Franchisee Tejpal Singh, trading as Balsab Ltd, knows all about the food business. Having worked for KFC for over 20 years, he has now set up his own KFC restaurant in Uplands Crescent following a £400,000 mix of debt and capital funding from NatWest. The package included European Investment Bank funding, an Enterprise Finance Guarantee loan, and a £80,000 facility from NatWest's asset finance arm Lombard.
The new outlet employs 17 staff, with another 13 full and part time roles to be filled.
Tejpal Singh worked in a range of roles at KFC from 1990 to 2011, including managing the brand's flagship outlet in Marble Arch, central London.
In February RBS and NatWest announced the availability of £100 million of new funds specifically to support the franchise sector. Based on typical start-up costs and franchisees typically employing 13 staff, this could fund up to 1,800 new franchise businesses in the UK. In Wales alone the fund could generate around 720 jobs.
The most recent NatWest and British Franchise Association survey, in 2010, showed that in the height of the economic downturn, the franchise industry's turnover increased to £11.8billion. The sector grew 3.4% in 2009, as the rest of the UK economy contracted 2.8%. Initial set-up costs for franchises have also fallen 30% since 2007.
Franchisee Tejpal Singh said: "I'd urge anyone who's considering setting up their own business to consider franchising. Of course you need the capital to get you going, but the benefit of having an established company behind you is huge. NatWest's franchising team, and Steve Yorke in Swansea, have been a great support to me as I've made the switch from KFC employee to franchisee."
Steve Yorke, NatWest commercial relationship director, said: "The franchise industry has shown itself to continue to perform strongly against the backdrop of the wider economy so for many people franchising is a great start-up opportunity. Clearly Tejpal has a huge advantage here, having worked for KFC for so long. This is a great illustration of how the Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme can help new businesses to get off the ground."