Women in Franchising

We’re witnessing one of the biggest changes to the franchise industry since the concept of franchising was created — the rise of female-owned businesses.

Women-Owned Franchises are Thriving

A report commissioned by the IFA in 2017 examined women-owned franchises based on a 2012 survey. In 2017, nearly 31% of franchise businesses were women-owned — a 50% increase from 2012!

But where are female entrepreneurs truly thriving? In the child services industry! The child service industry has the highest percentage of female-owned businesses at 51%, beating out travel and hospitality (50%), retail (43%), fitness (39%), and sports and recreation (36%).

Women’s Lives Work with the Franchise Model

While great advancements have been made over the years in the name of gender equality, many women still have to fight for the recognition they deserve in corporate America. But with franchising, women are able to take control of their professional life.

The flexibility of franchising is also very attractive to women, particularly those with a family. Don’t get us wrong, our franchisees work hard, very hard. Particularly during the first few months of a new location, franchise owners are onsite every day greeting customers, training their staff, and even teaching classes. But over time, many locations become more self-sufficient, leaving owners with very flexible work hours.

Moms Make the Ultimate Franchisees

When you couldn’t find your shoes as a kid, who’d you call? When you needed a ride last minute, who’d you call? It’s true what they say, moms are basically superheroes, so it should come as no surprise that they bring a unique (and much-needed) skillset to the franchise industry.

The Little Gym Family

Here at The Little Gym, our franchisees are doctors, lawyers, teachers, mothers, and so much more. Our franchisees have a range of insights, experiences, and passions that have only helped to make our company stronger and more successful.

Franchise Owners — They’re Just Like You

Karalyne Ley

No entrepreneurial experience? No problem! Contrary to popular opinion, many of our female franchisees do not have a formal business background or degree. In Karalyne Ley’s case, she said it’s “funny how things (joining The Little Gym) happen.” After her mom and brother discovered The Little Gym, she became surprisingly “engaged” in the business.

“I worked for the gym after I graduated college, taught high school English, then fell right into the entrepreneurial dream when we opened our third location where my husband and I lived. Today our family proudly owns and operates five The Little Gyms.”

Peter and Heather Maurer

Peter and Heather Maurer, owners of The Little Gym Fenton, MO, also feel as if The Little Gym found them. After graduating with a theater degree, Heather knew she loved entertaining and children, but it wasn’t until a friend suggested The Little Gym that she found her true passion. After 10 years of working in a The Little Gym, Heather and her husband decided it was time to purchase a location of their very own.

“Our daughter loves growing up at The Little Gym; she climbs the rock wall every chance she gets, and cries when she can't go into each class. Her confidence has grown by leaps and bounds and talking to children and parents are natural for her both at the gym and anywhere else.

We love watching her friendly, happy personality shine through as she gains more and more comfort and confidence every day. Although I couldn't have anticipated owning my own business when I started this journey 15 years ago, The Little Gym has helped me become a better person, parent and mentor to my team and parents.”

If you want to know more about our children’s gym franchise opportunity, check out our Steps to Ownership page to learn about our process.