The forum was organised by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK), the Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) and the Croatian SMEs agency HAMAG-BICRO.
Those who opt for a franchise business, regardless of whether they buy or sell a franchise, often survive longer as a business in the first five years than other newly-started businesses, the forum said.
“The fact that we have about 220 franchises at about 1,100 locations in Croatia, with nearly 18,000 employees, shows that a success is possible and that there is still room for franchises. Many of our franchises have become successful globally,” the head of the Commerce Department at the HGK, Tomislava Ravlić, said, citing the Museum of Illusions, Carwiz car rental, Surf’n’Fries, Direkt Booker, and Body Creator.
Attending were representatives of many other franchises, including Place2Go, TinkerLabs, Speed Reading and Wise Learning School, and White World launderette.
Krešimir Dobrilović, president of the Franchise Business Association, stressed the importance of cooperation they had established with the Croatian employment bureau (HZZ) several years ago, because the purchase of a franchise is recognised as a cost under the self-employment measure.
“That is a good measure for now. We get nothing from EU funds, and banks are not breaking their backs to finance franchises. … However, there are indications from some banks and we are hoping for an improvement because there is a lot of work and opportunities for franchising,” Dobrilović said.
This could increase the number of franchises in Croatia, both domestic and foreign ones. Foreign franchises currently account for about 80 per cent of such businesses, while in other European countries domestic franchises are predominant and in some countries they account for as much as 95 per cent, he said.
Franchising accounts for about 4.6 per cent of global GDP. There are about 28,000 franchises worldwide, and slightly over 15,000 of them are present at about 3 million locations in Europe, employing about 25 million people.