Eight women are competing to take home some of the most prestigious titles in the UK franchising industry
The franchising industry is changing. Between 2015 and 2018 the number of multi-unit franchisees jumped from 29% to 36%. During the same time, almost two-fifths of new franchisees were women-led, up from a fifth. So it’s only fair that this year’s bfa HSBC Franchise Awards represents the changing landscape.
Shortlisted from an impressive number of applicants, 21 franchisees, of which eight are women, will duke it out across six different categories at the ceremony on Thursday June 27.
The 21st bfa HSBC Franchise Awards will also represent the ever-changing franchise industry by introducing two new awards: Young Female Franchisee of the Year and Young Male Franchisee of the Year. Rainbow International’s Derbyshire franchisee Jennie Mills will face off against Charlotte Eames of The Creation Station South West Bucks and Maidenhead Berkshire and Home Instead Senior Care UK’s Epping franchisee Victoria Rigby in the former category.
When it comes to the Young Male Franchisee of the Year award, Steve Mullins of ActionCOACH Portsmouth and Craig Bishop of Snap-on Tools Dorset will compete with Card Connection Nottingham's Daryl Perkins to take home the top gong.
The Business Transformation award focuses on second generation franchisees and introduces the competitions second Home Instead franchisee: Simon White. This Wetherby business owner will have to take special care if he wants to win against Molly Maid Burton upon Trent’s franchisee Gill Dawson and Ed Pockney of Driver Hire Uxbridge.
Commenting on the fact his franchise has two franchisee finalists competing for awards, Martin Jones, managing director of Home Instead Senior Care UK, said: “Victoria and Simon are certainly deserving finalists in their respective categories. They’re each a great representation of what quality franchising looks like. They follow the model but have each made their businesses their own and are demonstrating amazing success.”
No franchise is complete without an engaged clientele. Therefore the Customer Engagement prize celebrates the franchisees who’ve gone above and beyond for their customers. Sarah Reeves of Bright & Beautiful Aylesbury and Berkeley Harris of Sandler Training Bristol will compete against the owners of Right at Home Southampton Kev and Amy Popat.
Commenting on her nomination, Reeves said: “I’m so honoured to be shortlisted in this category of the awards precisely because the service we deliver to all our customers is the most important part of our working day. My team and I pride ourselves on always going the extra mile, from providing tailor-made services for our clients to partnering with estate agents to deliver their cleaning services and it is incredible to receive recognition of our work from the UK’s leading franchising body.”
The number of multi-unit franchisees is growing, which highlights how owning a franchise means being able to run a scalable business. Steve Morris of Speedy Freight Bournemouth, Mark and Joanna Butler of Tutor Doctor Reading and Essex-based Window to the Womb franchisee Mark Sadleir are the finalists in the Multi-Unit category.
The Lifestyle category is about demonstrating how franchisees have created exceptional results while being able to mould their franchise around life commitments. The nominees to win this award are Allison Malone of Stagecoach Leatherhead, John and Elaine Warburton of Barking Mad Fife and David Hill of The Christmas Decorators Berkshire.
Commenting on the nominations process, Pip Wilkins, CEO of the bfa, said: “I was particularly pleased by how many exceptional case studies were presented for our young franchisee category, so much so that we shortlisted six in this category and split it into two. This goes to show the trend in our recent survey is continuing. The diversity of franchise systems and the franchisees shortlisted are indicative of an industry that is booming.”
The winners will be announced at the Vox, Birmingham on Thursday June 27 in the same night as the franchisor awards will be handed out.