Edible Arrangements’ launch of its nationwide initiative, “Hero’s Welcome,” announced during the International Franchise Association’s 53rd Annual Convention in Las Vegas, will help veterans become business owners and re-enter the workforce. Edible Arrangements will also contribute $125,000 to Vetfran, IFA’s program to enable franchise companies to help military veterans make the transition to civilian life as franchise business owners and employees.
The IFA’s VetFran program was born out of the desire of the late Don Dwyer Sr., founder of The Dwyer Group, as a way to say “thank you” to veterans returning from the first Gulf War. Since the November 2011 launch of VetFran’s Operation Enduring Opportunity program, more than 64,000 veterans have started careers in franchising, including more than 4,300 new franchise business owners.
“Edible Arrangements’ contribution to IFA’s VetFran initiative is truly awe-inspiring and will help to strengthen the franchise industry’s efforts to further support veteran entrepreneurship and employment,” said IFA President and CEO Steve Caldeira, CFE. “We are extremely grateful to Tariq Farid for his outstanding leadership and support of our nation’s veterans.”
“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,” said Edible Arrangements CEO Tariq Farid, CFE. “I believe it is 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.”
The “Hero’s Welcome” program, which is part of the company’s Edible Cares umbrella initiative to give back, will include specialized training, a franchise fee discount and mentoring from existing system franchisees who are also veterans. In addition, the franchise has set a goal of providing job opportunities and a career path for an additional 1,000 veterans throughout its franchise locations nationwide.
Through the IFA, Farid also is 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.