Let’s stop the moaning about millennials’ commitment-phobia by focusing on how we can maximise their talents and attitudes to grow South Africa’s economy, says Cash Converters CEO Richard Mukheibir.

“Millennials are often seen as more restless and picky than previous generations but plenty of youngsters in my own generation gave our parents grey hairs,” he says.

“Looking back now, I can imagine the anxiety I must have caused when I moved back in with my parents so I could use the contents of my flat to stock the pilot Cash Converters store back in 1994!

“Franchising suited me just as much when I was young and keen to jumpstart my own business as it does now when I have much broader business experience and interests.

That’s why I believe that franchising could help answer South Africa’s youth employment crisis in two ways – it can enable young people to run their own small businesses and create jobs at the same time.”

At Cash Converters, almost a third of franchisees and the majority of store managers are aged under 35.

The business is expanding strongly and Mukheibir expects to attract a surge in interest from the older age group of millennials who have good business experience and acumen.

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Generally, he advises millennials to focus on specific types of franchises with which they will fit best.

Here are his five key reasons why working within the right franchise could be a perfect fit for a millennial.

Running the show:

Millennials are renowned for wanting to have their say in the workplace, something that older managers don’t always appreciate, says Mukheibir.

Choosing a franchise that emphasises hands-on management by the franchisee will give millennials the independence and responsibility they crave – with the advantage that the franchise organisation can always be called on to guide and support.

Goodbye job-hopping:

Millennials are renowned for job-hopping to improve their skills and working conditions. By choosing the right franchise organisation, millennials can ensure that training is ongoing – both for the franchisee and his or her staff, says Mukheibir.

Plus as owners or managers of a franchise, millennials can help set the tone of the workplace and the working conditions.

No more FOMO: Fear of missing out (FOMO) is a classic millennial anxiety so it is good news for millennials that franchises are typically found in fast-moving business environments.

Millennials fit in well because they welcome change and respond to it with agility and creativity, says Mukheibir – and they can also capitalise on the energy dividend of youth when building a business.


Off the shelf:

The wide range of franchise opportunities means that there’s no difficulty in finding one that meshes with millennial interests. A prospective franchisee should consider both the core products or stock and the consumers targeted, advises Mukheibir.

At Cash Converters, for instance, this includes opportunities to deal in millennial-friendly vintage goods or quality, second-hand electronic gadgets with customers from the age of 18 upwards.

Generation cooperation:

Working together in a family business is a great way for the generations to learn to understand each other better. Mukheibir says this applies whether parents help with funding to set up a young franchisee or bring youngsters in to manage a supplementary franchise branch.


Adapted from Cash Converters press release

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