Each March, we celebrate the impact of women in history, and each year, the women of the
world continue to impact every facet of life. Business is no exception: 42% of businesses are
owned by women, compared with 4.6% in 1972. That amounts to 13 Million U.S. businesses
owned by women, according to Franchise Journal. Women-led businesses generate 1.8 trillion
annually and employ 9.4 million workers.
Likewise, the number of women who have become franchise owners is growing. Franchise
Business Review reports that women-owned 24% of franchise locations in 2008, 37% in 2018,
and just over 50% in 2021. Even more encouraging is the fact that women franchise owners are
shrinking the wage gap! Female franchise owners make 90 cents to every dollar made by their
male cohorts, compared with 82 cents in the overall working world.
The appeal of franchise ownership to women (actually, to everyone!) is clear:
- Franchise owners are often able to grow their business quickly, building on brand
recognition and the proven business model of an established company.
- Many franchises have low startup costs compared to other businesses.
- Franchise owners enjoy an opportunity to build life balance because of the flexibility to
choose a business that fits their lifestyle.
- Many owners find it appealing to work within a proven model of success and a structured
support system, including the corporate leadership and a network of fellow franchisees.
- Established operational procedures, suggested vendors, and human resources policies
help owners streamline their work and avoid costly mistakes.
- There is opportunity for growth through opening additional franchises with the
The franchise model empowers women to start and grow businesses about which they are
passionate, working for themselves but not by themselves. Women are more likely to report that
they chose their line of work or their business based upon a sense of purpose. They are often
attracted by a product or service that is meaningful to them and that allows them to give back to
their community. Entrepreneur Magazine reports that women are most likely to own child
service-oriented franchises, followed by travel and hospitality, fitness-related concepts, and
sports and rec franchises.
Women are well-suited for the franchise world. In business, women are found to be natural
collaborators with strong leadership skills, the ability to multitask, and strong communication
skills. Success in the franchise world is supported by the ability to organize, think quickly,
improvise, network, and promote a positive family-like atmosphere. Studies have shown that
women are likely to possess these skills, as well as an attention to detail and a focus on
By Dick Mueller
Dick Mueller is the CEO of FRANSELECT, a Franchise Consulting company that helps future
franchise owners make an ‘informed” decision by selecting a business that fits their lifestyle,
transferable skills, and financial goals. Dick’s franchising background includes franchise
development for three national brands in the US & Canada and franchise ownership.