Posted by: Daryl & Wendy Ashby | November 23, 2010


Franchises have for decades been the life-blood of many men and women, whether it be the ownership of a McDonald’s, Starbucks or corner gas bar. Fear of the unknown has generally been the greatest barrier in our desire to pursue such a vocation as an alternative to what we currently enjoy and yet for those that have, the vast majority are now wealthy Canadians.

Western Investor – a magazine specializing in commercial and industrial real estate – sponsored the following overview of “Five Great Franchises for Women over 40” in their August 2010 edition. They believe the top five franchises available for women today are:

Survivor Bootcamp:

Named “Best Bootcamp” by local personal trainers since 2006, Vancouver-based franchise offers a fitness system the company says can get results very quickly. Its schedule of sessions ranges from two to six days a week both outdoors and at rented indoor gyms. Their program includes cardio, strength, stretching and calisthenics as workout components.

Each class only require a yoga mat and free weights; the rest is all hard work. Franchise fee is $5,000. Details can be found at

Nurse Next Door:

Voted one of Canada’s best workplaces for 2010 by the Globe and Mail. Again corporately based out of Vancouver, this enterprise promises high levels of quality, a variety of supplementary services and proficient nurses, all designed to make living easier. This home-care health company caters to a wide range of age groups including children. As more boomers enter their later years, the importance of having consistent medical attention and other assistance may require relocation or other inconveniences. By providing support 24:7, Nurse Next Door ensures that elders can live in their own homes for as long as their desire. Franchise fee: $30,000. Details can be found at

Lunch Lady:

When Ruthie Burd realized many schools were not offering healthy snacks and parents were finding that making lunches for their children was a chore, Ruthie found a great opportunity to start a business.

That was 199 and now Lunch Lady, based in Thornhill, Ont. services over 750 schools. Lunches are created by individual franchisees daily in commercial kitchens. The flexibility in terms of their schedule is the key: it allows the franchisee the same schedule as their children which is highly important. Franchise fee is $25,000 and details are at

Sweet Beginnings:

The full-service weeding-consulting and event planning franchise, Sweet Beginnings, headquarters on West Broadway in Vancouver and specializes in individual packages for each client based on their budget, style and taste.

There is no limit to event, whether it be a Christmas party, grand opening, sweet 16s or bar/bat mitzvahs. If you love planning events and have excellent relationship skills, the franchise fee ranges from $9,000 to $19,000 and you can find out more at

(This one should throw you if you have an average stomach. Seriously this was on their list!)

Lice Squad:

Providing on-site confidential lice-removal services, this Ontario-based offers a guarantee of satisfaction. The staff provides professional head lice-removal services and conducts lice-committee seminars to train parents at schools on how to recognize lice and eggs, plus proper removal methods.

They guarantee complete lice removal in one to two hours (depending on the severity of the problem) compared to traditional methods which can take between eight to ten hours. Franchise fee, $20,000, details:

(Now here is an idea that sits well with me.)

Kumon Method Teaching:

Kumon has made a huge impact on millions of children’s lives by allowing them access to the Kumon Method, a Japanese-style tutoring system. The Kumon Method is an after-school step-by-step progressive learning strategy that involves as little as two visits to a centre per week.

Students are taught a unique learning approach to mathematics and reading by using an individual program plan. Pupils are to master the curriculum as their own pace before moving on to the next level. Each level is measured on speed and accuracy by an achievement test. The method allows students to perform to his or her full potential with more than four million students currently enrolled.

Currently there are 15 centers open in the Greater Vancouver area, and the Kuman corporate owners see opportunities in Powell River, West Kelowna, Campbell River and Richmond to name a few. Instructors for the franchise must have at least a four-year university degree and a vested interest in helping the education of children in their community.

To start up Kumon, you will need to pay a $1,000 franchise fee, pay around $30,000 to $100,000 for opening the centre and have a storefront of at least 800 sq. ft. In 2009, Forbes estimated that Kumon was worth more than US$650 million.

If you think a franchise might work for you, check out the Franchise Show set for October next year in the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre.


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