Businesswoman Plays “Matchmaker” For Aspiring Entrepreneurs

By Judith Kohler
The Denver Post

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Stacy Swift says she likes to point out the kinds of opportunities that are available to women by becoming a franchise owner.

The Denver Post

Consultant. Broker. Those job titles fit Stacy Swift. She also likes the sound of “matchmaker.”

The Denver businesswoman works with aspiring entrepreneurs — retirees, people who’ve been laid off, people who want to be their own boss — to find just the right kind of franchise for them and draft a plan to get them on their way.

With October being National Women’s Small Business Month, Swift said she likes to point out the kinds of opportunities that are available to women by becoming a franchise owner.

“We meet with people to help them analyze their skills, goals, interests, financial capabilities,” said Swift, whose FranNet franchise has offices throughout the region. “It’s similar to executive recruiters.”

The past three years or so, Swift has noticed an uptick in the number of women becoming franchise owners.

Nationally, the number of women who worked with FranNet to acquire franchises increased about 68 percent from 2011 to 2017. Last year, women made up 24 percent of the franchise owners who were FranNet’s clients.

“For years, our typical client was male, 40 to 55 years, laid off or downsized coming out of corporate America,” Swift said. “Now, a lot of it is diversification of income sources. Even though the economy is strong right now, the layoffs are still happening.”

The franchise companies, rather than her clients, pay Swift’s services.

Cindy Rayfield and Terri Bohannon are among the growing number of women deciding to branch out and expand their economic opportunities. Rayfield was self-employed for several years, writing and working in marketing and publishing. She started working with Swift in the FranNet franchise, where she got a look at the 200 some companies the office represents.

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