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IRVING, Texas — 7-Eleven Inc. has selected finalists in the 7-Eleven Women's Franchise Initiative competition to win a franchise fee-free 7-Eleven store.
Now through 11:59 p.m. on July 2, the public can vote for each semi-finalist, who has produced a short "Why I Should Win" video that has been posted on the 7-Eleven franchising website. The public can vote more than once, but only one time per day for as many days through the end of the video portion of the competition.
Semi-finalists were selected from hundreds of applications received by 7-Eleven this spring. They are:
- Alisa Davern, AlisoViejo, Calif.
- Alyson Lawson, DeSoto, Texas
- Avalon Young, Sedalia, Colo.
- Bridgette Patterson, Woodridge, Va.
- Thi "Grace" Nguyen, McKinney, Texas
- Evelyn Scott, Chesapeake, Va.
- Latanya Bennet, King of Prussia, Pa.
"In their videos, the semi-finalists 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."
After July 2, the top three contenders will be determined by the number of votes their video receives. The three finalists will then have one-on-one interviews with 7-Eleven, and the winner announced later that month.
One 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 United States.
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.
According to the company, less than one-third of franchised businesses in the U.S. are owned by women. In an effort to increase its own number of female franchisees, 7-Eleven targeted this franchise give-away contest exclusively to women entrepreneurs.
"Some of our most successful franchisees across the country are women," Hughes said. "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."
The competition is similar to 7-Eleven's 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, video contest and a final one-on-one interview with 7-Eleven senior leadership for the top finalists.
In an effort to give back to the communities where it does business, 7-Eleven will also make a donation to the winner's charity of choice that aligns with its Project A Game program, which helps provide a foundation for youth with programs like 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.
7-Eleven has been franchising stores for 53 years. Today, nearly 90 percent of 7-Eleven stores in the U.S. are franchised, according to the company.
Irving-based 7-Eleven operates, franchises or licenses more than 62,000 stores in 17 countries, including 10,900 in North America.