Miss World and Miss Universe are separate business enterprises. Both could have separate National Franchises sending respective winners to the worldwide contest. Miss Universe Organization (founded in US) is owned by Donald Trump and NBC, while the Miss World Organization (created in UK) was founded by Eric Morley and now co-chaired by his wife Julia Morley.
The national winners are selected by the national franchises. For eg, in India Femina Miss India conducts qualifying beauty pageants. Earlier they used to send the winner to Miss Universe and runner up to Miss World; now they select three winners, one each for Miss Universe, Miss World and Miss Earth.
The Miss World competition is owned and managed by the Miss World Organization. Julia Morley (left) is its president.
On the other hand, the Miss Universe pageant is run by the Miss Universe Organization, which is currently owned by business tycoon Donald Trump in a joint venture with broadcaster NBC.
The Miss Universe pageant was created in 1952 by clothing company Pacific Mills in the United States and Miss World was a brainchild of Englishman Eric Morley.
Recognized as the longest running of the pageants, Morley began Miss World in 1951 to promote the latest swimwear at the time and to entice audiences into the Mecca dance halls, for which he worked.
Traditionally, Miss Universe lives in New York City during her reign, whereas Miss World lives in London.
In short, Miss Universe focuses more on vanity, Miss World stresses a lot on personality ( but they too need a pretty face, after all they too are a beauty pageant )
As an ardent follower, I would like to highlight some differences in the way winners are selected.
Miss World favors well rounded personalities. They have scores for physical fitness, talent, contestants with education have an edge over others. Their semifinal comprises of pretty faces and smart, independent, pleasing personalities. What happens after semi final is a big mystery though. No one can be sure on what criteria are girls being voted into top 5 or top 7.
Miss Universe on the other hand is a cut throat glamour contest, where top 15 can be predicted with a lot of ease. Sexiest girls and big sachets ( Venezuela, India etc ) almost always make the cut. Of late Trump himself picks 6 semi finalists ( which throw some serious surprises at the pageant followers ). Scores are televised, criteria of selection is absolutely clear: swimsuit, then evening gown and then a customary answer.