WASHINGTON, Jan. 25, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The IFA Franchise Education & Research Foundation announced today its 2017 NextGen in Franchising Global Competition winners, who will be recognized at the International Franchise Association's Annual Convention in Las Vegas from Jan. 28 – Feb. 1, 2017. The Annual Convention culminates a year-long campaign and global competition in which more than 400 young entrepreneurs submitted their franchise business plans for a chance to be among the top 18 winners selected. Open to entrepreneurs ages 21-35, the NextGen in Franchising Global Competition is a worldwide program that engages young entrepreneurs seeking careers and business opportunities in the franchising industry.
"We are extremely impressed with the quality of submissions we received from young entrepreneurs all over the world," said David McKinnon, CFE, Foundation vice chair and chairman of the NextGen in Franchising Committee. "It's both rewarding and exciting to know that NextGen instills motivation in young entrepreneurs to take their businesses to the next level through franchising. We're excited to meet this year's winners and are looking forward to providing them with unmatched mentoring and support from the world's top franchise business leaders."
The 2017 NextGen in Franchising winners are: Anett Baranyi, Dolce Dance (Hungary); David Blue, Blue Moon Estate Sales USA (United States); Christopher DelPrete, Press Gourmet Sandwiches (United States); Carolyne Ekyarisiima, Apps and Girls (Tanzania); Joanne Endaya, Happy Helpers (Philippines); Alexzandra "Xza" Higgins, MommyCon (United States); Bao Hoang, Rolld Australia Pty Ltd (Australia); Nnaemeka Ikegwuonuu, ColdHubs (Nigeria); Daniel Lauria, Keystone Home Inspection Service LLC (United States); Nikias Leigh, Real Property Photography (Australia); Bongajum Lesley Ndzi, BONGA Juice Company Ltd (Cameroon); David Lindsay, Salts of the Earth (Australia); Angela Martinez, Mom & Pop Shop (United States); Fredrick Matress, Honey Products Industries (Malawi); Chris Rose, Ariento (United States); Alejandro Souza, Pixza (Mexico); Jennifer Turliuk, MakerKids (Canada); Ricus Van Der Merwe, Cookie Works Ltd (South Africa).
"Within four years, I've grown my company, MommyCon, into a nationwide brand with a community of over 150,000 parents and parents-to-be", said Xza Higgins, founder of MommyCon. "Franchising feels like the next logical step in my entrepreneurial journey. I want to build awareness and expand MommyCon internationally, and with help and guidance from the NextGen in Franchising program, I'm confident I can achieve that type of growth and success."
In addition to receiving a complimentary registration and travel stipend to attend the IFA's Annual Convention, winners are awarded with a spot at the NextGen in Franchising Summit, a two-day educational and networking program for next generation entrepreneurs; a 90-day accelerator program with industry leaders and CEOs; an opportunity to participate in the FRANSHARK competition for additional cash prizes; and opportunities to network with leading franchisors, franchisees and suppliers and with other young entrepreneurs.
As part of the FRANSHARK competition, three finalists will pitch their businesses to a panel of industry judges and 3,000 convention attendees for a chance to win cash prizes ranging from $5,000 - $10,000. Last year, Carmelo Marsala, founder of Spray-Net in Canada, took home first place. The FRANSHARK competition is sponsored by the Fred DeLuca Foundation and Subway International.
"Winning FRANSHARK last year was an invaluable experience, especially in terms of recognition for Spray-Net," said Marsala. "The NextGen program provided me with unmatched mentorship from some of the best in the business, and that type of support was pivotal for my company. I encourage the 2017 winners to capitalize on this opportunity!"
The NextGen in Franchising program is made possible due to the generosity of its donors and sponsors, which include David McKinnon, the founding sponsor; the Stewart & Jane Bainum Fund; Lawrence "Doc" Cohen, Doc & Associates; Stephen P. Joyce Fund; Choice Hotels Foundation; J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation; Tariq Farid, Edible Arrangements; Charlie Chase, FirstService Brands; Amit Kleinberger, Menchie's Frozen Yogurt; Aziz Hashim, NRD Holdings; Joe Bourdow, Valpak; Melanie Bergeron, Two Men & A Truck Intl.; Amit Pamecha, FranConnect; and the Fred DeLuca Foundation/Subway.
#IFA2017 will feature more than 50 educational sessions, as well as 300 supplier partners in a cutting-edge Exhibit Hall, offering the latest tools and resources needed to develop a thriving franchise business. Attendees can expect to find numerous networking opportunities, including the International Reception and the Business Solution Roundtables. To register, please visit http://IFA2017-GeneralConvention.com.
For more information on the NextGen in Franchising Global Competition, please contact Elayne Jacobs at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (202) 588-8138.
About the IFA Franchise Education & Research Foundation
Founded in 1983, the International Franchise Association (IFA) Franchise Education & Research Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization and supported through the generous contributions of IFA members and others. The Foundation's mission is to advance franchising and the free enterprise system by increasing the knowledge and professional standards of all members of the franchising community; educating the next generation of franchise practitioners; increasing recognition of franchising's key role in the free enterprise system; and providing comprehensive information and research about important developments and trends in franchising.
About the International Franchise Association
Celebrating 56 years of excellence, education and advocacy, the International Franchise Association is the world's oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. IFA works through its government relations and public policy, media relations and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising and the more than 733,000 franchise establishments that support nearly 7.6 million direct jobs, $674.3 billion of economic output for the U.S. economy and 2.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees and companies that support the industry in marketing, law, technology and business development.
IFA Franchise Education & Research Foundation
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SOURCE IFA Franchise Education & Research Foundation