Whether you’re sitting on the business start-up fence or have taken your first step on your entrepreneurial adventure, we’ve created this business start-up toolkit to make your journey that much smoother
From grants, courses, seminars and events to the top female-friendly franchises to invest in, here is a whistle-stop guide to entrepreneurship 101. We even have advice from boss ladies that were once in your very shoes.
Claim £5,000 to start your own business
A sector that has proved to not only be recession-proof but also pandemic-proof is the home care and property maintenance industry. For instance, Fantastic Services expanded into 20 new areas across the UK and experienced revenue growth of 7.8 per cent despite the pandemic. And to pay it forward, the company is offering a total of up to £1m worth of cash grants to help 200 people start a working franchise. The opportunity involves managing a small team and delivering one or a range of its services.
Anton Skarlatov, co-founder and CEO of Fantastic Services, said: “Our grant programme is designed to help those who have lost their job, self-employed tradespeople, as well as small businesses within the service industry that were negatively impacted by the pandemic.”
The programme is suitable for tradespeople or technicians with experience in the service industry or people looking for alternative business opportunities. Once approved, applicants will be trained and on the field in less than two weeks. They’ll be providing their chosen service under the brand name of Fantastic Services, so they have to be eligible to work in the UK, have customer service experience and at least one member of the team has to own a driving licence.
For more information and to apply for the grant, visit fantasticfranchise.com/fantastic-grant/
Aspiring women entrepreneurs get a leg up thanks to the DBWC
The Dubai Business Women Council (DBWC) was established in 2002 for the personal and professional development of businesswomen in the Emirate of Dubai.
In March this year, it held a virtual session titled ‘Women in Franchising’. Moderated by Sary Hamway, founder, and CEO of Franchise Trainer, Dr Ljiljana Kukec, co-founder and president of the Croatian Franchise Association, and Farrah Rose, winner of the 2020 Global Franchise Award and head of international development at The Franchising Centre, the webinar aimed to understand the foundation of the franchise business model and how it can empower female entrepreneurs.
Its next initiative, the She Leads 2.0 programme, will help 10 women-led startups with launching and scaling up their promising businesses by providing a week’s worth of an incubator programme that involves coaching and training sessions.
For more information and to enlist in the programme, visit lp.creativezone.ae/dbwc
Shetrades Hub Launches in Rwandan
Under the International Trade Centre (ITC), SheTrades is a global initiative aiming to connect female entrepreneurs to the international market. The hub is a decentralised platform implemented and funded by a local host institution with the goal to increase women’s economic empowerment and local ownership.
The latest SheTrades Hub was launched in September this year in Rwanda and will join a network of more than 10 hubs across Africa, Asia and Latin America. For more information, visit shetrades.com/en/shetrades-hub
UPS is helping female entrepreneurs go global
In conjunction with government entities, trade associations and NGOs, UPS, through The UPS Foundation, has set up the UPS Women Exporters programme. The aim is to equip female entrepreneurs with tools, resources and training to help them venture into international markets.
So far the programme has helped more than 6,000 female small business owners around the world fathom the export process as well as expand their teams and international reach while also investing in their local communities.
Now the programme will be available in Latin America, and special activities will be held in 14 countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
For more information, visit ups.com/mx/es/services/small-business/womenexporters-program.page
NASE member companies get access to grants for expanding
The National Association of Self-Employed (NASE), an American non-profit association providing educational resources, benefits, and a seat at the table in Washington, D.C, has awarded nearly $1m in grants since 2006.
The NASE Growth Grant Program awards $4,000 grants to member companies that identify an ailing aspect of their business that could be resolved through funding. These grants can be used for marketing, advertising, hiring employees or expanding facilities.
For more information, visit nase.org/becomea-member/member-benefits/businessresources/growth-grants
The Entrepreneur’s Essentials course
The Entrepreneur’s Essentials is a course for new and aspiring female business owners by Sally Rice of Heartspace Development. As well as being a founder of three businesses, Sally is a new business mentor whose passion is to help ambitious women transition from the corporate world to setting up their own businesses and becoming thriving entrepreneurs.
Sally spent 13 years working in the corporate world, ending up as a director on the board of a £20m company but burnout, stress and wanting more purpose in her work prompted her to reassess her priorities and to pursue the entrepreneurial life.
“We tend to have our own specific challenges as women, both internal and external that can stop us from reaching our full potential, so I concentrate on not only mastering your mindset monkeys but also providing practical advice and solutions so you can feel confident about the direction of your business and motivated to take action,” said Sally.
Entrepreneur’s Essentials takes you through six core modules to help participants go from feeling unclear about where to start, overwhelmed by all the things you feel you should be doing to feeling confident in knowing the next steps you need to take and focused on the actions that are going to make a real impact.
The Entrepreneur’s Essentials course runs October 2021 – January 2022 and to register, visit sally.heartspacedevelopment.com/ For Sally’s free downloadable guide to the ‘six secrets to smash that transition from employee to entrepreneur’, visit 6secrets.heartspacedevelopment.com
The state of women in franchising
To borrow the phrase from CNN’s Jake Tapper, the last 18 months were a “hot mess inside a dumpster fire inside a train wreck”. And despite the setback that women faced having to be the primary caregivers to both children and elderly parents, female-owned franchises have continued to be on the rise for the past decade.
Franchise Business Review’s Women in Franchising 2021 special report highlights that while COVID-19 may have put the brakes on entrepreneurial ventures in 2020, this year is already showing an uptick in female business ownership, with nearly one-third of all franchises currently being women-owned businesses.
For the report, Franchise Business Review surveyed 8,453 women franchisees from 289 leading franchise brands to gauge franchisee satisfaction and performance to compile its lists of the top-rated franchise brands for women.
Franchise Business Review’s top 50 franchises for women
2. A&W Restaurants
3. Aire-Master of America
4. Amazing Athletes
5. Assisting Hands
6. AtWork Group
7. Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate
8. British Swim School
9. Cruise Planners
11. Fastest Labs
13. FirstLight Home Care
14. Freedom Boat Club
15. FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers
16. Home Instead
18. Kampgrounds of America
19. Keller Williams
20. Kona Ice
23. Mr. Appliance
24. Mr. Electric
25. MY SALON Suite
27. Nothing Bundt Cakes
28. Office Pride Commercial Cleaning
29. Our Town America
30. Payroll Vault
31. Pet Supplies Plus
32. Pinch A Penny
33. Pizza Factory
34. Precision Door Service
35. Realty ONE Group
36. Rhea Lana’s
37. Senior Care Authority
38. Soccer Shots
39. Sola Salon Studios
40. Supporting Strategies
41. The Joint
42. The Learning Experience
43. Tropical Smoothie Cafe
44. United Country Real Estate
45. Visiting Angels
46. We Insure
47. Weichert Real Estate
48. Wild Birds Unlimited
50. Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp Resorts
Additional funding resources for women
• Grants.gov: A database of quick access to federally available grants.
• Grants for Women: A comprehensive list of numerous business grants, scholarships and education grants available to female entrepreneurs.
• Encouraging Women Into Franchising (EWIF): Provides advice and guidance to women interested in getting into franchising.
• Small Business Administration (SBA): A resource for entrepreneurs, especially franchisees as financial institutions will even expedite the loan processing for SBA-approved franchises.
How to be a boss lady
• “You don’t walk up to an Olympic race as the only boat at the start line and it is exactly the same in care. You win the race by constantly moving forward and looking for marginal gains”
– Christina Handasyde Dick, founder and CEO of Guardian Angel Carers
• “So I looked to find a position within an established estate agency branch, but nobody was taking on staff and the wages on offer were awful. So I thought: why not set up on my own?”
– Laura Dytham, easyProperty franchisee
• “When evolving Dickey’s, we’ve not only had to meet the needs of our guests, but we also live in a world where Instagram eats first. Everything is tied back to how folks are interacting with their technology, which includes how they dine”
– Laura Rea Dickey, CEO, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit
• “Failing to incorporate resilience into a holistic franchise development programme leaves the growth of the franchise to the winds of uncertainty”
– Rochelle Clarke, CEO of Succession Strength and founder of ContinuityStrength
• “Being a good people person is absolutely number one. For people to engage with first aid training, they need to feel relaxed, supported and valued, so it’s vital our Mini First Aid trainers can deliver on this. Many of our franchisees have experienced a real-life first aid situation themselves and this has stayed with them and inspired them to be brilliant trainers”
– Kate Ball, director and founder of Mini First Aid
• “At a professional level, the learning curve has been incredibly steep, which is satisfying, and it’s hugely rewarding to see the franchise growing strongly as a result. I had been worried that after a couple of years I might get bored, but I’m constantly learning and the job is so multifaceted that there is always something I can do better”
– Katherine Watmough, Monkey Music franchisee