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Pathways to Black Franchise Ownership

Pathways to Black Franchise Ownership is a signature program of MFHA, made possible through a $2.5 million commitment from anchor sponsor PepsiCo.

With the belief that franchise ownership is one of the most successful vehicles for building wealth in the Black community, our goal is to create 100 Black-owned franchise restaurants by year-end 2023.


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Franchisee Inquiry Form      Franchisor Inquiry Form


Pathways to Black Franchise Ownership was launched in December 2020, inspired by a $2.5 million commitment from anchor sponsor PepsiCo. Pathways identifies, finances and prepares aspiring Black entrepreneurs to operate high-performing restaurants, while helping companies grow their brands and build wealth in the Black community.
Pathways presents an opportunity for the companies to grow their brand while helping to create wealth in the Black community by embracing a social equity ownership model. The Pathways initiative will identify, finance and prepare aspiring Black entrepreneurs to operate high-performing restaurants.
Today, Black Americans make up only 8 percent of franchise business owners, yet they comprise 13 percent of the population and nearly 10 percent of food service managers. Pathways addresses this disparity through training and access to capital, the two biggest barriers for Black women and men who want to own profitable businesses.
Training and access to capital are the biggest barriers for Black women and men who want to own their own business. Through Pathways, the restaurant industry has the opportunity to create tangible lasting change in the communities they serve by helping to increase Black ownership. Ownership is a critical element of racial and social justice. And economic mobility cannot be achieved until Black Americans have a fair opportunity to participate in the nation’s shared prosperity.
Pathways welcomes brands who want to grow by offering Black business owners franchise opportunities. New or established brands with regional or national presence are all potential partners. Our goal is to create an inclusive, collaborative industry-wide coalition of leaders.
  • DEI education for all franchise professionals
  • Attract best-in-class talent
  • Develop current franchise professionals
  • Drive customer loyalty and engagement
  • Create generational wealth for African American families
  • Build industry credibility
  • Non-franchisor brands can support Pathways with financial and in-kind contributions critical to the success of the Pathways Program and its future franchise owners.
PATHWAY 1: Experienced Operator - Foodservice professionals who work in the industry and want to be owners but lack resources.
PATHWAY 2: Aspiring Franchisees - Established business professionals from outside of the industry who want to pursue franchise ownership (may or may not have financial capacity).
PATHWAY 3: Established Franchisees - Existing Black franchisees seeking to expand their portfolio and scale up their businesses.
Training and access to capital remain the most consistent barriers for Black Americans who want to own a franchised restaurant. The Pathways model addresses these hurdles through the following support:
  • Dedicated brand partners
  • Equal access to capital
  • Culturally responsive operations training
  • Peer-to-peer mentorship
  • IFA certified executive coaching
  • Match aspiring owners with Pathways brand partners

“As part of our initiative to support Black-owned restaurants, we’re proud to partner in unlocking access to ownership, recognizing it can have a massive positive ripple effect benefiting Black communities,” said Scott Finlow, Chief Marketing Officer, PepsiCo Global Foodservice. “We hope our investment will create a ripple effect of its own, inspiring more companies to get involved.” 


Founding Sponsor:

Our Partners:




Pathways Coalition: MFHA is creating The Pathways Coalition– a collection of industry partners, foundations, banks, and private equity firms to support and invest in the recruitment, training, development and success of Black-franchise owners.  Multiple pools of capital are required to drive the scale of the solution. Funding opportunities include capacity building grants for MFHA to manage the program, small business ownership grants to Black business owners, and equity or program investment funding to support all or part of a franchise startup cost.