Franchisee finalists announced

Ten franchisees have reached the National Finals of the 2006 bfa Franchisee of the Year Awards and will now battle it out for the top prize of £5,000 at the Awards Dinner before the National Franchise Exhibition in October.

The finalists are:
David Roberts, who gave up his career in sales and marketing to take on the Action International business coaching franchise in Derby – and, despite having no experience in the industry, has gone on to build a solid business which is outperforming all the competition

Husband and wife team, Peter and Abigail Atkinson, who – with no experience in the lettings industry – gave up secure jobs and re-mortgaged their house to buy the franchise for Belvoir in Sleaford, Lincolnshire.

Pauline Earles, who left a career travelling the world with the armed forces to relocate to Worcester and start working for the Care@ franchisee that she eventually came to own.

John Heslop, who was inspired to change career following the decline of the mining industry, and chose a Chemex franchise specialising in cleaning systems.

Husband and wife, Martin and Debbie Beanlands, who, after 18 years in the RAF, needed to find a new future in the civilian world – with no experience, they bought a Chem-Dry franchise and started working from their garden shed. In less than ten years they now occupy 10,00 square feet of office space, have nine vans, eight franchise areas and employ 14 members of staff.

Antony Tagliamonti, who started out as a part-time delivery driver for Domino’s Pizza to buy the franchise in Essex – ten years on and only aged 27, he is one of the network’s youngest and most successful franchisees, running four stores to date.

Claire Lambert, a former paedriatric nurse, who bought a Jo Jingles franchise after seeking a career that would be more challenging and family-friendly

Shilpa Wymer, who after helping her husband set up and build two businesses, took on Pitman Training in central London – and now outperforms every other site in the Pitman Training network.

Pat Lilley and Paul Painton in Birmingham, who bought the Prontaprint franchise 18 years ago to become the most successful design and print centre in the whole of Prontaprint’s 170-strong franchise network.

Nick Riley, who after three years of running his own organic vegetable box scheme, became the first Riverford Organic franchisee outside Devon and has since gone on to purchase a second franchise in Bristol.

‘The franchise sector is home to some of the UK’s most successful brands,’ explains Director General of the bfa, Brian Smart. ‘These brands have been built on the fusion of a franchisor driven to build and support a network and franchisees who are committed to developing their own business.’

’All 10 Finalists to be honoured in October are inspiring examples of the franchise model working at its very best – and we congratulate them all on reaching the National Finals in these prestigious annual Awards,’ adds Cathryn Hayes, Head of Franchising for HSBC.

Adam Wayland

Adam Wayland

Adam was Editor of from 2006 to 2008 and prior to that was staff writer on sister publication BusinessXL Magazine.