The contest is part of the chain's W.E. Take the Lead initiative. 
7-eleven heat to eat meals
Credit: Bloomberg / Getty Images

7-Eleven has come up with a creative way to support women who want to start their own businesses: The convenience store chain is launching an initiative called W.E. Take the Lead, which will give away one fee-free franchise to an entrepreneurial woman, valued at around $190,000.

This is the second year in a row that 7-Eleven has had a franchise giveaway, but this year’s contest feels especially relevant, given calls for the restaurant and food industries to be more inclusive and welcoming to women. Grubhub has launched a similar campaign, which includes a map that allows users to more easily find and support women-led restaurants.

7-Eleven’s contest is open to any women, but the application process involves a video submission, interviews with senior corporate officials from the chain and hands-on experience at a 7-Eleven location. The winner will be able to choose any location that is available for franchising in the entire United States. The whole process will take about eight months to complete. Interested woman can enter online here.

Additionally, 7-Eleven will donate to a charity of the winner’s choice, as long as it aligns with its Project A-Game grant program, which contributes to efforts to encourage physical fitness and end hunger.

In the wake of accusations of sexual harassment against restaurant giants like Mario Batali and Ken Friedman, restaurants and food businesses have been stepping it up to make a real effort to showcase the talents of women: Dominique Crenn will host an all-women dinner series featuring Nancy Silverton, among others, which launches on March 27. One Toronto restaurant is being called “a breath of fresh air” for its all female staff, while a Philadelphia-based gastropub plans to host a “dream team” of female chefs. It’s been a long time coming for an industry where women have long been running the show behind-the-scenes, but rarely get the credit they deserve.