Were you aware that the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the international development arm of the United States Government, is pioneering a new international franchise financing program? News of this exciting new initiative comes to us via a very fine blog post written by Josh Merin on the IFA FranBlog entitled, "Ground Breaking Initiative to Finance International Franchising".

The OPIC is partnering with the Middle East Investment Initiative (MEII), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization which has pioneered the financing of small and medium-sized businesses in the Middle East, to guarantee loans to non-US businesses so as to enable them to:

  • Acquire US franchises
  • Operate those franchises
  • Produce goods and services to supply the franchises
  • Establish businesses as franchisors

According to Mr. Merin, the partnership will begin in Tunisia–where the Arab Spring began–with a goal of the development of a franchising sector in that country. If successful, OPIC and MEII intend to make the project a template for other countries.

This initiative is very exciting because franchisors will be able to enter the Tunisian marketplace with greater confidence because their franchisees will have the financial backing of the United States Government. As lawyers who have helped many of our clients head to foreign markets, we too are very excited about this initiative.

The IFA promises more information to come on this initiative in future blogposts, and at both the IFA Convention and the Med Tunis Expo (Feb. 27th to March 1). Also, the IFA will be hosting a webinar on Wednesday, January 23rd at 11 am ET. You can register for the webinar by clicking here.