Diversity in Business: Be the Change You Want to See

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diversity in business

Diversity in business is a bit of a hot topic right now, as employers start to re-evaluate their recruitment processes and eliminate any bias or prejudice influencing their day-to-day operations. If you feel underrepresented in the workplace or among business leaders, becoming a franchisee could help you fast-track your way to the top.

Would-be entrepreneurs who belong to minority groups often feel unequipped to start their own business. According to Maria Wishart, the factors contributing to the lack of diversity among those who launch start-ups span social, cultural and educational issues.

Ethnic minorities, for instance, are likely to suffer from discrimination, inferior educational opportunities and language and cultural barriers. For people with a disability, problems might include a lack of access to finance or support networks. Meanwhile, women or older entrepreneurs could struggle to launch a business alongside family commitments or negative societal expectations.

Minority groups can be at a disadvantage when it comes to running your own business

Have you written off the prospect of becoming your own boss? While more and more highflyers are working hard to increase diversity in business, many marginalised groups still face discrimination. This conscious or unconscious bias is usually based on race, class, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability or level of education.

As a result of this bias, many minority workers dont necessarily feel they have the support network, money, qualifications or confidence to start their own business. After all, its a daunting thought for even the most experienced entrepreneur.

Thats where franchising comes in. The franchise model has helped a huge number of people from a vast array of different backgrounds become business owners

Did you know? Almost one in three franchise units are run by business owners from minority groups.

Joining a franchise could be the solution

Franchising can act as a stepping stone for would-be entrepreneurs who need an extra level of support. Its a more accessible route to business ownership, and a great way to embrace your entrepreneurial spirit without having to do all the heavy lifting completely on your own.

Here are just a few of the benefits of joining a franchise:

  1. Learn on the job Most franchises provide a comprehensive training scheme, so youll gain all the experience you need once youve invested. In many cases, theres no need to brush up on your skills before you apply all you need is the desire to learn and the dedication to build on your knowledge.
  2. Get financial support Lots of franchises already have links with major high street banks, so its likely youll be able to secure a business loan fairly easily. Even if your chosen franchise doesnt have any existing affiliations, a lender should recognise the security of the franchise model. As a result, it should be more willing to lend you money than if you were setting up an independent business from scratch.
  3. Access a support network When you become a franchisee, youll join a group of existing franchise partners who have already experienced everything youre about to go through. Business events and industry conferences provide the perfect opportunity for you to network with likeminded people. And youll always be able to lean on your franchisor if you have any concerns.
  4. Work with flexibility A wide range of franchises offer part-time and home-based investment opportunities, giving those with existing commitments the chance to run a business around their busy everyday lives. These types of franchises are ideal for parents who need to juggle child-care duties or do the school run.

The franchising industry is great for minorities

Were not alone in saying the franchise sector is popular among those who feel theyre at a disadvantage. The International Franchise Association (IFA) has published research showing 31 percent of franchise units are run by entrepreneurs from minority groups, compared to just 19 percent of non-franchised businesses. The IFAs Senior Director of Communications, Stephen Worley, admits certain sections of society still face challenges, but he adds:

[Many] franchise businesses are ahead of the curve with more equitable hiring and wage practices and greater numbers of diverse franchise business owners and employees.

And there are plenty of examples of franchisees from minority groups who champion diversity in business and have seen success as entrepreneurs. You can read about four of them in our article: The Diverse and Influential Faces Of Franchising In 2020.

Find your ideal franchise investment opportunity today

If you dont see yourself represented among successful entrepreneurs, it can be hard to gather the motivation to reach for those higher levels of the business world yourself. But franchising could be your chance to do just that. With training and support, access to funding and the chance to work remotely or part-time, franchises help people get their foot in the door when it comes to business ownership.

Whats more, there are franchises operating in all the major industries. Many people think of food brands like McDonalds and Subway when they hear the word franchise, but theres a diverse variety of businesses waiting for you to get in touch.

Whether youre interested in offering business, financial, personal or cleaning services, or setting up a clothes store, restaurant, gym or car repair firm, theres plenty of choice available. There are even franchise opportunities for dog walking services, vending machine businesses and Christmas decoration companies, if thats what you fancy!

Here on Point Franchise, we have a large network of franchisors who understand the importance of diversity in the workplace. Click on the links above to find franchises in specific sectors or take a look at our full franchise directory to browse all the investment opportunities available to you.

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