Female Franchise Owners Are Driven By Passion—Fulfilled by Paying it Forward

Female Franchise Owners FBR 2023

According to Forbes, women-owned businesses thrived in 2022, and female-owned business earnings rose by 27%. That’s more than male-owned firms grew in the same period. More specifically, women-owned companies in the services, manufacturing, food, accommodation, and healthcare segments saw the most growth.

This growth trajectory is expected to continue through  2023. In its 2023 Women in Business Trends report, Guidant Financial states that most female franchise owners choose entrepreneurship because they favor being their own bosses and are largely dissatisfied with traditional jobs. The report states that women business owners are motivated to realize their personal aspirations and are 20 percent more likely than men to launch a business based on their passions.2

In its 2022 Annual Report, the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) makes policy recommendations focused on women’s access to capital and opportunity, women in STEM, and rural women’s entrepreneurship. The Council states that Congress should consider viable options for expanding tax relief for small business owners severely impacted by global supply chain disruptions and workforce availability issues—particularly for businesses in industries with a significant level of participation by women and minorities.3

Franchise Business Review surveyed franchise owners from 322 brands representing over 8,100 female franchise owners to evaluate the level of satisfaction among female franchise owners. According to responses from thousands of women, 87% of female franchise owners confirmed that they enjoy owning and operating their businesses and would recommend their franchises to others. Our Top Franchises for Women list includes award winning franchises with high franchisee satisfaction ratings that are also recommended by female franchise owners.  

Female Franchise Owners—In Their Own Words 

Kate Neall Wild Birds Unlimited female franchise owner
Wild Birds Unlimited Franchise Owner, Kate Neall

Kate Neall, owner of Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop in Gambrills, Maryland, said, “I feel honored that we can help bring joy to people’s lives through the hobby of backyard bird feeding. Customers refer to my shop as their ‘happy place,’ I can’t think of a better compliment!” 

Wild Birds Unlimited has given me a golden opportunity to support my family while also providing a valuable service to my community, and I couldn’t be more grateful! Embracing my entrepreneurial spirit is easy, but finding the right opportunity to invest in myself was the hardest part. It took me several years to find the right fit. I had explored a variety of businesses that all seemed to lack something. I felt discouraged, but I knew my best chance of success hinged on a wise investment, so I kept my standards high and refused to settle for less. I found that the best franchises are the ones that provide the right tools and resources needed for success while also allowing the flexibility to grow your business in your own way. Wild Birds Unlimited offered me the perfect blend of support and freedom.”

“I believe that networking is an essential key to success. I actively seek out opportunities (both within the franchise and externally) to meet with fellow entrepreneurs to exchange advice and ideas. I attribute much of my success to those who graciously gave me guidance and support when I needed it. The best way to ‘pay it forward’ is to make myself available to assist those needing the same.” 

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Heather Peterson, owner of Wild Birds Unlimited in Allentown, Pennsylvania, said, “My experience as a franchiser owner has been fantastic! As a mother of two busy teenage boys, my free time is precious and always filled. The greatest thing about owning a Wild Birds Unlimited franchise is that the franchisor takes a lot of the work off my plate. They create all the marketing and branding materials for me. They even negotiated many buying deals and have taken the time to put processes into place that would take a tremendous amount of time if I were an independent retailer. As a franchisor, it’s in their best interest for their franchisees to be successful. A good franchisor is supportive in all business areas, and that’s what they are to me. It’s invaluable!”  

female franchise owner patricia mesi spoiled rotten photography
Spoiled Rotten Photography Franchisees, Patricia Mesi (left) and Christine Mamon (right)

Franchisee Patricia Mesi, of Spoiled Rotten Photography in Alpharetta, Georgia, owns the franchise with her sister, Christine Mamon. “What I love most about owning my Spoiled Rotten Photography franchise is the flexibility it allows,” Patricia said, “I can not only own and operate a successful business, but I can demonstrate to my daughters the balance of being a successful businesswoman while enjoying work-life balance.” 

“I strive to mentor my team by providing the training, encouragement, and incentives I was afforded when I started. I make a point to spend time getting to know each and every person who is a part of my team. It gives me the insight and knowledge I need to best support them. Success comes from surrounding yourself with a team of people who are knowledgeable and passionate about their work and to make them feel heard and appreciated. That’s what I’ve found through franchising. We are a family.”  

spoiled rotten photography franchisee Lynn Driver
Spoiled Rotten Photography Franchisee, Lynn Driver

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Lynn Driver owns a Spoiled Rotten Photography franchise owner in Buckhead, Georgia. “I love having the freedom to work when and where I want. I especially love that the success of my business begins and ends with me. With the support I get from Spoiled Rotten Photography, it is difficult not to live up to your greatest potential! The corporate office is with us 100% of the time.” 

“I’ve had to overcome some obstacles as a female entrepreneur, the biggest of which was believing that I can do this work just as well as any man. I was timid in the beginning. I found my voice with each new success, especially when it came to scouting new business. My business success comes from my efforts, so I put myself out there! I am much better at it now. I’ve begun teaching my three girls the business. I want them to understand they can do whatever they want. Entrepreneurship is the legacy I want to pass on to my daughters, so they know they can support themselves and their families one day.” 

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Dipali Patel, The Coder School
The Coder School Franchise Owner, Dipali Patel

Franchisee Dipali Patel, The Coder School said, “I came from a large teaching franchise system, but it wasn’t the right fit. However, that experience taught me I wanted a smaller, more personable franchise. One that aligned with my personal goals and would be strategic in its expansion. One that provided a strong support system. I found that in The Coder School.” 

“I had been interviewing other franchises when I connected with Hansel Lynn and Wayne Teng at The Coder School, and I felt an instant connection. Our similar approaches to business were a perfect match. That gave me a sense of hope. I don’t think I felt that way about any other franchise I spoke with or any other job in the past. Hansel and Wayne never made me feel pressured. I felt a sense of alignment, belonging, and forward-thinking. We shared similar backgrounds, having immigrant parents, and the company culture is inclusive and welcoming. From our initial meeting, Hansel and Wayne instilled in me a feeling that I could have an impact—not only with this franchise but also within my community. Four years later, I still feel that today.” 

“Women business owners face a number of unique obstacles. As a single mother, I constantly struggle to balance business and family. Many thoughts of self-doubt go through my mind regularly—about being the best mom and entrepreneur I can be. Being solely responsible makes me risk-averse at times. I’m afraid of making costly mistakes. To help with this, I have cultivated a group of supportive people in my life. A mix of family, friends, and colleagues who can vent, rationalize, and support one another.”   

“Although my current franchisor supports equality, I had experiences with other franchisors who valued male counterparts more than women, even if women produced more revenue. I had landlords for retail spaces who ignored me until I showed up with a man. I had construction companies who tried to hustle me for more money. My solution is to stand my ground and filter out the noise. I try not to worry about other people’s opinions of me. That’s more about them than me. With personal and professional experience, I have become more confident than ever. Combined with the unrelenting support of my network and my franchisor, I feel invincible!”  

“The cultural stigma for female entrepreneurs is still prevalent. Stereotyped family ideals of women handling all household and family duties make it difficult for women to think of entrepreneurship. I opened my franchise in Cerritos, California, in 2019 to break this stigma after my divorce. Today, I lead by example. I own two The Coder School franchises and am General Manager for both—running the daily operations while caring for myself and my family. I oversee an all-women administrative staff and support other women-owned businesses.”  

“At The Coder School, we hope to bring more women into the Tech sector, and since Tech jobs are usually high-salary opportunities, this will also help reduce the overall gender pay gap. A recent article said women comprise 28% of the Tech industry workforce. The numbers are even lower for women of color. Our franchise hopes to change this stat by teaching girls to code.” 

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Faizun Kamal Author
Franchise Coach and Author, Faizun Kamal

Faizun Kamal is an award-winning franchise coach, renowned public speaker, and best-selling author of  “The Right Franchise for You: Escape the 9 to 5, Generate Wealth, and Live Life on Your Terms.” 

“I guide clients to proactively move beyond career burnout and build a sustainable career they love. For over two decades, I have worked in industries ranging from nonprofit to international development to corporate. Working and living across four continents, I always felt misplaced, as though I was not living my calling. I felt a sense of misalignment deep inside my bones.”

“Finally, after getting laid off from corporate America, I began my journey to discover my next chapter. It quickly became clear that I yearned for work that allowed me to live on my own terms. With no roadmap, I instead followed the map of my heart. I found the franchise industry and fell in love with its simple but profound promise: You can live by design, not by default.”

“Seven years later, I run The Franchise Pros, where we build legacies, one franchise at a time. I started the company to help clients leave the ‘rat race,’ find a business, and design an intentional life. I now guide entrepreneurs from diverse communities to navigate their franchise journey. Living life on my terms, my services help my clients live on their terms as franchisees and franchisors.”

“As Asian American woman in the franchise industry, representation does not simply matter—it is critical. We cannot aspire to what we cannot see. As a woman of color and an entrepreneur, I am passionate about creating opportunities for underrepresented communities through franchise ownership.”  

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1 Forbes:Women-Owned Businesses Thrived in 2022

2 Guidant Financial: 2023 Women in Business Trends

3 National Women’s Business Council 2022 Annual Report

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