As the number of women entering the world of entrepreneurship continues to rise, their participation in the franchise industry is growing more prominent as well. Between 2011 and 2017, female franchise ownership increased by a whopping 83%.1 And even through the challenges of COVID-19, women business owners make up nearly a third of all franchisees. 2
As the leading organization dedicated to women’s entrepreneurial training, AWBC isn’t just watching this trend, we are leaning into it. Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) across the country are directly serving women embarking on the franchise pathway to entrepreneurship.
We shouldn’t be surprised this business model is of keen interest to women entrepreneurs. The recipe for success to a strong franchising relationship includes frequent communication and creativity. While alignment of core values and standards are needed between franchisees and franchisors, franchisees have control of their day-to-day business operations. They are the ones who understand the economics and business environment of the community and economy in which they operate and are more knowledgeable of the local market, customer preferences, and industry trends.
AWBC is doing more than making entrepreneurs aware of the opportunity in franchising. We are leveraging our advocacy heft to make sure policymakers on both sides of the aisle understand the importance of this model. 3
As noted in AWBC’s comment in response to the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB’s) proposed standards on joint employer status and comment in response to the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) solicitation for public comment (June 2023) on the franchisee / franchisor relationship, women in franchising are truly in business for themselves. The misconception that these entrepreneurs are simply mid-level management is as antiquated as it is incorrect.
And doing away with the franchising model, or regulating it out of existence, actually harms the women many policymakers are seeking to empower through entrepreneurship. A report by Oxford Economics showed that a full third of women franchisees would not have gone into business without this model.
For these reasons, AWBC will continue to advocate for a vibrant and fair franchising environment, and we hope that agencies like the FTC and NLRB will consider our feedback as they evaluate this important part of our economy.
1 Simpson, Fiona. “Women in Franchising: The Rise and Rise of Female Franchisees.” Forbes, 19 Oct. 2018, www.forbes.com/sites/fionasimpson1/2018/09/16/women-in-franchising-the-rise-and-rise-of-female-franchisees/?sh=1cea5f294ee0
3 Oxford Economics. (2021). (rep.). The Value of Franchising, https://www.oxfordeconomics.com/resource/The-value-of-franchising/