(To learn more about the steps to owning your own franchise, visit our Steps to Ownership page)
We’ve come a long way, baby. According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, more than 9.1 million firms are owned by women and one in five firms with revenue of $1 million or more is owned by a woman. The numbers of businesses owned by women is on the rise, with one study showing an increase of 59% from 1997 to 2013.
This trend is mirrored in franchising. According to Entrepreneur, female franchise owners increased 45 percent from 42 percent over a five year period.
Part of the appeal to starting a franchise business—as opposed to going it alone with your own business idea—is the built-in support and mentoring.
Moving Past Gender Assumptions
In the past there were assumptions that certain industries were better for one gender or another—think car services vs. skincare. Senior care, for example is an industry that has moved beyond the gender roles, as it appeals almost equally to both genders. A new AARP/National Alliance for Caregiving study found that 40% of all family caregivers are men, and the ratio of male and female owners in the Homewatch CareGivers senior care franchise network is 50/50.
Both men and women come into the senior care industry for different reasons, but for both it is often after they have experienced family caregiving themselves for an elder loved one. This hands-on experience allows them to see what skills they have to offer beyond their day job and perhaps discover a new life purpose or passion.
At Homewatch CareGivers, our franchisees are about 50% women. These female business owners were inspired by being part of a family caregiving team as early as their teen years, being a caregiver to an elder parent or grandparent as an adult, or simply wanting a more meaningful career than the one they were in—or all three!
In addition, women are sometimes drawn to business ownership because of the flexibility it can offer. Historically women have juggled work and being the primary caregiver for their children. Anyone who owns a franchise knows it is hard work, but part of the appeal to having your own business is being able to set your own hours.
In It Together
In some cases, men and women bring the best of their gender uniqueness, life experience and professional acumen to owning a successful franchise. At Homewatch CareGivers we have several owners who are married couples with very different work histories that they each bring to operating their business.
What seems to matter in building a successful business is a passion for the services or product and at that point, gender is not an issue. As women have the means, they are growing and creating franchise businesses at an unprecedented rate.
Listen to stories from franchise owners, both female and male on our Hear From Our Owners page.