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Workingmums.co.uk has launched its third Top Franchise Awards and published its 2017 Top Franchise Awards Report based on this year’s winners – highlighting flexible, supportive business models which allow those with caring needs to fulfill their potential.
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.
The judges are Helen Walbey, National Policy Chair for Health and Diversity at Federation of Small Businesses; Kendall Braddock, Franchise Director of HSBC Bank plc, franchise law expert Amy Leite, Associate Solicitor at Aquabridge Law; and Gillian Nissim, founder of Workingmums.co.uk.
Workingmums.co.uk’s annual survey consistently shows a high level of interest among working mums in starting a business. In last year’s survey 68% of respondents said they were thinking about starting their own business or becoming a franchisee, with 15% already in the early stages of setting up and 10% working on a business plan.
The Top Franchise Awards Report highlights how last year’s winners of the Top Franchise Awards see the benefits of providing tried and tested business models which are supportive of those with caring responsibilities.
One of the issues covered in the report is provision for maternity leave, which rarely features in franchise agreements, but which can mean the difference between a franchisee continuing with a business or dropping out.
Overall winner ARTventurers describes the comprehensive training offering it offers, including a comprehensive support package consisting of HR support, maternity support and flexibility from day one, a marketing mentoring programme, ongoing mentoring initiative and support for business development as well as regular communication with franchisees, such as bi-monthly team webinars.
Bluebird Care, which won the Franchise Award for Innovation, speaks about its investment in technology to support franchisees and their elderly clients.
Little Learners, which won the Best Newcomer Award, discusses its flexible, ambitious, offered ongoing support and the different income streams it offers and Lingotot, winner of the Family Friendly Franchise Award, speaks about the flexibility it offers across the board from head office staff to franchisees, its tailored training and ongoing support at times which are convenient for parents, its regular family fun days and its emergency support.
Franchisee of the Year Award winner Abigail Curtis from Lingotot Teesside describes how she built her languages franchise while working part time as a mechanical engineer and despite not speaking Spanish or French or having any teaching experience.
Abigail has been the top-performing Lingotot franchisee every year since 2013, works with over 3,000 children and is now a mentor for other Lingotot franchisees. The Franchisee of the Year Award is open to members of the public .
The Top Franchise Awards Report also includes a transcript of the Q & A session with franchising experts which followed the awards ceremony and covered everything from funding to maternity leave.
It complements a section on the Workingmums.co.uk’s website which contains case studies, advice and support articles, news and features related to franchises and which is regularly updated.
The aim of the Report is to inspire other franchises and potential franchisees and to highlight the strong business case for these flexible franchise models.
Gillian Nissim, founder of Workingmums.co.uk, said: “We are delighted to be launching our Top Franchise Awards Report and our third Top Franchise Awards and look forward to reading all the entries. Our annual surveys show a huge interest in women starting their own businesses.
Research shows the barriers include lack of confidence, finance and risk aversion. Franchises offer a model which can help overcome some of these barriers since the franchisor has already taken the risks associated with start-ups and has developed a business model that works.
The best franchises also offer support with everything from marketing to administration, understanding that this means they will get motivated and loyal franchisees.
That is what our Awards celebrate. Every year we have been struck by the dedication and thinking that goes into developing supportive businesses.
We believe they act as a beacon for others looking to develop flexible business models.”