Women in Franchising 2019

28/01/2019 08:00 | Start a business

women franchising 2019

According to the UK Government, women accounted for 19 percent of SME owners in 2017. Between 2017 and 2018, 5 percent of the female population were involved in the ownership or running of a start-up business. Although this figure is lower than other countries such as Canada (16 percent) and the USA (9.2 percent), these women-led SMEs contributed £85 billion to the UK economic output in 2017. This impressive contribution from female entrepreneurs highlights the importance of encouraging women to be brave enough to start up their own ventures.

The finding that there are lower numbers of women in business are echoed in the 2018 NatWest/BFA survey on franchising. This highlighted the disappointing fact that women only account for 37 percent of new franchisees in the UK. This is well above the SME average in the UK, and a huge increase from 2005, where 80 percent of new franchisees were male.

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British Franchise Association (BFA) Event

It is statistics such as these which have led to the most authoritative voice in the franchising industry, the BFA, having their say by launching the Women in Franchising conference. The latest event, Empowering Women in Business 2018, took place on 15th November 2018 at the Nottingham Belfry. The annual event takes place every November and is packed with presentations, discussions and seminars, all of which are presented by driven women who have succeeded in the world of franchising. The event is open to any women looking to succeed. Attendees are invited to listen to inspirational womens experiences and learn best practices from those that have been there and achieved their goals.

The overriding focus of each conference is to empower and educate women, and help women in business create new opportunities by presenting networking opportunities. Speakers will share their experiences and lessons learnt through their franchising journey so that attendees can apply them to their business.

Who are the EWIF?

As well as the work that the BFA are doing to inspire women to franchise, the EWIF (Encouraging Women into Franchising) focuses on supporting women that are looking to enter the franchise industry.

This non-profit organisation has three main objectives:

  • to help women to think about the opportunities that buying a franchise can offer
  • to give women the confidence to franchise their existing business
  • to help franchisors networks appeal to more women


The EWIF partners with professionals in the franchise industry so that members can benefit from first-class guidance and support. Research is also carried out to find out about the issues that women in franchising face and then raise awareness of these in the media. Membership is £140 per year.

EWIF National Conference

To raise awareness of EWIF developments and to give members a chance to meet each other and hear from guest speakers, EWIF holds an annual National Conference. By attending the event, members can network with some of the major brands in the franchise industry.

Networking provides a great opportunity to grow your business as well as the chance to get advice from other business owners facing the same challenges you are. If youre new to the franchise industry, or are just thinking about buying a franchise, attending an EWIF conference will provide great insight into franchising by enabling you to speak to others in the industry.

EWIF regional meetings

As well as the national conference, the EWIF holds regular meetings around the UK to ensure that all members can network and meet with franchise experts to share their experiences.

There is no charge for members to attend, and meetings are open to both men and women within the industry, all working together to inspire more women to franchise. As well as attending the meetings and increasing their knowledge, members also get to share views and develop connections within the franchising community. The fact that these meetings are held all over the UK means that busy business owners can attend at whichever location is best for them.

NatWest EWIF Awards 2019

Where: 250 Bishopsgate, London
When: Wednesday 1st May 2019

Each year, in conjunction with NatWest, the EWIF organises an awards ceremony intended to celebrate the successes of women in franchising. The purpose of the awards is not only to acknowledge accomplishments, but also to enhance the winners position within franchising, as well as providing them with credibility.

So, what awards are up for grabs at the 9th annual awards in 2019?

  • New Woman Franchisor of the Year
  • New Woman Franchisee of the Year
  • Woman Franchisor of the Year
  • Woman Franchisee of the Year
  • Woman Franchise Employee of the Year
  • Young Woman in Franchising of the Year
  • Service Provider of the Year
  • Inspirational Woman in Franchising
  • Overall EWIF Woman in Franchising

Tickets to the award ceremony are free and attendance is open to anyone involved in franchising. This really is a great opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women in this male-dominated industry.

The future of women in franchising

There has been a significant rise in the number of businesses started by women since the turn of the millennium. Between 2002 and 2006, females in the UK launched approximately 60,000 businesses a year. This positive trend continued and the amount of businesses owned by women grew every year between 2006 and 2013. This progress has since slowed to 126,000 businesses being created by women in 2015 an encouraging rise from the 58,000 started in 2006, but down from 139,000 in 2013.

But then, with the influential work that the BFA and EWIF perform, both for and with inspirational and ambitious females from the world of franchising, more awareness will be generated. Hopefully, female leaders of the future will not be limited by the restrictions imposed on previous generations and will flourish in the franchise sector and beyond.

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