At EWiF, we think it’s time to bust the myth, “it’s lonely at the top”. When you discover the support and friendship within a network like ours, you soon realise you won’t be in business alone.

Do you ever feel alone or isolated when it comes to either running a business, or wanting to run a business? The irony is: you’re not alone. A Stateside survey last year, conducted by, Berlin Cameron & Benenson Strategy Group, found:

  • 53% of women in the workplace experience loneliness—and it only gets worse the higher they climb the corporate ladder.
  • 30% of senior-level women said they didn’t have anyone to talk to about work and a lack of support is taking a toll.
  • Two-thirds of senior-level women said work, combined with responsibilities at home, left them feeling burned out, stressed, and overwhelmed. 
  • And, to help them cope with the stress, 92% of the senior-level women who’d reported being lonely said they turned to a negative coping behaviours like alcohol, drugs, overexercising, and overspending.

Whilst these stats may relate to American women in business, it’s safe-to-say they’re likely to be as high – if not higher – for women in the UK. To say loneliness is a serious issue is an understatement. It’s why the Government pledged to End Loneliness with measures such as: providing funds for research, telling doctors to try “social prescribing”, sending patients to social events rather than to the pharmacy, and appointing a ‘Loneliness Minister’ (anyone know who it is, BTW?!).

And this goes beyond loneliness at home, or in our private lives; it plays out professionally. One of the findings of the Rose Review Report a few years ago, was the fact there is a lack of mentors and role models for women looking to go into business. This means more women who would make excellent CEOs are holding back because they don’t believe they’re capable, or because they’re afraid to do it alone.

Enter Franchising!

As we focus on relationships throughout February, we have to highlight the friendships and support you can discover through belonging to a network of like-minded women!  Whether you’re already involved in franchising, are thinking about the prospect of franchising, or curious about what franchising is, one thing is for sure: You’ll never be alone when you’re part of the franchise industry.

It might sound cliché to say it, but we’re going to anyway: the Franchise Industry is small enough for you to feel like part of the family, yet big enough for you to know you can learn from others in your sector, without competing. With over 900+ franchise brands in the UK, there is a franchise operating in any industry, so you can connect with people who know your sector, understand your sector, and can share sector insights with you.

And, because franchising is so unique, you’ll also connect with people at various stages of their franchise journey, who will be more than happy to offer you a listening ear, a word of advice, or genuine encouragement.

You don’t have to feel alone in franchising.

Add to the mix the fact Mental Health UK has suggested the UK is on the brink of mental health burn-out, as 9 in 10 adults in the UK experienced high or extreme stress in the past year, with increasing feelings of hopelessness. And, unsurprisingly, the percentage is higher for women in the workplace, than it is for men.

The survey also asked about measure which helped, and found:

  1. 71% valued having a supportive network of family or friends outside work
  2. 56% appreciated a healthy work-life balance’
  3. 56% said exercising regularly helped them

Other in-work initiatives were beneficial, such as:

  1. having a supportive line manager at work (43%),
  2. having a supportive network of professional colleagues or peers (42%),
  3. accessing professional support for mental health (29%)
  4. and, organisations offering staff training around mental health at work’ (24%)

One of the things often said when recruiting people into franchising is, “you’re in business for yourself, not by yourself”. Which is as true for franchisors, as much as it’s true for franchisees. We can become your professional network of support, so you don’t feel like you have to work it all out alone.

As a franchisee, you join a network of business owners under the one franchise brand. As a franchisor, you can join networks, like EWiF, to connect with other franchisors. And now, within franchising, there are franchisor peer support groups being created as a means for franchisors across industries, to share franchise knowledge with each other, too. 

So, as you begin to dip your toe in the franchise industry… it won’t be long before you meet someone with whom you genuinely connect with. Why do we say this? Because most of the women you meet in franchising, have been exactly where you are – feeling lonely, isolated, and wondering who they can talk to for guidance about their business.