Usually when a woman returns to work after raising a family, it's at an entry level position...but when Kwan Hakim, owner of a Just-A-Buck franchise in Memphis, Tennessee, decided to go back into business, she wanted to be the boss and didn't want to wait.
Kwan came to the United States in the 1970s on a full scholarship to study communications at the University of Memphis. After graduating, she became a TV assistant operations manager. She held the same job for 13 years. "back then it was difficult for a woman to have a family and a career too," Kwan remembers. This time it would be different. Sure she would still work long and hard...but not for someone else. She was in search of the American Dream. Franchising would be the answer...for her, her family, and her extended family as well.
She researched many different methods of running a dollar store. She considered being an independent operator. After all, she had plenty of contacts in Hong Kong. She also considered buying a business opportunity...but she had difficulty researching the officers' background.
She learned that business opportunity licensees are not regulated as strictly as franchises. Nor are there trade organizations representing this business group. When she met the founders of Just-A-Buck she felt confident that they would have her best interest in mind. They were young and needed every franchisee to succeed. "When I look back on things today, I realize I could never have made it without the franchise relationship. Not only did they help regularly with purchasing, they also helped me promote my store." Today Kwan is a spokesperson for the International Franchise Association on opportunities available in franchising for women and minorities.