BFA launch the 35th annual British Franchise Awards

Winners to be announced in early November

How franchising awards can illuminate the pathway to your perfect franchise fit

This year’s HSBC-sponsored British Franchise Awards is up and running, following Monday’s official launch at BFA headquarters. For the 35th edition of this prestigious event, the organisers have added two new categories, bringing the total number of awards to 16.

Those keen to enter have seven weeks to make their application, with the gala ceremony taking place on Thursday, November 7th. Organised by the British Franchise Association (BFA), which was founded 47 years ago, the event is commonly accepted as being the most prestigious awards occasion in UK franchising.

The British Franchise Awards showcases the nation’s leading businesses and individuals, while recognising the achievements of both franchisors and franchisees.

Entries close on Wednesday June 12th, with judging scheduled to take place between July 29th and August 2nd. Ahead of November’s gala awards dinner, the BFA will undertake pre-event filming, which is earmarked for the week starting Monday, September 2nd.

Award Categories

For Franchisors 

Established Franchisor of the Year

Expanding Franchisor of the Year 

Emerging Franchisor of the Year 

Lifestyle Franchisor of the Year

Leadership and Culture  

Brand Awareness  

International Expansion (new)


For Franchisees


Next Generation 

Community Focus

Business Builder (new)

HSBC Best in Class multi-unit single brand  

HSBC UK Best in Class multi-unit multi brand  

Trailblazer franchisee

Franchisee of the year People’s Choice

A printable entry guide is available by clicking

Speaking at the launch, the BFA’s chief executive Pip Wilkins said: “Five months after we announced the 2023 winners, we are back to start the ball rolling again for this year’s event. In 2024 we have two new awards to be handed out: ‘International Expansion’ and ‘Business Builder’. Both are looking at businesses that have grown successfully, but in different ways.

“This event remains the pinnacle of UK franchising, highlighting the achievements of BFA members – both franchisors and franchisees.”

Pip Wilkins chairs the panel of six judges who have the tricky task of deciding the winners in each category. The other five members of this panel are: Gillian Morris (UK Head of Franchise Commercial Banking at HSBC); Natalia Shvarts (Partner with Excello Law); Adam Lovelock (Director at Coconut Marketing); Alan Wilkinson (Head of Franchise Development at The Franchising Centre); and Roz Goldstein (Partner at PartnerWise Franchise).

Recognising the vital role of the judges, Pip added: “My thanks, as always, to our judges who have agreed to give up enormous amounts of their time to judge the entries we receive.  Each brings with them their own valuable area of expertise. They are a highly experienced judging panel. 

“For 2024, we are leaving the London-based studio to undertake filming in the Midlands where we are renting out a multi-million pound venue. This, I hope, will not only add to the fun for our finalists but will also give us some great footage for the awards’ evening.”

Speaking on behalf of the sponsors, HSBC, Gillian Morris said: “In the 35 years we have been sponsoring the British Franchise Awards the entries have never failed to impress. Every year we read stories of good strategy, great planning and, sometimes, enormous bravery. 

“People in the franchising world are totally committed to their businesses and this wonderful attribute really shines through. We (the judges) are all looking forward to reading this year’s entries. Franchising transforms lives and boosts local communities.”

During her launch speech, BFA boss Pip Wilkins made reference to the huge increase in re-sale territories across the UK and how this trend led to the inclusion of one of the new award categories.

She explained: “Franchise resales are a growth area for franchising and there are huge benefits in this. When you invest in a franchise territory that is already operational, you hit the ground running.

“You have a head start, meaning the entrepreneur can achieve impressive growth results within a short space of time. This new franchisee category – ‘Business Builder’ – will give us the chance to shine a light on people investing in resale territories, and then making a success of them.  

“As for the other new category – ‘International Expansion’ for franchisors – this will make for fascinating reading too, as we examine the international success of some of the larger brands. 

“Many franchisors, who have built firm foundations in the UK, are now looking to expand abroad. And our franchise brands are taking full advantage. We are looking forward to hearing about their individual journeys to international franchise success.”

About the BFA: The British Franchise Association is the voluntary self-regulating governing body for UK franchising and was formed in 1977. The BFA promotes franchise systems which meet strict ethical and business criteria. The term ‘franchising’ has been used to describe many different forms of business relationships. Business format franchising is the granting of a license by the franchisor to the franchisee. This entitles the franchisee to trade under the trade name of the franchisor. The BFA lists its members, and code of ethics, on the website

Andy Swales
Andy Swales