Celebrating International Women’s Day with The Travel Franchise

The Travel Franchise franchise
The Travel Franchise All adventures begin with a single step…

Joining the Travel Franchise is more than a chance to become your own boss and find financial independence. It’s a unique way to live your travel dreams and create unforgettable experiences for yourself, your loved ones and your clients. “I have been with The Travel Franchise for over 6 years and it’s been an incredible journey. We love that we’ve escaped the 9-5 and can travel the world whenever we want.” – Susan & Ian

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How franchises can help close the gender gap?

The Travel Franchise urges females to invest in a franchise and beat the barriers to entrepreneurship 

" Many franchises empower women and enable parity in a world where women still face significant challenges relating to funding, capital and childcare."

In 2022, women in the UK established over 150,000 new companies – more than twice as many as in 2018, according to research in the Rose Review progress report 2023 (currently being rebranded following the departure of former NatWest chief Dame Alison Rose last year). 

While females are clearly making progress, the same report says only one in three UK entrepreneurs are women.

So why are women still lagging behind men when it comes to starting and running their own businesses and is there a solution to bridging the gender gap in entrepreneurship?

Jenny Farenden, head of franchise marketing at The Travel Franchise believes that franchises can offer many women a quick and effective route to launching a successful business and those that are also home-based offer mums the additional benefits of flexibility to juggle family life. 

“For many women funding, capital and childcare are huge barriers to entrepreneurship.”

Her sentiments are backed up by a report published last year by think tank The Entrepreneurs Network, in partnership with Barclays. It states that women-led businesses secured just 3.5% of the equity funding being invested in UK businesses during the first half of 2023. In comparison, male-led teams secured 85.1% of the equity deal value in the same period. 

“This proves that women continue to face hurdles within business that men do not,” says Farenden. “In the franchise world, these hurdles often don’t exist. For example, we provide a ‘business in a box’ from just £2,995 (+vat) offering a successful business model for our franchisees – whether male or female – to follow.”

“As the business can be run from home with flexible hours it can be easily operated around the family saving huge costs on childcare.”

Female entrepreneurs account for 65% of the company’s franchisees and many earn six figure incomes after training to become homeworking travel consultants who earn commission on every holiday booked. 

 “Our female franchisees never cease to impress me with their resilience, their tenacity and sheer determination to succeed,” says Farenden, adding that many work part time.  

“Increasingly we’re seeing more women take control of their careers and be their own boss by transforming themselves into personal travel consultants, giving them the flexibility to work whenever and from wherever they choose.”

This proposition is particularly appealing to mums who, despite a fractional shift in traditional gender roles within families over the years, continue to take on the greatest share of household and childcare responsibilities within the home. 

Like Alison Hunter-Gray, for example, who is based in the remote and rugged island of Shetland, off the north-east coast of Scotland and is mum to three girls, aged 6, 11 and 14.

Having been a stay-at-home mum for the past 14 years, when her youngest started school she was keen to jump start her career and earn an income – yet still be there for her girls. 

Completing the five-day, online training course with The Travel Franchise back in May 2023, Alison has now established herself as the ‘go-to travel expert’ on the island. In less than a year since the launch of her company she has booked more than £500k worth of holidays. And the great thing: she can continue to be there for her girls. 

“I didn’t want a job where I had to ask a boss for days off. I can nip to the town if I want, meet my pals and take my laptop with me and work from a cafe. If the kids are at athletics or swimming practice, I’ll take the laptop and just pop to the library for an hour. I try to just work while they are at school and during the holidays. And when they are at home, I dip in and out because my laptop actually just sits in the playroom.”  

Likewise, franchisees Philippa Hawketts, 34, who quit her managerial role to launch her travel business to spend more time with her two children. 

“I had no idea you could do what I do and earn an income that is just as much as what I was earning before and I”m saving hundreds of pounds a month not having to send my youngest into nursery full time!” says Philippa.

 But it’s certainly not just mums. The Travel Franchise is appealing to women looking for a change of career. 

With no former experience within the travel industry required, some 98% of new franchisees who join The Travel Franchise have never worked in the industry before. 

“We recognise the transferable skills that our potential franchisees have to offer,” says Farenden. “Whether that be a mum – who let’s face it has to be a master juggler, a teacher who is getting tired of the increasing bureaucracy within the profession or a retail manager who has fantastic people skills, women join us from all walks of life. All it takes is an understanding of good customer service and a passion for travel. We teach them the rest and provide on-going training and support. 

“I love seeing women completely reinvent themselves. It’s never too late to start your career or change direction.”

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