Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their very own.
We have heard the future is feminine, and with regards to franchising we’re seeing that shift. In keeping with Franchise Insights, ladies, particularly Gen Z and millennials, outnumber males in looking for franchising info, and at the moment a 3rd of franchises are owned by ladies.
Within the 50 years the U.S. Census Bureau has tracked women-owned companies, they’ve grown by a staggering 3,150%, with ladies proudly owning greater than 13 million companies at the moment. After I first acquired concerned in franchising 30 years in the past, I am unable to keep in mind a woman-owned franchise model, and there have been only a few ladies franchisees. Right this moment there are examples of each, and their success helps drive an increasing number of ladies to make franchising a profession.
Why franchising appeals to ladies
Most of the causes franchising appeals to ladies are the identical as the explanations it attracts males. Franchising offers ladies the chance to be their very own boss whereas having the assist and programs supplied by a franchisor.
For ladies, franchising can be a option to cut back the gender pay hole that also exists in company America. In 2022 working ladies earn 82 cents for each $1 working males make (the hole is wider for minority ladies). Ladies franchisees earn 90 cents for each greenback their male counterparts make.
Franchising typically affords ladies a greater work/life steadiness than conventional careers provide. Ladies can choose a franchise that has hours that coincide with faculty hours, for instance, or manufacturers that don’t have any weekend hours. With a basic supervisor onsite, homeowners are additionally free to set hours that work for them. The franchising mannequin offers ladies far more flexibility over their schedules than working as an worker for an additional firm.
“So many ladies left the workforce throughout Covid and are in search of one thing that provides the flexibleness of franchising,” Pamela Fazio, a 20-year franchise veteran and present CEO of Duff’s CakeMix, says. “I anticipate extra ladies to show to franchising. It lets them achieve success whereas additionally having the time to concentrate on themselves and their households.”
Profitable ladies in franchising
Right this moment examples of ladies franchisors and franchisees are in every single place within the trade, and their success is fueling a brand new era of ladies to affix the franchise ranks.
Again in 1997, buddies Dena Tripp and Debbie Shwetz began working Nothing Bundt Desserts out of their Las Vegas kitchens. Right this moment the favored dessert franchise has greater than 430 areas in the USA and Canada. Shwetz exited the corporate when a non-public fairness agency invested in 2016, however Tripp stayed on till this yr when the corporate bought.
Stacy Brown created an amazing rooster salad recipe then found out the way to make new variations of the traditional recipe, and in 2008 the Hen Salad Chick was born. Right this moment the franchise has greater than 285 areas. Brown is captivated with serving to different ladies obtain their entrepreneurial goals. She helps mentor and prepare workers, helps ladies develop enterprise concepts and created the Hen Salad Chick Incubator.
The success of those ladies and others like them is inspiring a brand new era of franchisors. In 2022 Christine Cutlip, founding father of Savannah Seafood Shack, began her franchise journey, and he or she now has one of many strongest unit economics within the restaurant trade. In 2019 Ghazal Quershi started franchising her Thought Lab Children Worldwide, and at the moment it has 93 areas. At simply 29 years outdated Toastique founder Brianna Keefe has 4 company areas and 37 franchises of her health-conscious cafe both open or slated to open by 2023.
Though many ladies entrepreneurs are increasing their companies by franchising, much more are interested in changing into franchisees. In keeping with a 2020 Ladies in Franchising report, from 2018 to 2020 ladies comprised 41% of recent franchisees.
One of the troublesome hurdles for franchisees to cross is discovering entry to financing. There is a gender financing hole similar to there is a gender pay hole. Entrepreneurs who’re males are 20% extra doubtless than ladies homeowners to get permitted for a enterprise mortgage.
To encourage extra ladies in franchising, a number of applications just like the SBA Loans for Deprived Enterprise House owners and the Workplace of Ladies’s Enterprise Possession might help ladies acquire capital. There are additionally nationwide grant and mortgage applications to assist ladies acquire financing, and extra individuals at the moment are utilizing crowdfunding platforms to assist fund their franchises.
Lauren Fernandez, who was a Hen Salad Chick franchisee and basic counsel for FOCUS Manufacturers, is now serving to different ladies achieve franchising with Full Course, an organization that provides schooling, counsel and funding for ladies seeking to develop a enterprise.
Since 1996 The Worldwide Franchise Affiliation has helped propel ladies into franchising with its Ladies’s Franchising Committee, and in 2002 launched the Ladies’s Franchise Community, which helps ladies be taught from different ladies within the trade. With eating places being an enormous a part of the franchise trade, the Nationwide Restaurant Affiliation helps ladies by its Multicultural Foodservice & Hospitality Alliance.
With the assets obtainable to ladies at the moment, coupled with a path paved by the primary era of profitable ladies franchisors and franchisees, the longer term for ladies in franchising is vivid.
Disclosure: I’m the CEO of Fransmart, a franchising group partnered with Duff’s CakeMix and Savannah Seafood Shack.