrounding franchise ownership, including case studies, white papers and other work to better understand the reasons for lower ownership by underrepresented people of color and women.

–Create regular podcasts and a practitioner-focused journal to share franchising education and news with franchise owners and managers.

Yum! Brands, Inc., based in Louisville, has over 50,000 restaurants in more than 150 countries and territories and more than 2,000 franchisees around the world.  It’s brands include KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell.