Arts and crafts franchise The Creation Station was named Overall Top Franchise at workingmums.co.uk’s third Top Franchise Awards this week.
The Awards, sponsored by HSBC, celebrate the best family friendly franchisors and franchisees. They recognise franchisors both big and small who have empowered women in business – not only by providing a successful flexible business model, but by giving franchisees the advice and support they need to succeed.
Nineteen franchises and 26 franchisees were shortlisted for five categories and the top franchise award was chosen from the winners of each of these. The Creation Station was named Overall Top Franchise with the judges saying The Creation Station was very strong across the Award categories, providing a family friendly, innovative and supportive franchise which was continually moving forwards.
It was an established and proven business where the creative passion of its founder was sewn into the very fabric of its model.
The Awards were judged by David Kerrigan, Franchise Director at HSBC Bank plc; Amy Leite, Associate Solicitor at Aquabridge Law; Helen Walbey, National Policy Chair for Health & Diversity at the Federation of Small Businesses; and Gillian Nissim, Founder of workingmums.co.uk.
The online ceremony on Thursday included an awards presentation and a Q&A session with franchising experts.
The winners of the five categories were:
Supportive Franchisor Award – The Creation Station. The franchise was praised for the comprehensive, multi-faceted level of support it offered, for the way that support extended from day one and was ongoing and for its willingness to take feedback from franchisees on board. They saw their franchisees as an ongoing investment and provided ideas, financial support and personal support, including maternity leave cover.
Family Friendly Franchise Award – Mumbler. The judges felt Mumbler was very flexible with no fixed hours, meaning much of the work could be done from home around family commitments, emphasised work life balance through encouraging family time and business growth to suit the franchisee, offered compressed training and tailored support, including weekly family-friendly, informal catch-up video calls and provided solid evidence that parents could not only work around their families but earn a good level of income. It truly lived up to its mission of “making family life easier”, both for customers and for franchisees.
Highly commended in this category was Kidslingo for its family friendly business model, training, ongoing support and advice, procedures, payment options and day to day operations.
The Franchise Award for Innovation Pink Spaghetti. The judges felt Pink Spaghetti had carefully identified future challenges to their model of unlimited support and adapted their business model to ensure that this remained a core commitment to franchisees. They catered to a wide and comprehensive range of learning styles and had created an engaging business model and structures to ensure they kept ahead of emerging trends.
Best Newcomer Award – Fun Fest Franchising (UK) Ltd. The franchise was praised for the way it had put in place support for franchisees to understand how to maximise their profitability and to update training. It was a well-constructed business which provided a solid business model and offered a good variety of extra-curricular activities.
Franchisee of the Year Award – Rachel Davies from swimming franchise Turtle Tots. Rachel was nominated for her vision and the investment in time, money and energy she has made to grow her business. In just four years she has taught over 600 children, provided work for 10 swimming teachers as well as administrative staff and is making an annual turnover of over £200,000.The award was voted for by over 4,000 members of the public.
Gillian Nissim, founder of workingmums.co.uk, said: “I would like to congratulate all our winners and shortlisted franchises and franchisees. The standard of this year’s entries was very high and the passion of franchisors and franchisees very impressive. The Top Franchise Awards perfectly complement our Top Employer Awards by highlighting innovative thinking on how to develop flexible business models. They also showcase models that combine the benefits of self employment without some of the risks associated with striking out alone.”
Andrew Brattesani, UK Head of Franchising at HSBC, said: “We are delighted to be sponsoring the Top Franchise Awards and to support innovative family friendly franchises. HSBC has over 25 years’ experience in the franchise industry. Franchises offer the flexibility of self employment combined with a tried and tested business model.
“We hope that the Awards will provide a wealth of ideas and inspiration for all those looking to a future in franchising.”