This year's BFA 'Franchisee of the Year' awards, sponsored by HSBC, have seen twenty-eight successful franchisees go through to the semi-finals, competing for the chance to win a range of cash prices, business support and the recognition of their peers and the wider business community.
The Franchisee awards celebrate and recognise excellence and achievement within the franchise community and are highly popular within the industry as a whole. The awards highlight and share the enterprise, dedication and professionalism of the individuals involved in the franchising industry from a variety of business sectors and sizes within the UK.
The initial round of judging saw nominees from each of the five BFA areas compete for the prestigious opportunity to be recognised as regional finalist. The overall Franchisee of the Year 2012 will be selected from these finalists
The calibre of the competition's entries has been exceptionally high this year, by all accounts and two regions have retained more than the expected five franchisee entrants at this stage, demonstrating just how hard the judges' final decision will be.
The successful nominees, who are now through to the semi-finals have been announced as:
London & South East• Antal International - Liz Dillon• Belvoir Lettings – Carl Belle• Dyno-Rod Plumbing and Drains – Daniel Bowyer• McDonald’s Restaurants – David Padmore• Reeds Rains – Gareth McLean• Driver Hire – Gurpreet Bains• WPA – Daniel Wade
South West & South Wales• Barking Mad – Robert Schuler• Caremark – Janis Anderson• Dairy Crest – Steve Hunter• McDonald’s Restaurants – Ron Mounsey• Rosemary Conley Diet & Fitness Clubs – Sedge Gooding• Driver Hire – Lorraine Thompson
Scotland & Northern Ireland• Autosmart International – Keith Ellwood• Card Connection – Gabriel McGeown• Driver Hire – Richard Good & Thomas McClymont• McDonald’s Restaurants – Andy Gibson• Jo Jingles – Leigh Duke
Midlands & North Wales• Esquires Coffee Houses – Steven Prime• Merry Maids – Ian & Barbara Roberts• Home Instead Senior Care – Mark Darnell & Elaine Lomax• Dyno-Rod Plumbing and Drains – Iain Stewart• Belvoir Lettings – Simon Bell
North• Home Instead Senior Care – Luke Norbury• Jo Jingles – Eve Kay• Signs Express – Malcolm Lant• Belvoir Lettings – Dave Roberts• Little Kickers – Joanne Temple
HBSC's Head of Franchising, Cathryn Hayes, said that the judges have recognised the challenge they have ahead, with so many inspirational, successful and passionate franchisees now at the semi-final stage. She added that HSBC is lucky to work with some of England's best franchisees and that the awards were a 'pleasure' to see as they recognised the diversity of the industry and the rich base of 'determination and talent' that powered the UK franchise sector.
The second judging round takes place in the last week of July and will see a maximum of three regional finalists selected by area. The final decision on the winning entries will be made after interviews held by the judging panel on 15th and 16th August. The award winners themselves will be announced at a prestigious and glamorous black-tie gala event held in Birmingham's NEC on 4th October.
This year's prizes will be provided by HSBC and include a cash prize of £5,000 for the Gold Award winner, £3,000 for the Silver Award winner and £2,000 for the winner of the Bronze Award. Each regional finalist will win £500.
FranchiseExpo would like to wish all the competition nominees the best of luck as the awards reach their final stages. We have seen the quality of talent at the awards this year and been inspired by the franchising stories shared by the entrants. The industry continues to go from strength to strength, powered by the individuals turning to franchising as a means of working for themselves in a successful business.
More and more people are tuning into the benefits of franchising as a way to realise their dreams and ambitions and experience the satisfaction of business ownership and self-management. Awards such as these are crucial not just to recognise talent and success within the industry, but also to promote the value and strength of franchising as a model to the wider business community.