Empowering Female Entrepreneurs

The Rise of Female Entrepreneurs 

Female Entrepreneurs

The number of female entrepreneurs has been on the rise in recent years. Women are increasingly setting up businesses and significantly contributing to the economy.

“Women hold 42% of board seats at big UK firms, but just 10 are FTSE 100 bosses. Burberry, M&S, and Next fare best for female representation, but too few women are in top roles. Guardian report

One reason for the rise of female entrepreneurs is the increasing access to resources and support networks. Women now have more opportunities to gain the necessary skills, knowledge, and funding to start and grow their businesses, including access to business education, mentorship programs, and financing options specifically tailored for women.

Another factor contributing to the rise of female entrepreneurs is the changing societal attitudes towards women in business. Women are breaking through traditional gender barriers and challenging the notion that entrepreneurship is male dominated. This shift in mindset has created a more inclusive and supportive environment for women to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.

The rise of female entrepreneurs has had a positive impact not only on individual women but also on the overall economy. Studies have shown that women-owned businesses tend to be more innovative and resilient. They also create jobs and contribute to economic growth. As more women enter the entrepreneurial space, their unique perspectives, ideas, and skills benefit the economy.

It is an exciting time for women in business, and the future looks bright for aspiring female entrepreneurs.

Challenges Faced by Women in Business 

While there has been significant progress for women in business, one of the main challenges is gender bias. Women often have to overcome stereotypes and prejudices that question their entrepreneurial abilities and qualifications, making it harder for them to be taken seriously and secure funding and support for their ventures.

Another challenge is the difficulty of balancing work and family responsibilities. Women often have to juggle multiple roles and face societal expectations that can hinder their entrepreneurial pursuits. Finding a balance between work and personal life can constantly challenge female entrepreneurs.

Access to funding is also a significant challenge for women in business. Studies have shown that women entrepreneurs receive less funding than their male counterparts, limiting their ability to start and grow their businesses and hindering their access to valuable resources and networks.

The London Business School Think Ahead podcast series explores the barriers facing female entrepreneurs. You can hear the recording here.

Despite these challenges, women in business are showing remarkable resilience and determination.

Empowerment through Networking and Support 

Women in Business

Networking and support play a critical role in empowering female entrepreneurs. Building a solid network and having access to supportive communities can provide women with the necessary resources, mentorship, and opportunities to succeed in their entrepreneurial ventures.

Networking allows women entrepreneurs to connect with like-minded individuals, industry experts, potential customers, and investors. It provides a platform for sharing knowledge, experiences, and ideas. By building a diverse and supportive network, women can tap into valuable resources and gain insights that can help them overcome challenges and seize opportunities.

Supportive communities, such as women entrepreneurship organisations and mentorship programmes, are also crucial for empowering female entrepreneurs. These communities provide a safe and inclusive space for women to learn, grow, and receive guidance from experienced mentors. They offer training, workshops, and events that equip women with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in business.

Through networking and support, female entrepreneurs can access collaboration, partnership, and growth opportunities. They can also find encouragement, inspiration, and motivation from fellow entrepreneurs who have faced similar challenges and succeeded. Empowerment through networking and support is essential for creating a thriving ecosystem that enables women to reach their full entrepreneurial potential.

Females in Franchising 

Franchising is an industry that men have traditionally dominated. Understanding the gender gap in this field and how it affects female entrepreneurs is essential. Women often face unique challenges when starting and running a franchise business. By understanding these challenges, we can work towards creating a more inclusive and supportive environment for women in franchising.

One of the main reasons for the gender gap in franchising is the lack of representation. Many franchise opportunities are marketed toward men, and there are few female role models in the industry. This lack of representation can make it more difficult for women to envision themselves as successful franchisees.

“We recognise that we lack diversity in our current network and we are constantly seeking ways to attract female entrepreneurs” Matt Levington, Managing Director, Business Doctors. 

Another factor contributing to the gender gap is the stereotype that specific industries are more suitable for men. This leads to a need for more support and resources for women who are interested in franchising in traditionally male-dominated fields. By challenging these stereotypes and supporting women in all industries, we can help close the gender gap in franchising.

Understanding the gender gap in franchising is crucial for creating a more inclusive and diverse industry. By recognising the challenges faced by female entrepreneurs, we can work towards providing the necessary support and resources to help them succeed.

Overcoming Challenges in a Male-Dominated Industry 

Women can overcome male domination and thrive in a franchise model with determination and the proper support, but there are some challenges to be aware of.

Lack of access to funding and capital can be challenging as many women entrepreneurs struggle to secure financing to start or expand their franchise business.

Another challenge is the perception that women may not have the necessary skills or experience to succeed in specific industries. However, it is essential to recognise that women bring unique perspectives and strengths. By highlighting successful women in franchising and challenging gender stereotypes, we can encourage more women to enter and thrive in male-dominated industries.

Overcoming challenges in a male-dominated industry requires perseverance and a robust support system. By providing mentorship, networking opportunities, and educational resources specifically tailored to women in franchising, we can empower female entrepreneurs to overcome these challenges and succeed.

Benefits of Franchising 

While female entrepreneurs face challenges in the franchising industry, there are more support systems and resources available to help them succeed.

Networking and mentorship are good resources for female entrepreneurs. Connecting with other women in franchising can provide valuable insights, advice, and support. Mentorship programmes can pair experienced female franchisees with aspiring entrepreneurs, providing guidance and inspiration.

“We are proud of the culture we have built at Business Doctors; every franchise partner is highly collaborative and supportive.” Matt Levington- Co-founder of Business Doctors

Another valuable resource is organisations and initiatives focusing on supporting women in franchising. These organisations provide educational resources, funding opportunities, and networking events tailored to the needs of female entrepreneurs. By taking advantage of these resources, women can gain the knowledge and support necessary to thrive in franchising.

Celebrating Success Stories of Women in Franchising 

“If you have always wanted to be a leader, a business owner, an entrepreneur, then franchising is a great place for you. No one can tell you can’t own your own business. There are no limits except the ones you set for yourself.” Dawn Abbamondi, SMB Franchise Advisors. (Top Influential Women in Franchising)

There are many inspiring success stories of women in franchising. From starting their businesses to expanding their franchises to multiple locations, these women have proven that with determination and hard work, anything is possible. By recognising these women’s positive impact, we can inspire others to follow their lead and create a more inclusive and diverse franchising industry.

“Other female leaders in franchising have always inspired me to do great things and challenge myself.” Nancy Bigley of The Little Gym International. (Top Influential Women in Franchising)

Empowering the Next Generation of Female Franchisees 

Women in business

Mentorship programs are crucial in empowering the next generation of female franchisees. Pairing aspiring entrepreneurs with successful female franchisees can provide guidance, support, and inspiration. Mentorship programs can help young women navigate the challenges of starting a franchise business and give them the confidence to pursue their dreams.

 “By providing support, resources, and opportunities, we can empower the next generation of female franchisees and create a more inclusive and diverse franchising industry.” Joanne Kerrigan, Training and Support Manager for Business Doctors.

The future of female entrepreneurship is promising and full of opportunities. As more women enter the entrepreneurial space, we expect further growth, innovation, and positive economic impact.

“A franchise offers individuals a springboard to launch a highly successful business within the safety net of a network of like-minded people.” Matt Levington, Managing Director of Business Doctors

One key trend in the future of female entrepreneurship is the increasing focus on diversity and inclusion. Companies and investors recognise the value of diverse leadership teams, and women entrepreneurs are well-positioned to bring unique perspectives and insights. This shift towards diversity will benefit women entrepreneurs and contribute to more innovative and successful businesses.

Many female entrepreneurs are starting businesses with a solid social or environmental mission, an approach to entrepreneurship that is gaining traction and is expected to continue growing.

Technology will also play a significant role in shaping the future of female entrepreneurship. With advancements in digital tools, e-commerce platforms, and online marketing, women entrepreneurs have greater access to global markets and opportunities. Technology has the potential to level the playing field and empower women to start and scale businesses in ways that were not possible before.

In conclusion, the future of female entrepreneurship is bright and filled with potential. With the proper support, resources, and opportunities, women can continue to thrive and significantly impact the business world. By fostering an inclusive and supportive environment, we can unlock the full potential of female entrepreneurs and create a more equitable and prosperous future for all.

If you would like to start your own business with the safety net of a collaborative and supportive network, we would love to help you on your journey. Please get in touch for more information.

Gary Brown (pictured below on the right) qualified as a chartered account in his native South Africa in the early 90s, moving with his family to the UK in 2005.

Graham, Matt and Gary

In his last employed role, Gary spent 15 years as chief financial officer for a holding company in the automotive sector. He has previously worked as group financial controller for asset management company Bateman BV as well as a stint at Deloittes.

Gary will now spend his time with SME owners, helping them to work ‘on’ their businesses rather than ‘in’ them. An extensive programme of training from the Business Doctors head office team means that he has a full raft of expertise to complement his existing knowledge of strategic planning, leadership, restructuring, financial controls and governance.

According to Gary, the pandemic brought forward his decision to become self-employed, though it had always been on the cards.He said: “I had set myself a timetable to be out of the corporate world by my early 60s. The pandemic accelerated this by a few years as I was keen to continue working from home and to be more in control of my working life.

After 30 years in corporate financial roles, Gary thinks he has much to offer small business owners who are looking for growth. “I find it very refreshing that small businesses are less tied up in red tape and that real changes can be made in a relatively short space of time that can help SMEs to really thrive,” he said.

“The Business Doctors training helped me to realise how much I already knew and to fill in a few gaps. I better understand how to market myself and have overcome my reluctance to engage with social media. I appreciate that by buying a franchise, my business is up and running much faster than if I started from scratch.”

Matt Levington, co-founder of Business Doctors, said: “Gary is a highly experienced board-level director, with a very personable manner. He has so much to offer small businesses and we are delighted that he has joined our network.”

Gary is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants and  Institute of Directors.

He is an avid rugby fan and enjoys watching Saracens. Settled in Kings Langley, Hertfordshire, he also enjoys reading novels, gardening, DIY, and the occasional round of golf.

If you are looking for your next career move and you would like more information on becoming a Business Doctor, please get in touch.

If you are a business owner based in Hemel Hempstead and you would like some advice from Gary,  get in touch.

Whilst franchises come in all shapes and sizes – from big brand fast food restaurants to van based franchises, cleaning companies, vending franchises, children’s entertainment and management franchises – the franchisees who operate them have much in common.

Successful franchisees have a unique blend of attributes and skills that enable them to be totally self-driven, whilst letting go of their ego enough to build a business based on somebody else’s tried and tested model.

A special kind of entrepreneur

Franchisees are team players. Although each franchisee owner forges their own path, they are still part of a franchise family and everyone’s actions – good and bad – impact on the network as a whole. It has also been demonstrated that the franchisees that give the most to the rest of the network tend to get the most in return.Franchisees are positive people, who think the best of others and believe they have much to learn from the people around them. They are open-minded and certainly never described as ‘stuck in their ways’

It’s got nothing to do with age, class, gender, ethnicity or level of education. There are award-winning franchisees from every demographic. It goes much deeper than surface appearance: what top franchisees share are a set of core values and beliefs about doing business and making money.

Question time
Here are 13 questions that may help to establish whether you are cut out for franchising. Score yourself a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ for each.

Are you considering self employment?

Do you think you can learn from others?

Do you believe in the power of the brand?

Would you like to be your own boss?

Are you a quick learner?

Are you keen to moderate risk in much of what you do?

Are you prepared to give as well as take?

Are you comfortable not to be 100% in control?

Are you able to trust that others have your best interests at heart?

Are you happy to follow rules and systems set by others if you think they make sense?

Are you prepared to admit that you are not always right?

Would you consider yourself to be a flexible person?

Can you access the money for the franchise fee, either through savings or a loan?

Now for the results
The more questions you responded yes to, the more you are sounding like potential franchisee material. Scored more than five? You could be what we’re looking for.
More information.

Want to take it to the next level and have an informal chat about what it is like to be a franchisee with Business Doctors? Give us a call on 01744 833778, get in touch. Or to register your interest in our next Discovery Day click here.

Could you be a Business Doctor?

Strategic thinking. Strong business insight. Dedication and commitment. These are some of the qualities our business doctors all share.If you think this could be you, get in touch today.

Register Interest