Four Senior-Ranking Female Leaders at FranFund Weigh in on Women in Small Business
Franchising is a curious industry. Once dominated by men, the industry is writing a new chapter — and women are playing a crucial role. In 2021, 31% of all small business or franchise owners were women, an increase from 27% in 2020. This shift has impacted many companies and industries that support franchising, and no company has exemplified this more than FranFund, a leading funding supplier for franchises across the country. In fact, 84% of FranFund’s employees are women.
We interviewed four of FranFund’s senior-ranking female leaders to see how empowering other women to start their own small businesses motivates them every day.
Sherri Seiber, FranFund President
Women have always been capable of owning, running and growing their own businesses, and today, the opportunity to do so is endless.
“Early in my career as a female executive in the highly competitive, male-dominated electronics manufacturing industry, I adopted the philosophy that a rising tide raises all boats and mentoring women in business became a passion for me. Today that passion for mentorship manifests by providing aspiring female entrepreneurs with funding solutions that allow them to realize their dream of business ownership. Women have always been capable of owning, running and growing their own businesses, and today, the opportunity to do so is endless.
From FranFund’s beginning, we have developed and maintained a unique culture that has always contributed and continues to contribute to our success. We value that culture in all our business decisions, especially when hiring new team members; our decision to hire is always strategic. We consider growth potential, culture fit, and current qualifications in all job interviews. Though women are the majority at FranFund, we consider all candidates without prejudice for gender, but simply who is the best fit for FranFund. However, the female perspective in franchise funding has proven to be a highly successful model!”
Shay Mora-Kleinschmidt, FranFund VP of Lending
Female business owners are at the forefront of making the changes we want to see in the world.
“Starting a business empowers women to implement new management and leadership styles, creating new workplace cultures that can help other women thrive. You also see more innovative, female-oriented businesses that cater to women’s needs and desires. I think female business owners are at the forefront of making the changes we want to see in the world to help bridge the gender gap and biases, and I’m gratified to help support them. I am very thankful and proud to be part of a company that promotes gender equality and women’s empowerment.”
Carly Lywood, FranFund COO & VP of Finance
Helping women start their own businesses means empowering them to write their own stories.
“Growing up, my parents instilled in me the importance of financial independence, particularly for women. I believe this independence is often the foundation upon which healthy, happy relationships are built and goals are achieved. So to me, helping women start their own businesses means empowering them to write their own stories, which I find very rewarding. I love that our employees and clients are able to see firsthand that success has everything to do with hard work and nothing to do with gender. It’s especially gratifying to me that our hiring of more women than men has been organic rather than intentional.”
Holly Bejar, FranFund VP of Operations & Plan Administration
The current job market values qualities that align naturally with female values.
“I’m more interested in the long-term impact of more women owning businesses versus the immediate satisfaction of funding a female-owned business. The current job market values qualities that align naturally with female values. As we emerge from the pandemic, everyone knows the workplace has changed. Employees want more than a paycheck. Employees are looking for purpose, flexibility, diversity, fairness, equity and compassion. Adding more female business owners is conducive to promoting these priorities. Because FranFund has always had women in leadership roles, we are in a great position to capitalize on the changes to the new environment.”
FranFund designs flexible financing plans that help new and experienced business owners fund their franchises. For more information, visit https://www.franfund.com
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