This week, we take a step back in time to discuss the lifework of Martha Matilda Harper— one of the greatest businesswomen you may not have heard about. In this special episode, Erik is joined by Jane Plitt, the author of the book Martha Matilda Harper and the American Dream: How One Woman Changed the Face of Modern Business.
Martha Matilda Harper is an American businesswoman, entrepreneur, and inventor who launched modern retail franchising and then built an international network of 500 franchised hair salons that emphasized healthy hair care in the late 1800s.
After conducting in depth research, Jane Plitt shares with us how she was able to unearth Martha’s incredibly rags to riches story, and how a former servant girl from Canada created the American hair salon industry, empowering thousands of young women along the way. By dictating that poor women would open the first 100 salons, in one fell swoop Harper became a pioneer of social entrepreneurship and modern franchising.
Jane endeavors to bring Martha’s story alive and showcase just how her life experiences remain relevant to us today. She has a fascinating story for those who believe in entrepreneurship and the role women have played to shape innovative successful business and humane models.
Tune in to hear more about Martha’s franchise story and how her spirit and wisdom live on in modern times.
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