November 19, 2021

Business Leader: Franchising Provides ‘Huge Opportunity’ for Higher Education

PBA News

Business scholar Dr. Stephen Spinelli told the Titus Center for Franchising Advisory Board members and students to “think bigger,” encouraging entrepreneurship.

To students, educators and leaders in the franchising arena, business scholar Dr. Stephen Spinelli brought this straightforward message: “Think bigger.”

“Most people shoot too low and go too slow,” said Spinelli, speaking on Wednesday at the Titus Center for Franchising Advisory Board meeting. Spinelli is president of Babson College, a Boston-area business school with a strong focus on entrepreneurship.

Introduced by Titus Center Director Dr. John P. Hayes, Spinelli spoke in the Helen K. Persson Recital Hall to a group that included numerous students adding a franchising concentration to their Rinker School of Business degrees. “You have to be an entrepreneurial leader to exist in the franchise world,” Spinelli told them.

Franchising provides a powerful model for scaling businesses across the globe, he said. He urged business owners and prospective business owners not to limit themselves, but to think in terms of “really building an organization.”

Spinelli was on the founding team of Jiffy Lube and is chairman of the board for Planet Fitness. He spoke about the dramatic growth, challenges and lessons learned in those franchised businesses.

Now at Babson College “we’re following PBA in figuring out that franchise is an important part of what we do in business education,” Spinelli said. “You’re ahead of us. That’s OK. We’ll share, we’ll catch up and then you’ll go faster, and that’s good.”

Business schools can work together with their franchising programs, he said. “We can create a movement in higher education. We can influence business education across the globe. I think it’s a huge opportunity.”

Palm Beach Atlantic has 50 students studying franchising, and seeks to grow that number to 300, said Hayes, who is the Titus Chair for Franchise Leadership. “We are happy to have Babson College as a partner in our endeavor to teach franchising,” he said.

Hayes and Spinelli both praised philanthropic leaders who have supported business education, including Ray Titus, franchise entrepreneur and benefactor to the Titus Center for Franchising. Titus was awarded PBA’s American Free Enterprise Medal just the day before the advisory board meeting.

As the advisory board continued its meeting Wednesday afternoon, Hayes recognized donors and student recipients of the following PBA scholarships:

  • JJ Prendamano Scholarship, to Umberto Rosi, from Rome, Italy, a junior majoring in business management;
  • Seiber Family Endowed Scholarship, to Eva Bracciale, from Royal Palm Beach, Florida, a graduate student in enterprise systems;
  • Chick-fil-A West Palm Beach Franchise Scholarship, to Mitchell Nolan, from Clearwater, Florida, a senior majoring in international business;
  • Don Dwyer, Sr. Endowed Scholarship, to Micah Droescher, from Omaha, Nebraska, a junior majoring in marketing; and
  • Kobel Family Endowed Scholarship, to Kyle Foster, from Columbus, Indiana, a senior majoring in marketing.

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