Toppers Pizza Inc. announced its support of the Veterans Transition Franchise Initiative, also known as “VetFran.” VetFran is a voluntary effort of the International Franchise Association (IFA) member-companies that is designed to encourage franchise ownership by offering financial incentives to honorably discharged veterans.

The Toppers Pizza Veterans Program was created to honor veterans for their service. It also provides veterans with career opportunities when they transition to civilian life or seek a career change. It offers honorably discharged veterans a 50 percent discount off the initial franchise fee of $30,000.

“The US military provides soldiers with the tools for success. Military training instills leadership, motivation, and discipline into these individuals. These tools help veterans to be successful in the business world,” says US Army veteran, SGT Derek Henze, Franchise Development Representative for Toppers Pizza Inc.

SGT Henze served in the initial operations of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 while on active duty. He continued to serve in the Army Reserves in Madison, Wisconsin, until he was honorably discharged in 2008. “There are many challenges soldiers face when transitioning from their military career to a civilian career. The VetFran program is designed to assist in this,” Henze says.

Recently the IFA Educational Foundation and the PepsiCo Foundation established the VetFran Business Grant Fund. The purpose of this fund is to assist veterans who have been awarded a franchise through the IFA VetFran program by providing financial grants for business development, education, training, and/or technical assistance. The fund will provide financial grants (up to $10,000 per grant) to qualified VetFran franchisees/candidates.

In 2008, Toppers Pizza expects to expand its operations by more than 10 stores and projects to develop over 100 stores by 2013.

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