Longtime workers who took voluntary retirement packages or have been downsized are becoming franchisees as they combine their interest in entrepreneurship with a desire for a proven business model. "They've done their homework and realize you don't have to go through the school of hard knocks," said Dina Dwyer-Owens, chairwoman of the International Franchise Association and chairwoman and CEO of the Dwyer Group. "They're more likely to follow the system, especially if they've had a tough time."

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