It is surprising to me that only 17% of the UK’s business owners are women, given that 23% of British franchises are now owned and run by females. The franchise sector is proving that business is no longer a man’s world.
There are endless opportunities for anyone looking to start and expand their own business in this £15bn sector, regardless of age or gender.
I believe that joining a franchise is a great way for women to get into running their own business because franchising offers flexible working hours, proven business models and the potential for substantial annual turnovers.
The National Franchise Exhibition is a great place to explore these opportunities, and get expert advice about where, how and why to jump in. With over 900 franchises currently operating in the UK, there has never been a better time for women to get into franchising.
The multitude of opportunities available across a wide range of sectors means that there is something out there to suit everyone.
The exhibition, which will take place at the NEC, Birmingham, on 30 September and 1 October, will feature over 100 established franchise brands and offer visitors free access to over 60 seminars, Q&As with franchise experts, and consultations with financial advisors and career specialists.
The National Franchise Exhibition is exclusively supported by the sole industry regulators, the British Franchise Association (bfa). This ensures that all exhibitors must pass through the bfa’s strict accreditation process with the result that only a very high standard of brands will be on show.
Having worked in the franchise sector for more than 16 years, I was appointed CEO in April 2016. I became the first female to hold the position at the bfa.
This is an achievement I’m very proud of, but it is not only at senior management levels that women are excelling in franchising. Two out of the last three of our Franchisee of the Year winners have been inspirational mothers that have balanced their home and work lives to outstanding effect.
The exhibition offers substantial opportunities for women in franchising, ranging from disaster recovery specialists, Rainbow International, children’s swimming franchise, Swim Kidz, 24hr gym franchise, Anytime Fitness, to community-focused Bluebird Care.
It can be difficult for working mums to juggle their busy work schedules with their home lives, but the franchise industry offers a number of flexible business models that cater for individual situations.
I would like to encourage mums who are struggling to find the right balance to come and explore the wealth of business opportunities available at The National Franchise Exhibition.