Following a record number of entries, the 20 finalists for this year's bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year Awards have been unveiled
Franchisees are the lifeblood of any successful franchise so it's only fair that their efforts are rewarded now and again. And thanks to the folks at the British Franchise Association (bfa), we now know the names of the 20 fantastic franchisees who will be battling it out for a prize at the bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year Awards 2015, supported by Express Newspapers.
It's safe to say that those tasked with whittling down this year's entrants to the magic 20 didn't have it easy. Such is the strength of the British franchising industry nowadays, the awards saw a record number of entries, meaning the 2015 finalists are very special indeed. With six categories to fight it out for, here is the full list of finalists in all its glory:
Female Franchisee of the Year
- Shweta Jhajharia, ActionCoach, London
- Faye McDonough, Bright & Beautiful, Altrincham
- Sarah McLean, McDonald’s, Nuneaton & surroundings
- Carolyn Sharpe, Puddle Ducks, Newcastle upon Tyne
Young Franchisee of the Year (aged 30 or under)
- Tim Harris, Anytime Fitness, Welwyn Garden City
- Richard Swayne, Snap-on Tools, Dartford
- Dan Wade, WPA Healthcare, East Sussex
Microbusiness Franchisee of the Year (less than £100,000 turnover)
- Paul Stokes, Little Kickers, Hitchin & Bedford
- Les Graves, TruGreen, South Bedfordshire
- Adrian Steel, Wilkins Chimney Sweep, North Hampshire
Customer Service Franchisee of the Year
- Nic Chaviaris, Driver Hire, Gatwick
- Noel Gallacher, Dyno Plumbing, Scotland
- Amy & Philip Kennedy, Home Instead Senior Care, Peterborough
- Steve Roberts, O2, North West
B2B Franchisee of the Year
- Kevin Preston, Drain Doctor, North West
- Lee Brimecombe & Paul Nebbett, in-toto kitchens, Exeter
- Lee Eaton, Signs Express, Manchester
Olderpreneur Franchisee of the Year (aged 55 or older)
- Mike Guerin, McDonald’s, Bristol & surroundings
- Sue Caulfield, Metro Rod, Oxon & West Bucks
- Fran Maclean, Pitman Training, Edinburgh & Glasgow
One of the six category winners will be named bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year 2015 and will walk away with a tidy £10,000 in prize money from HSBC, not to mention the pride, prestige and profile that comes with winning such an award. Meanwhile, each category winner will win £1,000.
“The process to reach this shortlist proved very difficult indeed thanks to the calibre of entries and these 20 franchisees should feel extremely proud to have reached this stage," said Andy Brattesani, head of franchising at HSBC.
"The variety of businesses is notable, ranging from single owner-operators to multimillion-pound companies, reflecting the diversity of people and sectors represented in modern franchising in the UK.”
Cathryn Hayes, head of business support at the bfa, added: "Our finalists have already demonstrated the difference they’re making in their communities across the UK, from northern Scotland to the south coast, and we look forward to hearing more from them at what is certain to be an extremely difficult judging process to find our winners.”
The finalists will present to a judging panel of franchising experts on July 15 & 16, with the winners announced at a black-tie dinner hosted by the BBC's business guru Steph McGovern on October 1 at Birmingham Town Hall.
And on that note, there's not much left to say other than 'May the best franchisee win!' Although, as far as we're concerned, they've all won already.