Jim Penman, founder of Jim’s Group, has applauded a U.S government senate bill that plans to make it easier for immigrant entrepreneurs to set up their own businesses, as long as they provide employment for U.S citizens.
Rather than the current tightening of working visa requirements, Jim wishes the Australian government would follow the lead of the U.S, and believes he could create up to 1000 jobs if each immigrant franchisee had to employ two local staff members.
For a long time, Jim has campaigned to the Australian government to relax their business migration visa criteria, so that he can offer franchises to people in countries, including South Africa, that have the money to set up a business and are keen to immigrate to Australia.
These potential franchisees have been turned away because they don’t meet the strict financial criteria that require them to have at least AUD$500,000 in business and personal assets and to have previously owned a business with an annual turnover exceeding AUD$300,000.
“This doesn’t work for franchising,” said Jim. “The whole concept of franchising is that anybody can buy an affordable business and be trained to run it successfully regardless of previous business experience.”
Jim said that with a simple change to the Australian immigration law, similar to the proposed U.S changes, which plans to relax its strict financial criteria as long as business owners contribute to job creation.
“There are thousands of people overseas in places like South Africa, with perfect English and all the technical and business skills we require. If these potential franchisees were allowed to enter the country and they employed at least two Australians for two years, Jim’s Group alone could take at least 1,000 Australians off the dole over the next twelve months.”
“During 2011 we knocked back more than 80,000 clients who wanted work done, an all-time record. In 2012 we were forced to turn down more than 95,000 clients. Among the divisions most affected is Jim’s Fencing, where the demand for services vastly exceeds our ability to find enough quality franchisees, even though our numbers are growing consistently.