November is National Entrepreneurs Month, and we’re happy to have another excuse to celebrate business owners and leaders everywhere.

For many, entrepreneurship is the American Dream. 51% of working-age Americans see the opportunity in starting a business. The idea of building your own empire–on your own terms–can sound pretty appealing.

When most people think of the ‘E’ word, owning a franchise may not be the first thing that comes to mind. But entrepreneurship comes in many forms. Even though franchisees don’t create the brand playbook, they own and shape their businesses, hire and lead teams, and often have a greater impact on their systems than they think.

Many businesses are successful because they’re more than just businesses: they’re embedded in the heart of their communities. Here are three franchisee duos who are inspiring us this month:

Randy and Amy Harken, Nurse Next Door

With a combined 25 years of experience in health care–and with Amy having experienced the need for home care herself–this couple owns and operates a successful Nurse Next Door franchise in Burbank, CA. Because they prioritize community involvement, they’ve made time in their busy schedules to get even busier. It’s worth it, they say, because helping people is why they bought a home care franchise in the first place.

franchisee nurse next door

Their office is a drop-off location for the Convalescent Aid Society, who loans medical equipment to people in need. Randy and Amy donate services to a nonprofit that supports people who can’t afford home care. They conduct fall risk prevention classes at the YMCA, and participated in the Burbank Live Well project, which monitored fall risk for 100 seniors over a period of 6 months.

As if that wasn’t enough, they’re also involved with the Burbank Chamber of Commerce, the St. Joseph’s Hospital Health and Wellness Committee, and MAPS Charities. Randy’s even the captain of his local Kiwanis Relay for Life team.

Todd and Genie Beaver, 1-800-GOT-JUNK?

The brains behind one of several 1-800-GOT-JUNK? operations in Greater Atlanta, Todd and Genie have found ways to stand out from their neighboring territories. While they’re organized and efficient franchisees, they’ve gone above and beyond in several ways.

This couple turned their office’s back lot into a mini recycling depot, which lets their team sort and categorize collected items for eco-friendly disposal or donation. They’re also longtime supporters of Habitat for Humanity, Atlanta Furniture Bank, Goodwill, local public schools and more, donating supplies and household items on a regular basis.

Lee and Kelly Hodgins, COBS Bread

This team belongs to a franchise system that already gives back on an international level: all COBS Bread locations donate unsold bread and baked treats to local charities at the end of each day. But Lee and Kelly take it a step further by hosting a BBQ every year to raise funds for the Foothills Country Hospice in their town of Okotoks, AB. They raised $1600 in 2017, which will go toward patient supplies and facility repairs.

Whether it’s their annual fundraiser BBQ or their involvement in the Calgary Kidney March, “every dollar counts,” says Lee. “If everyone gives a little, it adds up to a big number in the end.”

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel to be an applause-worthy entrepreneur. These franchisees know that one key to success in entrepreneurship is being a cornerstone of your community.

If you’re wondering what it’s like to run your own business, explore franchise opportunities with Nurse Next Door! Download our free home care franchise report.