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Wanted: Strong Women Franchisees

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Are you a woman who is considering whether franchising is a good path for you? You are not alone in that pursuit. The International Franchise Association’s (IFA’s) recent study shows that female-owned and minority-owned franchises have grown more than 50% in the last five years.

Your desires are well-suited to franchising because women tend to show their strengths in ways that contribute to franchise success.

Traditional Female Strengths

All successful businesses have owners and managers who demonstrate leadership strengths. Women are no different, but they also bring exceptional abilities in some key areas. While these traits are found in men (and not in all women), they are more commonly evident in female leaders.

  • Perseverance. Sticking through tough times is never easy, but women are not fragile and stay the course more often than men.
  • Communication. Women communicate more and build rapport. They use more verbal and non-verbal cues that help avoid confusion and ambiguity.
  • Networking. Using connections to further your business is nothing new. Women extend their reach to friends and associates beyond the work environment and often a larger, closer network of friends and supporters.
  • Realistic about risks. Women can be as bold as men about risk-taking, but they tend to be more realistic about the likely results. In business, being risk-averse may prove helpful in maintaining a solid financial foundation with women looking at longer-term success.
  • More Honest. Honesty is critically important, and women are perceived as more ethical in business negotiations than men, and we all want to collaborate with a business we can trust.
  • Higher EI. Emotional intelligence and empathy are consistently reported higher in women. This quality advances their ability to foster teamwork and understand customer needs.
  • Better judges. When better communication and EI combine with honesty, women render more balanced judgments that move their franchise toward greater success.

Research shows women as stronger than men in these soft-skill areas, so take inventory of your own abilities and strengths, and then consider the advantages of franchising, specifically for women.

Financial and Coaching Advantages

In most cases, women business owners are considered minority-owned businesses. Wise franchisors specifically look for women to balance their portfolios of franchise owners.

Sometimes, there are tax benefits to the franchisor which translates into financial incentives for women who come on board as franchise business owners. Some franchisors offer reduced franchise fees at nearly half of the usual fee charged. This lowers a significant financial barrier to buying a franchise. There are also grant options specifically designed to promote women in business as well.

In addition to the potential financial incentives, there are in-person and online mentoring programs designed to advance women franchisees, such as the ones presented by the IFA’s Women’s Franchise Committee.

Bottom Line: Beyond the traits you have, access to coaching and support specific to your goals as a woman franchisee are out there waiting. Combined with a proven franchise model and franchisor support, you are well on your way to a successful business venture of your own as a strong woman franchisee.

Anne Daniells is a co-owner of Enterprising Solutions, a professional services firm specializing in corporate communication and financial improvement for businesses where she shares decades of corporate and entrepreneurial experience—including franchise ownership—in her writings on business culture. She has authored hundreds of articles for publications including,, and Reach out via her website for more on where corporate culture, communication, and human architecture collide.

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