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Arab Women in Franchising
Resources for Women
Resources for Women

Arab Women - Franchising in the Arab world by Dr. Khaled A.Taki -President of the AFA
The time is right for Women in Franchising in the Arab World. An encouraging perspective!
When examining Franchising in the Arab world it is only logical to examine both the female and male participation in this emerging sector, although Women and Franchising in the Arab world has not been a successful formula like in the west where since the early 1990's , the number the number of franchisors looking to specifically recruit women has increased and women are operating at senior levels, such as Brand Managers, Branch Managers within the industry, we hope that soon Arab women will make their presence known in franchising in the Arab world.
It is important to look into what is it that makes women suitable to franchising in the Arab world? Because more and more women are buying into the idea of franchising, by setting up their own business or as partners have become involved in the day-to-day running of the business.
It is widely accepted that Women by nature are organized and have been running a home and raising a family, which in not that different from running a business successfully. Women are energetic, decisive, and determined, because more often than not, they have to do many different tasks at once to keep either the family or the business running smoothly. It is these qualities that make women suited to run a business, and as Franchising provides the Franchisee with a proven concept, and a set of manuals on how to run the business, it is clear that franchising is best suitable for women and they are bound to enjoy owning and operating their own Franchisee branch.
In the Arab world, particularly in the Arab Gulf GCC countries, with the huge surplus of money due to the increase in the price of oil and national development plans and despite women restrictions on their movement and segregation from men, a considerable number of women are now running their own small businesses, such as nurseries, health clubs, photo shops, flowers shops, wedding and event organizing companies, beauty shops and others businesses.
Although most of the business run by women are not necessarily Franchises per say , Arab women are now looking more and more at the availability of Franchises because such option offers a proven success track record based on the "know how" and thus it is less risky than starting a new business and easier to run using the management tools available through the Franchisors.
Thus, It is safe to assume that the time is right for Arab women to become active in Franchising and in the coming ten years the number of Arab women in Franchising will increase drastically . Arab women will own and operate their Franchise branches . It is the interest of everyone that this trend be encouraged by both the public authorities and the private banking sector, as well as by their male counterparts be it their fathers , brothers and husbands, for it will certainly help the national development of any country as a whole.
Also, in the Arab world and the Gulf in particular, the Small and Medium Enterprises (SME's) funding schemes should introduce a special scheme which provides all Arab women seeking to qualify for a loan or grant, (be it partial or full capital funding) to start up their own business though buying a small size Franchise. The SME funds should be ready to receive, evaluate and process the applications filed by Arab women, and encourage such a trend.
Because many Arab females marry at an early age, it is a fact that today there are many Arab women whose children are grown up and studying at universities. They find themselves with plenty of time to spare and would welcome the chance to become their own boss, or join hands with another woman and acquire, own and run a franchise, which will help the economy grow and create self employment. Their husbands would also like to see their spouses involved in such an activity rather than cope with a possible depression due to a lack of interest and a redundant rather boring daily routine. Franchising can the right step for many Arab women to stay busy and enjoy a productive life.
Furthermore, most of the Franchise are in fact "tailor made or adjusted" to suit and cater for women only, as it is customary in the Arab gulf to have specific sections in a Shopping Mall where singles men are not allowed and are designated as Family (female) sections only.
The concept of franchising also helps reduce the risks considerably because the Arab woman is her own boss, and has a network of people around willing to provide help and support, which translate into motivation, reassurance, and the drive to achieve her goals.
It is also clear that Arab women have a considerable "high buying consumer power" which is bound to increase as they become more educated and realize the importance of contributing financially toward their joint family income and becoming financially independent as well.
Obviously, there are those who will attempt to criticize the participation of Arab women in the market place but with time they will no be able to stop such a participation. However , it must be made clear that the emerging presence of Arab women in Franchising will certainly not affect their priorities which includes the importance of their role within the family unit, be it their family and business affairs at the same time for women are capable of running multiple tasks. Also, Franchising will be a real challenge which Arab Women will enjoy because it will require them as franchisee to be the manager or director, administrator, sales person and even delivery person in the same day!
In our opinion, the time is right for Arab women in Franchising and in the coming years, the number of Arab women in Franchising is bound to increase and their positive contribution to the society and economy as a whole and will speak for itself.
By Dr Khaled A. Taki - President of the Arab Franchise Association
Arab Franchise Association
Friday, 19 Jul 2019 21:04
 
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