Winning a store
A 30-year-military veteran from Chesapeake who will soon retire from the Navy is one of three winners in 7-Eleven Inc.’s first franchise giveaway contest.
Evelyn Scott of Chesapeake will receive a waiver of the retailer’s franchise fee, valued at up to $190,000, to franchise any 7-Eleven store available in the continental U.S. In addition, 7-Eleven will donate $10,000 to a charity selected by each winner, and in Scott’s case that money will go to Oscar Smith Middle School in Chesapeake.
The contest exclusively targeted women entrepreneurs. “Women own and operate less than a third of franchised businesses in the U.S., a number we want to help grow,” Larry Hughes, 7-Eleven vice president of franchise systems, said in a statement. “Because of our extensive training programs, proven business system, favorable financing, exclusive products and globally recognized brand, 7-Eleven offers a great entrepreneurial opportunity for women … and men.”
To qualify for the Women’s Initiative competition, entrants had to be 21 years of age or older, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, have excellent credit and at least three years of leadership, retail or restaurant experience. The contest also required applicants to go through the same process as any franchise applicant. That included interviews, credit evaluation, a leadership test and preparing a business plan and budget.
The three winning finalists were selected from seven semifinalists who went head to head in a online video contest for the chance to make it to the final round.
Then the top three, including Scott, were flown — all expenses paid — to the company’s home office in Irving, Texas, to interview with 7-Eleven President and CEO Joe DePinto.
“To say that each candidate was impressive would be an understatement,” Joe DePinto said in a statement. “Each brings a unique set of strengths. In addition, all are extremely community-oriented and have strong business, leadership and interpersonal skills … Any one of them would make a great independent business owner at 7-Eleven, and I couldn’t see selecting just one, when all three are exactly the type of folks we want as franchisees and as part of the 7-Eleven network.”
The other winners are Alyson Rae Lawson of Dallas, Texas; and Avalon Young of Castle Rock, Colo.
After three decades in the U.S. Navy, Scott will soon retire with the rank of commander master chief. Most recently she has served as a human resources manager responsible for more than 1,900 sailors. She plans to open a franchise near her home.
“After months of waiting, I still can’t believe it,” Scott said in a statement. “Who ever wins a store? “
Entrepreneur magazine ranked 7-Eleven the No. 1 franchise business opportunity earlier this year on its 2017 Franchise 500 list. 2017 marks the 53rd year of franchising for the world’s largest convenience store chain. Today, franchisees operate almost 90 percent of the 7-Eleven stores in the U.S.