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Women in Franchising

Women in Franchising Trends and Characteristics: Past and Present

Over the last decade, the number of women who have become franchisees either on their own or with a business or family partner has grown. According to recent research women are more likely to succeed in franchising or in setting up a business, than are men. (Reasons why women should start a franchise)

Statistics show men are continuing to dominate the ranks of CEO franchise ownership and franchisee ownership. However, there are indications that women are entering into the franchise industry in a big way, either setting up new franchise systems or entering into existing franchisee opportunities.

Move over Boys! Statistics Prove it...

In a study conducted by the Small Business Administration (SBA) the number of women starting their own business had increased two fold since 1995. This study also indicated that 10% of all firms established between 1975 and 2000 were women-owned franchises.

In a more recent study (2005), the number of women buying franchises is estimated to be close to 25% according to research conducted by International Franchise Association (IFA). Take a look at the following pie chart on "Franchise Ownership by Gender". This study revealed:

Graph of Percentage of Franchises owned by Men or Women

  • 58% of men are currently franchisee owners;
  • 17% of men/women partners share a franchise opportunity;
  • and 25% of women are currently franchisee owners.   


This study indicates the growing emergence of women in franchising and the importance of women entering into the franchise industry.

Why has the franchise industry turned its attention on recruiting potential women franchisees/franchisors?

There are many reasons why over the last ten years organizations have turned their focus to women as a core target market for franchising. One of the major reasons the franchise industry is targeting women franchisees and franchisors, is because of their female characteristics.


There are many skills the franchising industry has identified in women that are important to developing a successful franchise. These include prioritizing, taking great attention to detail, being very organized and efficient and having the ability to handle numerous tasks. These particular skills have been proven to be very adaptable within the franchise system and this makes women as a potential target group all the more appealing.

Some interesting facts and trends are apparent when it comes to women and franchising: 

  • Women tend to own less expensive franchise systems and generally tend to enter into a less expensive franchise system. The reasons are associated with a woman's nature to take less financial risks and to start small to grow big. 
  • Women are not only interested in starting up franchise systems that are traditionally regarded as "feminine" industries such as beauty franchises. Rather, women are increasingly entering into traditionally "masculine" aligned franchises. One such woman is Mary Ellen Sheets, CEO of Two Men and a Truck business service franchise. And there are many more women like her, who are entering into traditionally masculine franchise systems and are very successful.
  • Increasingly there are various organizations set up to encourage women to enter into the franchise system. These organizations (Small Business Administration; Association of Women Business Centers and many more) regularly provide mentoring programs, workshops, seminars and funding opportunities for women entering into the franchise industry. (Assistance from Associations and Organizations)


There are many reasons why women in franchising are a growing trend and continues to play an important role in boosting the overall success of the U.S. economy. Women need to take advantage of this particular trend and really start to make an impact in the franchising industry. For more information on unique franchise opportunities for women, please click on the link provided.


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