2021 has seen some fabulous partnership progression for the bfa, and the collaboration with EWIF is close to my heart as it provides an opportunity for us to amplify the benefits that franchising can bring to fellow females. It is important to me that we proactively support the cause for women in franchising and this is why I chose for the bfa to sponsor best overall woman in franchising this year. So fantastic stories from the last year were showcased, it really does make me proud and humbled to be part of such an awesome sector.
Its strange to think that a year ago March was our last ‘normal’ month and nobody knew what was to come. But as much as it been a hell of a year for all of us, both personally and professionally, there are also so many positives to be grateful for.
Our sector has done things in the last year that I haven’t seen in more 20 years in franchising. We have owned pivoting, we shown resilience, heart and passion like never before. But the thing that stands out for me and I’m proudest of is the strengthening of our community.
The way in which franchisors and franchisees have come to together and united to overcome the barriers of Covid. The way that franchisors have supported their franchisees with everything from changes in their business models to just looking after the general well being of their franchisees and their staff.
The way in which franchisees have supported their customers to build brand loyalty and create a deeper trust and love for the brand by going the extra mile in so many different ways.
For us at the bfa, we have done the same. We have strengthened relationships with our members to really establish ourselves as the trusted partner in franchising. And we too have formed new partnerships to support the community we serve. I’m a big believer that everything in life happens for a reason. And everything aligns at the right time, for the right reasons.
That couldn’t be truer of our new partnership with EWIF. We are two organisations with a shared goal – to encourage more women to consider franchising for their future and to support females already in franchising. If you dig a bit deeper, we also share some of the same values too…. The sense of community, collaboration, passion and integrity.
Now, my passion from the outset has always been about education. I’m a huge advocate of women in franchising and its why we created our annual event almost ten years ago. To try and support the cause to bring more women into the sector because females in franchising are unrepresented. Only 30% of franchisees are women, yet we make up 51% of the population.
The bfa isn’t an elitist club, we just want to help people and businesses be the very best they can be. If something we do as an association helps make an incremental change to a business or we give someone a confidence boost, that’s a win for us.
We talk a lot as women in business about ‘Breaking Down Barriers’, it was the theme of one of our first Empowering Women in Business events. What came out of that event all of those years ago, and its fair to say is still true today, is that one of the key barriers into business for women is a lack of confidence. We are naturally more risk adverse and we all have that element of self-doubt that creeps in from time to time. Whether its because we need to make a tough decision, an investment or make a drastic change. So for us, the bfa and EWIF, we need to help educate people on why franchising is safer route into business. We need to promote the amazing stories of success in our sector. After all self-confidence can be learnt and what better way to learn but from other successful, kick ass women!
The theme of international women’s day was Choose to Challenge, and lets be fair, we have all had our share of those in the last 12 months. It’s our job, all of us, as ambassadors to shout about franchising. To shout about our successes and to celebrate the awesome things we have done and will do! By working together, we are extending our platforms and reach, so please, do get on board with sending in your stories so we can continue jointly spreading the messages far and wide.
At the end of the day, no-one can deny the fact, that we ARE indeed…stronger together!