By M-Four International

There has been a vast increase in blue-collar workers, managers and professionals who have been squeezed out of big corporations, struggling to compete in one of the worst global fiascoes since the Great Depression of the early 1930s.

Getting laid off by your company during peak earning years is extremely stressful in these troubled times. You can scramble for months and still find nothing. You have to realize that you have to move on and abandon your job searches, before you ever get started.

You see too many unemployed people with their laptops and cell phones trying to look busy at Starbucks during the day… going nowhere.

Welcome to the cold new world of involuntary entrepreneurship… self-employment.

Many find that the satisfaction of life outside the corporate fold is worth the anxiety and sacrifice for the income and security that their new independance entails.

As corporations are releasing their employees from their corporate moorings into an ocean of “start-ups” and small businesses, many of these corporate refugees are discovering that franchise opportunities offer a sound strategy for establishing a small business and a means of good personal income in the tough times, and they have the work ethic that franchisors are looking for.

There are over 1,000 franchise systems operating in Canada representing about 76,000 franchise system outlets employing over 1.5 million Canadians. Nearly 4,300 new franchise outlets open in Canada each year.

Canadian franchises sell over $100 billion worth of products and services every year, making Canada the second largest franchise market in the world (after the US).

As corporate refugees find their footing, they are beginning to have a broad impact on the world around them. With their knowledge, insight and expertise, they are transforming some long-neglected projects of the Canadian economy, such as affordable products and services that deal with the challenges of the economic downturn.

Corporate “severance packages” allow these new entrepreneurs to invest in franchise opportunities and not have the burden of carrying a large debt load.

The Canadian government is endorsing franchising as a means of stimulating economic growth. They see where this can be achieved while avoiding the failure often inherent in the establishment of new small businesses.

Most Canadian banks have embraced franchising as a low risk form of lending and are playing a key role in contributing to the nation’s job creation programs.

By choosing an established franchise-driven company, the future operator will have the ongoing assistance of the franchisor during the crucial early stages of the operation. The provision of documented procedure manuals and easy access to the advice and support of the franchisor are also of great advantage. A successful franchise will also offer the long-term benefits from bulk purchasing power of the franchised group and the creative marketing and advertising muscle that they can provide.

In today’s world being “employed” is an illusion. To be in charge of one’s own destiny and have the opportunity of being self-employed is of great appeal.

Combined with the financial rewards that a successful franchise can provide, there is little doubt that the outlook for today’s “corporate refugees” is very promising.