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The rise of women in franchising

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Over the last ten years, the franchising industry has seen a trend of more women taking up opportunities in franchising and this is expected to further increase over the next five years.

According to the international Franchise Association (IFA) there are more than 25% of women operating franchises in the world and that doesn’t include another 17% of the population where men and women operate franchises together as partners.

Morne Cronje, Head of Franchising at FNB Business says, “Women have the ability to use their time, energy and resources effectively to meet and achieve business goals. This trait, in my view, is the cornerstone for successful women in franchising.  In a country like South Africa, the growing involvement of women in franchising is vital, considering that women make up the majority of our population.”

Cronje shares four successful franchise industries that women are dominating in:

  • Education – More women are attracted to this space because they are not only looking for profits but a community and economic impact.
  • Slimming salons – Women-led franchises in this space tend to specialise in weight loss products and services. Currently, there are good business opportunities in this component of the health sector as more people are becoming health conscious.
  • Accessory and arts – Designing and selling jewelry such as brooches, rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. More women are starting to become thought leaders in this business, setting trends and staying ahead of popular accessories.
  • Beauty salons & Nail bars – This is one of the industries pioneered by women, with its main focus being hairdressing, make-up, cosmetic treatments, manicures, pedicures and nail enhancements. Interestingly men are also increasingly making use of these services.

Despite the limited awareness about the important role and great strides that women continue to make in franchising, it’s important for more women to consider exploring opportunities in this sector since it’s one of the most resilient. The success rate of a franchise business is far better than a traditional start-up or small business. Consequently, franchising is one of the few industries in South Africa that are showing steady contribution to the economy and employment.

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