From the President: A Franchising Community

Portrait of President Stephen Spinelli Jr. at Planet Fitness
Babson Magazine

Winter 2022–2023

Community is a powerful force. We saw that firsthand at Babson as we navigated the challenges of the pandemic. It was our community that sustained us and bound us together. And, it is our community of entrepreneurial leaders and learners that continues to motivate us.

This issue of Babson Magazine focuses on the future of franchising, which is a business model built on community. It fosters relationships between franchisors and franchisees, accelerates collaboration among franchise owners, and, at its best, builds a community of customers.

Franchising has been an integral part of my professional career—as a franchisor and franchisee, as an educator and author, and as a board member and administrator. Decades ago, people often dismissed franchising as an entrepreneurial pursuit, saying it was simply “buying a job.” However, as I’ve experienced from my earliest days co-founding Jiffy Lube to my current role as Planet Fitness’ chairman, franchising is the epitome of entrepreneurship.

One of the reasons I like franchising so much is that it allows you to scale your ambition as you deem appropriate. We had huge ambitions for Jiffy Lube, and franchising helped us grow the business into a worldwide brand. To be successful, franchising—whether it’s Jiffy Lube, or Dunkin’, or Edible Brands—requires the same entrepreneurial skills and mindset that we teach at Babson.

It’s no surprise that Babson has long been a major supplier of franchising talent, as the number of alumni who participate in the franchising ecosystem in some capacity is impressive and inspiring. That makes me particularly proud of the College’s new Tariq Farid Franchise Institute, which brings much needed academic focus and research to a proven business model made to scale corporate and social innovations.

In these pages, we explore franchising’s future with Ab Igram MBA’96, the institute’s executive director, and Somia Farid Silber ’15, the president of Edible Brands and a Babson trustee. You also can read more about my franchising journey, as well as some of the alumni thriving in franchising.

Babson’s franchising roots run deep and have created a natural, built-in community to support and expand our efforts to develop the next generation of franchise entrepreneurs.

Posted in Campus & Community

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