Several different women have been in the news lately for excelling in their respective fields. For example, this past weekend, Kent State kicker April Goss became the second woman in college football history to score during a regular season game by making the extra point in Kent State’s 45-13 win over Delaware State. Another example is that of The Million Dollar Band at the University of Alabama which, for the first time in its 103-year history, will be led by four female drum majors. One final example of note is the history that was made last month by the two women who became the first women to graduate from the U.S. Army’s Ranger School. All of these examples illustrate instances where women have succeeded in typically male dominated industries and/or leadership roles and have paved the way for countless other women to pursue their dreams, no matter the odds.
The success of women in their respective fields is not exclusive to the examples and industries listed above and, for several women, their motivation and desire to achieve their goals has led them to careers as business and franchise owners. According to the preliminary data released by the U.S. Census Bureau from the 2012 Survey of Business Owners, 36% of all privately-held businesses in the U.S are owned by women and women are starting businesses at a rate twice that of the national average. Although the final numbers will not be released until December of this year, the preliminary numbers indicate that more and more women are starting and owning their own businesses than ever before.
What the numbers don’t tell us are the reasons why more women are opting to become business owners. Starting a business comes with inherent risk but for some women, the benefits of owning a business outweigh the challenges; being able to make the decisions when it comes to the company’s culture and mission, to determine the products or services the company provides, and to set their own work schedules can be an empowering motivation for women to start a business. When it comes to franchising, owning and operating a franchise can provide the flexibility many women crave in order to maintain an adequate work-life balance, while providing the support and guidance of an already established system. These aspects make franchising and entrepreneurship an attractive option for women who are looking to create their own job opportunities and are willing to put in the time and effort necessary to succeed.