August 3, 2011

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Welcome: Discover the Buried Story of the Creator of Modern Franchising

Harper’s  franchising system empowered and enriched poor women, as well as herself! •Servant Girl Creates 500 Franchises Around the World Bound out into servitude from the time she was seven years old, Martha Matilda Harper knew she had to change her life. •From Suffrage to Franchising Susan B. Anthony while campaigning for suffrage cited Harper […]

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July 20, 2017

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How Rochester’s Women’s Equality Movement Propelled Harper’s World-wide Franchise Network

Rochester women and men were early leaders in the cause of women’s equality and it led to economic options for women… Here’s why Rochester, our foremothers, and especially Post, Anthony and Harper need to be remembered.Now, as we look at the earnings gap, the inequitable distribution distribution of women leaders at the top of major organization including our government, the discriminatory legislation affecting women, it is up to us to continue that struggle for equality.

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May 29, 2017

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A Real World Rapunzel Who Rescues Herself

Recently I spoke to a group of cosmetology and barber students at the Manatee Technical College.  Over forty, mostly young people, some with multi-colored hair, ranging from maroon, to aquamarine highlights, were mesmerized by the hair and the accomplishments of Martha Matilda Harper. One student said to me, “I thought I had it tough, but […]

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April 19, 2017

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Inspire Young Children with Harper’s Hair and Business Model

Though Martha Matilda Harper lived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, her path from servant girl at age seven to the creator of modern retail franchising and a pioneer in social entrepreneurship provides powerful lessons for all of us today, especially our young generations.  As a grandma with three pre-kindergarten grandchildren, I think […]

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September 15, 2016

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It Is Our Turn, Martha!

What an impact one poor Canadian girl  born on  September 12, 1857 had on thousands of other poor servant and factory girls.  Today that woman,  Martha Matilda Harper,  would have been 159 years old and her legacy lives on, but reminds us there is more to do. Harper created modern retail franchising around the world, putting […]

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April 22, 2014

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Dare to Make Your Dreams Come True

Stop bellyaching that life is unfair.  You are right.  We don’t all get dealt a good hand.  The question is what will you do about it? In the 1800s when life was totally gloom and doom for poor women, Martha Matilda Harper had a dream, to break our of servitude and control her life as a […]

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October 18, 2013

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Martha’s Simple Lesson

Following the NPR Morning Edition story on franchising (www.npr.org),  Lea Kemp, Library curator at the Rochester Museum and Science Center called to share how sixth  graders were impacted by Martha Matilda Harper.  Seems the Museum’s charter school was teaching business to their sixth graders and Lea shared Martha’s story.  A youth piped up, “So, Martha treated […]

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September 12, 2013

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Reboot American Values

The game is stacked.  Unless you go into certain fields and maneuver a golden parachute, expect to watch the rich get richer and the poor poorer.  According to September 11, 2013 Associated Press article, “the gulf between the richest 1 percent and the rest of America is the widest it’s been since the Roaring 20’s. […]

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June 18, 2013

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Inspiration All Around

Stumbling on the brief mention of Martha Matilda Harper in a Rochester, NY Chamber of Commerce publication, helped spur on my six year journey to discover and document  Harper’s story.  Criss-crossing the U.S. and Canada, visiting family and former Harperites was a blessed adventure. Now two sixteen year old students, Jenna Fortunati and Margaret Mirabella, […]

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December 6, 2012

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Making A Difference

As I reflect on the our world today and its incredible divisiveness, greed, and hatred, I find inspiration from those special people using business for social change, folks who are determined to apply good business thinking and practices in an effective way to make an economic  difference in people’s lives.  Surely Martha Matilda Harper was […]

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June 19, 2012

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Time for Business Basics

It’s graduation time and lots of young people are moving on up and becoming (we parents hope)  self-sustaining men and women.   Hopefully, they have been taught to read, write, and think clearly.  Perhaps they have even been to taught to think creatively and not simply regurgitate back answers, but to even think through new […]

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