Rebecca Young, senior associate in the Commercial Advisory and Private Wealth team, attended last Friday’s (21 September 2018) EWIF (Encouraging Women into Franchising) National Conference in Solihull, Birmingham. The annual conference provides new and existing members the opportunity to gather together, network and share their ideas and expert knowledge. This year also marked the 10 year celebrations of EWIF.
Hosting a national conference is just one of the ways that EWIF supports both its members and those looking to get into franchising. The NatWest/bfa survey for 2015 revealed that women now account for only 17 per cent of UK franchisees - a 5 per cent decrease since 2011 – further highlighting the importance of the EWIF cause. EWIF’s ambition is to change the face of the franchise sector so that women have a much larger presence than they do currently given the nature of this business format, and to balance the ratio of men to women in the franchise industry.
The conference included a number of fascinating guest speakers sharing their success stories: Louise Harris, former Wilkins Chimney Sweep director spoke about her extensive experience of the franchising industry and the recent sale of her franchise to StumpBusters UK Ltd and a panel of three winners from this year's EWIF Awards (sponsored by NatWest). Danni Brooke and Ben Owen from Channel 4’s Hunted delivered an inspiring keynote speech.
Alongside the other Regional Chairs, Rebecca, in her capacity as North West Regional Chair, gave an update on recent North West activities for the past 12 months as well as a look ahead. Highlights included the partnership with Smart Works – a UK charity that provides high quality interview clothes, styling advice and interview training to women in need.