Business Training for Women Makes a Difference
Women potentially can have an edge in franchising. Why?
A recent survey in South Africa shows that women are the driving force behind 71% of household purchases. So in 71% of sales a woman may be dealing with another woman with the likelihood of some empathy emerging.
There is also international research which suggests businesses are more competitive when there are more women involved in their running at the top level. For instance, the Women Matters report, based on research conducted by McKinsey & Company, the Strategic Reason Studies, suggests that companies where women are more strongly represented at board or top-management levels are companies that perform best.
The research doesn’t seek to explain why, but the implication is that it is because women have a major influence on 71% of purchasing decisions. Greater women representation in franchises would therefore be a sensible response to changing social and consumption trends.
Similarly, research by Goldman Sachs suggests that investing in women entrepreneurs results in:
- New jobs,
- Revenues and
- Contributions to communities.
The report, Investing in the Power of Women: a Progress Report on the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Programme, covered 43 countries.
The Report made four crucial conclusions:
- Firstly, women are exceptional (tripling their revenue within 18 months) when operating in competitive and traditionally female dominated sectors such as handicrafts, retail, and personal services. They did this despite being generally less educated and having significantly more household responsibilities.
- Secondly, business training makes a difference and women should be investing in their business skills. In this instance, the 10,000 Women programme helped women entrepreneurs to grow businesses and develop business skills. After 18 months, the effects of a training programme in business showed that nearly 70% of women entrepreneurs increased their revenues more than 480%. In the context of franchising, this means availing of all inhouse training, but also doing courses in general business administration. This can increase self-confidence in making decisions, selling and communication and negotiation.
- Thirdly, mentoring matters and tends to disproportionately benefit women. In our second article (see here) we mentioned how women have a natural instinct for mentoring, a phenomenon exponentially increased in the franchising environment. Developing connections to access advice, and networks for women entrepreneurs not only impacts how they grow businesses, but they will ‘pay it forward’ by mentoring other women franchisees and teach them business skills.
- Fourthly, women franchisees/entrepreneurs grow their businesses in spite of a lack of external financing. Goldman Sachs’ analysis shows that women in its programme grew their businesses both in revenue and employees, financed largely through retained earnings. It begs the question of whether they could be even more successful had they sought external funding.
This research therefore demonstrates that interested and qualified women can best be supported by focusing on women-focused initiatives such as ongoing mentoring and continued exposure to training opportunities.
Investing in training for business skills, providing mentoring and access to networks – it all matters!