Empowering Women In Business (EWIB) is back! This October, the British Franchise Association (BFA) is bringing you one of the UK’s best female-only business events – a day packed with keynote speakers, speed sessions, panels, Q&As and networking opportunities. EWIB’s focus this year is on overcoming barriers in business; themes and discussions will cover overcoming imposter syndrome, risk taking, managing stress, as well as the process behind developing a personal brand.
In the UK, only a third of entrepreneurs are women and around 1.5 million women in the UK are self-employed. Considering these figures alongside a growing number of female franchisees in recent years (20 per cent increase in the last five years), the BFA strives to support and empower women on their journeys into franchising.
Throughout the pandemic, the franchising sector has demonstrated incredible resilience; franchisees have survived lockdown off the back of trusted brands with a solid foundation. The pandemic has demonstrated to many, the benefits of home working and a better work-life balance. The franchising industry, already ahead when it came to flexible working, was thus able to adapt economically far more easily than other sectors. The BFA, a leading authority in franchising, moderates hundreds of franchises across the UK, and in doing so supports franchise businesses in upholding ethical standards, as well providing support and advice in times of need.
Female run businesses in the UK have a higher ‘churn’ rate than male-led businesses, with ‘personal barriers’ highlighted as the most common cause. The Rose Review of Female Entrepreneurship, 2019, found that the 46% of female parent entrepreneurs identified caring responsibilities as a significant barrier to furthering their business’s success. A gov.uk report, Annual Investing in Women Code Report 2020, found that female-led businesses submitted fewer finance applications than male-led businesses. Through franchising, women can overcome barriers to growing a business that fuels their passion or risk taking with the security of a trusted brand, accessibility to supply chains, and autonomy over working hours that comes with running one’s own business.
Research has shown that challenges specific to women in business include being risk averse and balancing their business with caring responsibilities. Whilst these concerns have deep social roots that highlight the need for a society that celebrates flexible learning and values financial education, the franchising model currently provides solutions to such issues. Franchising enables individuals to benefit from the autonomy of running one’s own business, whilst also having the security of a trusted brand and business model. Moreover, franchises accredited with the BFA undergo a rigorous process to ensure their ethics and business model adequately supports franchisees, giving new-time business owners peace of mind.
At EWIB, the BFA looks to identify and discuss such barriers women face and develop women-lead solutions. At EWIB this year, women who have become successful in positions of leadership in franchising will take the stage to discuss resilience (personal and professional), the power of networking and imposter syndrome among other topics.
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