Ten Costa Rican small- and medium-sized businesses will have the opportunity to become national and international franchises if selected for a program hosted by the National Franchise Center (CENAF), part of Costa Rica’s Chamber of Commerce.
The aid program was facilitated by an agreement between the Chamber of Commerce and the state-owned Bank of Costa Rica, responsible for managing funds for a national program called Banking for Development System.
“The program aims to build 10 Costa Rican franchises by granting them funds of up to ₡12.5 million ($23,000) and expert advice for their businesses,” CENAF Director Karol Fallas said.
The program is intended only for small- and medium-sized Costa Rican businesses that are able to demonstrate financial stability. Businesses must provide at least $5,000 for the franchising process.
“They also must demonstrate they have standardized production or service processes,” Fallas added.
Other requirements include demonstrating that companies fully comply with the country’s legal system, and brands must be legally registrated with the National Registry. Participants also must provide documentation of current legal and tax statuses, Chamber of Commerce President Francisco Llobet said.
Business owners interested in registering their companies for the selection process must contact CENAF before March 28 by phone at 2221-0005 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. English-speaking staff is available.
The 10 selected businesses will be announced at the end of April, Fallas said.
“We hope to have new franchises ready for promotion at EXPOFRANQUICIA 2014, a regional fair to be held in Panama in September,” Fallas said.
According to the Chamber of Commerce, Costa Rica’s franchise sector currently counts 233 brands, of which 44 are national and 189 are from other countries, mostly from the U.S. The sector in 2013 grew by 5.4 percent compared to 2012 figures.