I’ve read a lot lately about the rise in entrepreneurs from outside of America who’ve set up franchises in recent years. A lot of these people come to the country purely for the chance to earn a fortune. Others, though, arrive fleeing genuine oppression.
I always thought the concept behind Sport Clips – a hair cutting franchise geared towards sports-loving men – was fascinating, but the back story behind one of its franchisees Shahin Ebadi Urias, which is told in the latest issue of Franchise Times, is even more interesting. Born along the Iran-Azerbaijan border, Shahin’s family faced oppression in the years following Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979.
You often hear the stories that inspire entrepreneurs to success, that kind of greeting-card inspiration story from, say, working at the nearby country club. Shahin acquired the mettle for business success at the age of 10, following the death of her mother, when tending to her family became her chief responsibility.
Shahin moved to Houston in 1991. After a number of setbacks, Shahin enrolled in beauty school and started cutting hair. Slowly, she worked her way up the ranks and assumed control of a local Sport Clips franchise.
“Shahin has a can-do attitude, she’s positive and willing to go up and beyond,” Gordon Logan, CEO of Sport Clips, told Franchise Times.
All in all, it’s a hugely inspiring story and proof of what foreigners can bring to franchising.