DALLAS – It’s show time for seven women entrepreneurs who have been selected as finalists in the 7-Eleven Women’s Franchise Initiative competition to win a franchisee fee-free 7-Eleven store. As the competition intensifies, each semifinalist has produced a short “Why I Should Win” video that is posted on the 7-Eleven franchising webpage at womensfranchisegiveaway.com.
Now, it is up to the voting public to narrow the field to three. Voting in the video competition opened on June 19 and will stay open until 11:59 pm on July 2. Anyone can vote, and vote more than once—but only one time per day for as many days as they like through the end of the video portion of the competition.
7-Eleven invited qualified women to enter the contest and consider becoming an independent business owner with the No. 1 franchise business, as named in Entrepreneur magazine’s 2017 Franchise 500. One deserving woman will be awarded a 7-Eleven fee-free franchise, a value of up to $190,000. The winner can choose from any of the company’s 7-Eleven convenience store franchises available in the continental U.S. at the contest’s culmination.
Seven semifinalists were selected from hundreds of applications received by 7-Eleven this spring:
- Alisa Davern–Aliso Viejo, CA
- Alyson Lawson–DeSoto, TX
- Avalon Young–Sedalia, CO
- Bridgette Patterson–Woodbridge, VA
- Thi “Grace” Nguyen–McKinney, TX
- Evelyn Scott–Chesapeake, VA
- Latanya Bennet–King of Prussia, PA
“In their videos, the semifinalists have submitted some compelling personal stories and reasons they want to become a 7-Eleven franchisee,” said Larry Hughes, vice president of franchise systems for 7-Eleven. “We invite people to visit our website and choose not just the one they like the best, but also the one who makes the best case for getting this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to start her own business.”
7-Eleven believes in giving back to communities where it does business and will donate to the winner’s charity of choice that aligns with its Project A-Game program. Project A-Game grants provide youth a foundation for success by funding programs focused on education, fitness, safety and hunger relief. The donation will be determined by the total number of votes the winner’s video receives throughout the voting period.
After July 2, the top three contenders will be determined by the number of votes their video receives. These three finalists will then have one-on-one interviews with 7-Eleven, and the winner will be announced in July.
The competition is similar to 7-Eleven’s successful Operation: Take Command franchise giveaway for U.S. military veterans. Like Operation: Take Command, this multi-phase competition includes meeting company franchising qualifications, preliminary interviews, a video contest and a final one-on-one interview with 7-Eleven senior leadership for the top finalists.
Less than one-third of franchised businesses in the United States are owned by women. To increase its own number of female franchisees, 7-Eleven launched this franchise give-away contest exclusively to women entrepreneurs.
“Some of our most successful franchisees across the country are women,” said Hughes. “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.”
To qualify, an entrant had to be age 21 or older, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, have excellent credit and at least three years of leadership, retail or restaurant experience. Contestants go through the same qualification process as all 7-Eleven franchise applicants including credit evaluation, a leadership test, business plan development, budget and store location preferences.
This year marks the 53rd year of franchising for the world’s largest convenience store. Today, franchisees operate almost 90% of the 7-Eleven stores in the United States. An interactive map at franchise.7-eleven.com indicates stores available for franchising.