International Women's Day: Celebrating Women in Franchising

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women franchising 2019

With International Women’s Day fast approaching, we thought we’d use this opportunity to shine a spotlight on female entrepreneurs and celebrate women in franchising.


The purpose of International Women’s Day is to ‘celebrate women’s achievement, raise awareness against bias and take action for equality.’ In the spirit of the celebration, we will honour the female entrepreneurs taking the franchising industry by storm and consider why it’s so important for women to rise up as business owners in today’s society.

The franchising industry is thriving like never before. One area that has experienced impressive growth is the number of new franchisees that are women. The British Franchise Association/NatWest Franchise Survey 2018 found that 37 percent of those investing in franchises are women, which is a 20 percent increase since 2015. Of the new franchisees that are under 30 (18% of the UK’s total franchisees), 52 percent are female.


Why are women choosing to start their own business?

Guidant Financial and SBTA companies surveyed over 3,100 women small business and franchise owners. When asked what their motivations were for opening a business, 31 percent said it was to be their own boss, 26 percent said to pursue their passion and 15 percent said they were dissatisfied with corporate US.

Why do female entrepreneurs make great franchise owners?

  • More emotionally intelligent
  • Excellent multi-taskers
  • Experience facing tougher barriers and prejudices
  • Less ego-driven
  • Make staff feel valued

These are of course generalisations, and it’s not to say that male entrepreneurs can’t also have these traits, but they are certainly qualities worth celebrating in women.

What industries are women entrepreneurs gravitating to the most?

Well, the sectors with the highest proportion of female run businesses in the UK are personal services (64 percent), clothing (49 percent), arts/hobbies/photography (49 percent), healthcare (40 percent) and education (39 percent).

More research based in the US has found that professional services is a popular choice for female entrepreneurs. Businesses that fall in the professional services category are often knowledge-based, so women can bring their expertise and special training to the table. It’s also been found that lots of women are launching businesses to support other female business owners, for instance by providing co-working spaces and recruitment services.

37% of those investing in franchises are women

Utilise our franchise directory

At Point Franchise, we have lots of different franchise opportunities in these popular sectors.

The ‘personal services’ industry is made up of business that offer services that help people or improve their lives in one way or another. If you actively want to have a positive impact on someone’s day, businesses in this sector are a great option. On our franchise network you could consider cleaning franchise HOMECLEAN, locksmith franchise Lockforce and tutoring franchise Choice Home Tutoring.

But it’s important for women to remember that you can start a lucrative franchise in any sector you choose, it doesn’t have to be one of the ones mentioned above. You might want to defy gender stereotypes and start a business in a traditionally male dominated sector, for instance construction franchise All Trades Network or automotive franchise ChipsAway.

You can choose a franchise opportunity that fits round your personal commitments and makes life more enjoyable. If you’ve got young children to look after, home-based franchises like Tubz Vending make it possible to earn a living without missing any important family moments.

What events can I get involved with?

1. The BFA’s ‘Empowering Women in Business’ event

The rise of women in franchising has led to the most authoritative voice in the franchising industry, the BFA, having their say by launching the Women in Franchising conference. ‘Empowering Women in Business’ is an annual event that 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 women’s 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. The next event will take place on the 4th November.

2. Encouraging Women into Franchising (EWIF)

As well as the work that the BFA are doing to inspire women to franchise, the EWIF 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

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. The next event will be on the 15th September.

As International Women’s Day is all about celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, let’s have a quick look at two of the women who won big at the 2019 awards and what role they have played in changing the world of franchising and making it a more equal place.

1. New Woman Franchisee of the Year 2019 – Sarah Johnson, It’seeze, Hull

Just over 15 percent of those who work in IT are female, but Sarah doesn’t seem to be fazed by being in the minority running her own website consultancy franchise. She said:

"This is a win for me, for women in franchising and for women in IT."

"When I tell people that I sell websites, I can sometimes see the shock on their faces. Male web developers sometimes try to catch me out with technical questions, but I can usually answer them. It's not that complicated!"

It’s inspiring success stories like this that can help empower other women who were unsure about entering a male-dominated industry take the plunge.

2. Inspirational Woman in Franchising 2019 – Anne-Marie Martin, diddi dance

This is widely considered to be the highest accolade at the EWIF awards. 2019 was a very successful year for her as a franchisor, for her brand and her franchise network. She delivered talks at local women’s networking events and shared her experiences at various franchising events. She also took it on herself to inspire the next generation at schools and promote franchising as much as possible.

To see another one of our articles dedicated to women in franchising success stories, click here.

We’ve still got a way to go

Fewer than one in five small and medium-sized enterprises in the UK are led by women, despite women outnumbering men by around 1 million. Females are underrepresented in industries that are traditionally male-dominated, with the sectors with the smallest number of female-run businesses being construction (24 percent), repair (23 percent) and automotive (17 percent).


With movements like feminism being more prevalent and accepted by the public nowadays, it’s a great opportunity for the world of business to be redefined and for women to take centre stage.

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.

If you’ve been inspired by this article and want to find out what opportunites are available in your area, click here.

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