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The Get Started report, released earlier this week and commissioned by cosmetics brand Avon found that around 48 per cent of participants said they wanted to start up a business at some point in their lives but almost half the women surveyed do not believe they would be taken seriously.

But initiatives in the franchising industry are making huge strides to ensure statistics such as these quickly become a thing of the past. Encouraging Women into Franchising (EWIF) is an organisation dedicated to promoting gender equality in franchising.

In May of this year, the fourth annual EWIF awards were held to recognise outstanding entrepreneurial achievements by women. Molly Maid Founder, Pam Bader, spoke of her joy at receiving an award at the time: “Until women received the same pay for the same work, there was still a great deal of work to do.”

The great work of EWIF is to be reinforced this year by the bfa after it announced its first Women Working Well event which will take place at Birmingham’s ICC. The event is designed to celebrate the ‘staggeringly high’ ratio of women to men in franchising proving that, in franchising at least, women are able to become successful businesspeople independently.

For elderly people and those aged over 50, the franchising world presents plenty of opportunity for a new career too. Peter Jacques and his partner Susan Griffiths invested in an Ovenclean franchise as part of their pension plan. Peter told The Franchise Magazine: “At 63 years old, I thought about selling our business and retiring entirely, but the truth is we both enjoy what we do, we earn better money now than we ever have…and frankly we would miss running the business”

These success stories prove that within the franchising industry success is not restricted to businessmen. However initiatives such as EWIF and Women Working Well still need the support of the whole industry to promote female and older entrepreneurs to ensure statistics like this yield results indicative of equality.

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