Alyson Lawson of DeSoto is one of three women who are new owners of their own franchise-fee free 7-Eleven store, valued at approximately $190,000.
In a effort to cultivate a larger group of female franchisee owners, Irving-based 7-Eleven created the “Women’s Franchise Initiative” competition. Seven semi-finalists were announced in June, who competed in an online video contest to become one of three finalists.
“It has been a long journey, and a rewarding one,” Lawson said in a release. “I’m glad to come to the finish line and seeing not only was a winner, but all the women were victorious.”
Once selected, the finalists were flown to 7-Eleven’s headquarters in Irving for an interview with President and CEO Joe DePinto. Each finalist was so impressive that DePinto couldn’t choose a single winner.
“I’m glad to come to the finish line and seeing not only was a winner, but all the women were victorious.”
“Each brings a unique set of strengths,” DePinto said in a release. “In addition, all are extremely community-oriented and have strong business, leadership, and interpersonal skills. Those are qualities successful franchisees need. Any one of them would make a great independent business owner at 7-Eleven, and I couldn’t see selecting just one, when all three are exactly the type of folks we want as franchisees and as part of the 7-Eleven network.”
Lawson, along with fellow finalists Avalon Young of Castle Rock, Colorado, and Evelyn Scott of Chesapeake, Virginia hope to franchise stores close to their homes.
7-Eleven is also donating $10,000 to a charity of each winner’s choice. Lawson chose her DeSoto-based Lance A. Lemons Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit geared toward assisting youth in all aspects of life. All charities chosen align with 7-Eleven’s Project A-Game program.
According to 7-Eleven, less than one third of franchised businesses in the U.S. are owned by women, and as the world’s largest convenience store retailer, it hopes initiatives like these will change the franchisee landscape.
“Some of our most successful franchisees across the country are women,”
“Some of our most successful franchisees across the country are women,” Larry Hughes, 7‑Eleven vice president of franchise systems, said in a release. “7‑Eleven serves a diverse customer base, and the number of women shopping our stores continues to grow. More and more are choosing to become independent business owners, and 7‑Eleven offers a proven system and one of the best entrepreneurial opportunities around.”