TIP OF THE WEEK

Small business has always been the backbone of the American economy, and today’s entrepreneurs are as diverse as American culture itself. Entrepreneurship takes many forms, from freelancers and independent contractors to sole proprietors. In fact, just one form of entrepreneurship - franchises - employs 8 million people and accounts for 40 percent of all retail sales, according to the Small Business Administration.

Franchise operations come in many forms, from chain restaurants and retail stores to home services providers and real estate brokerages. In fact, the real estate franchise industry is a $25 billion marketplace and more than 55,000 Americans are employed as franchise owners, according to market research firm IBISWorld.

You can be your own boss. The ability to work for oneself attracts many people to owning a small business. A real estate franchise allows you to nurture your entrepreneurial spirit. Franchisees get to set their own objectives and make business decisions about everything from where they’ll work (at home or in an office) to how they’ll market their business.

You can work for yourself but not by yourself. Franchisors typically provide training, assistance and marketing support to franchisees.

You don’t have to move for work — unless you want to. Real estate agents usually specialize in an area that’s close to their own home. It’s easy to find opportunities in your own backyard, especially if you sign on with a franchisor that has numerous offices across the country. Living in the communities where you find business also allows you to develop a level of expertise about an area that can better serve both home buyers and sellers.

Your local business can have a global presence. When your franchise is connected to a well-known brand, your bread-and-butter business may be local but the brand’s name recognition can have global reach. By franchising with that brand, you can lean on its reputation, and that can open up opportunities beyond your local business.

— Brandpoint

THE LIST

According to Forbes, the world’s highest paid TV hosts are:

1. Phil McGraw ($79 million)

2. Ellen DeGeneres ($77 million)

3. Ryan Seacrest ($58 million)

4. Judy Sheindlin ($47 million)

5. Simon Cowell ($43.5 million)

6. Steve Harvey ($42.5 million)

7. Bill O’Reilly ($37 million)

8. Sean Hannity ($36 million)

9. Michael Strahan ($21.5 million)

10. Heidi Klum ($21 million)

NUMBER TO KNOW

$300 million: Thanks to the hundreds of thousands of new subscribers to Weight Watchers in the past year, TV mogul Oprah Winfrey — who bought a 10-percent stake in the company in 2015 — saw her initial investment of $43 million is now worth more than $300 million.

TECH TALK

Uber pledges $5 million to help prevent sexual assault

Uber recently announced that the ride-sharing company will pledge $5 million over the course of five years toward sexual assault and domestic violence prevention. The pledge comes after the company was hit with a sexual assault scandal in June and other recent reports of sexual assault in Hollywood, media and the tech industry. The funds will benefit such groups as Raliance, the National Network to End Domestic Violence and NO MORE. Along with the pledge, the company’s team of 150 customer services agents have taken new training in the handling of calls related to harassment issues.

— More Content Now