Celebrating 5 Incredible Franchises That Were Founded by Women

In the spirit of Women’s History Month, we’re taking a moment to spotlight something truly inspiring. We’re celebrating five franchises that have one special thing in common: they were all founded by women. 

It’s not just about their successes (which are huge, by the way), but also about their journeys and the impact they’ve had in the franchising world. 

So, whether you’re here because you’re curious, looking for inspiration, or considering your own franchise dream, you’re in for a treat. Let’s dive into these stories together and see what it really takes to turn a vision into a thriving reality. 

These women have done something incredible, and there’s so much we can learn from them. Ready to get inspired?

Brianna Keefe, founder of Toastique.


Founded in 2014 by Brianna Keefe when she was just 24 years old, Toastique offers a unique twist on breakfast and wellness. They offer gourmet toast, cold-pressed juices, smoothies, smoothie bowls, and premium coffee options. This franchise stands out by prioritizing fresh, seasonal, and responsibly sourced ingredients, making healthy eating both accessible and delicious. 

Franchisees of Toastique benefit from a strong brand identity in the booming health food sector. With impressive average gross sales of $732,728 in 2023, the financial prospects are enticing. Without the need for heavy-duty cooking equipment like ovens, fryers, or hoods, franchisees also benefit from quick, cost-effective construction processes. Toastique’s diverse service options, from in-cafe dining to catering capabilities, not only enhance customer experience but also provide franchisees with multiple revenue streams and increased business security.

Toastique looks for franchise owners who embody an entrepreneurial spirit and share the brand’s commitment to health and wellness. Ideal candidates possess strong leadership skills, a passion for promoting healthy lifestyles, and a desire to engage with their community. Experience in management and a strong restaurant background are advantageous, ensuring the franchisee can lead and motivate their team effectively. 

Assisting Hands employee with a client. Not pictured – Dr. Gail Silverstein, founder of Assisting Hands Home Care.

Assisting Hands Home Care

Assisting Hands Home Care was established in 2005, thanks to Dr. Gail Silverstein. Her mix of healthcare knowledge and personal experience caring for her dad at home led her to realize that there was a serious gap in senior care services. This franchise focuses on compassionate services that enable seniors and others in need to maintain independence safely and comfortably within their homes. Their services include, but are not limited to, meal preparation and housekeeping, post-surgical care, medication management, and specialized dementia care.

The franchise presents an affordable entry point into the health care sector, with low startup and operational costs due to its service-based nature. It also offers growth through multi-unit ownership and a protected territory system ensuring exclusive operational areas based on demographics. Plus, no prior experience in health care is necessary to join, as Assisting Hands provides comprehensive training. 

Ideal franchisees for Assisting Hands Home Care are individuals with a strong desire to make a meaningful impact on their community. They seek compassionate, hard-working entrepreneurs who are driven by a commitment to excellence and a passion for serving seniors. While individuals from all backgrounds are welcomed, those with experience in executive management, marketing, sales, or business development are particularly well-suited. 

Carrie Rezabek Dorr, founder of Pure Barre, leading a session.

Pure Barre

Pure Barre, founded in 2001 by Carrie Rezabek Dorr, a dancer/choreographer, quickly rose to become the second-largest boutique-fitness concept in North America. With over 750 franchised locations, Pure Barre stands out with its ballet-inspired, full-body workouts. These workouts focus on low-impact, high-intensity movements that promise to strengthen and tone your body in less than an hour.

The benefits of joining this franchise include a low-cost entry to the market and the potential for significant earnings through a recurring revenue model. Additionally, the franchise operates on a semi-absentee model, allowing owners the flexibility to balance other commitments while still owning a thriving business. The experienced corporate team also provides proprietary classes, leveraged development costs, and established national vendor relationships to ensure the smooth launch and operation of your studio.

The ideal Pure Barre franchisee is someone with basic business acumen, capable of managing and motivating a team. Key traits include personable communication skills and the ability to manage key performance indicators (KPIs), ensuring the studio’s growth and success in the competitive fitness industry.

Rita Goldberg, founder of British Swim School.

British Swim School

When Rita Goldberg founded British Swim School in 1981 in Manchester, England, she filled a crucial gap in her community. Now, years later, British Swim School leads as the nation’s premier “learn to swim” provider, boasting over 300 schools across the U.S. and Canada. This franchise stands out by offering survival-focused swimming lessons for a wide age range, from infants as young as 3 months to adults. 

Franchise owners at British Swim School enjoy a business model that emphasizes low overhead and operational ease. Owners are not required to get wet or teach lessons unless they choose to, as the franchise operates by renting pool space, eliminating the need for buildout, maintenance, or upkeep costs. Their unique teaching approach combines gentle, fun, and effective instruction, resulting in an impressive customer retention rate. In just the last year, the franchise’s 300-plus locations delivered over 1.4 million lessons to nearly 28,000 students, emphasizing its widespread impact and commitment to drowning prevention.

The ideal British Swim School franchisee is someone who is motivated, hard-working, and looking for a scalable business opportunity. They value family and community impact, aiming to make a positive difference through essential life-saving skills. Candidates should have the capability to manage and motivate a younger workforce, with the option to be an owner-operator or take a semi-absentee role given a reliable team. A customer service mindset is crucial, along with a knack for marketing and sales to drive the business forward. 

Allison Hillyer, co-founder of Dermani MedSpa, teaching students.

Dermani MedSpa

In 2013, Allison and Harvey Hillyer launched Dermani MEDSPA®, combining Allison’s background as a naturopathic doctor and aesthetician with their shared vision. Today, Dermani MEDSPA® has expanded to 20 open locations, carving out a unique niche in the medspa industry by focusing on the top three revenue generators: Cosmetic injectables, Aesthetician services, and Laser Hair Removal. This brand is distinguished by its use of evidence-based lasers and services delivered by highly trained professionals, ensuring both safety and effectiveness for its clients.

Franchisees of Dermani MEDSPA® benefit from a multifaceted revenue model that includes membership-based services and an exclusive line of retail skincare products. The franchise offers significant savings on retail products, cosmetic injectable products, and equipment thanks to exclusive relationships with suppliers. This model not only offers a sustainable business opportunity but also a chance to operate in a dynamic, multi-billion dollar market with the support of an experienced team.

Ideal candidates for a Dermani MEDSPA® franchise do not need to have a medical background but should have good business acumen, experience in operations, and the ability to build a strong team of estheticians. Clinics operate under the license of a medical doctor who acts as the medical director, allowing franchise owners to focus on the business aspect.

Wow! Aren’t these franchises just incredible? What these women have accomplished goes beyond building successful businesses; they’ve also paved the way for future female entrepreneurs to step up and chase their dreams. 

As we draw this celebration to a close, let’s not forget that every journey starts with one, single step. 

We understand that with no experience, entering the franchise world can seem scary. That’s where we come in. 

Our team at Bailey Brown The Franchise Agency is passionate about guiding you through your entire franchising journey. 

So if you’re feeling inspired by these stories and are ready to invest in one of these incredible franchises, we’re here to make that process as smooth and successful as possible. You can book a free consultation by clicking here

And make sure to let us know in the comments below: which woman-founded franchise is your favourite?


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