The British Franchise Association (bfa) HSBC Franchisor of the Year Awards, supported by Express Newspapers, are now open for entries. Celebrating their 25th anniversary, the awards are the most prestigious and oldest in UK franchising.
This year’s categories have been revamped, launching five new honours alongside the main honour for the UK’s top overall franchisor. The move reflects the significant and growing contribution franchisors make in driving innovation, entrepreneurialism and export growth in the UK economy.
The awards highlight outstanding and ethical business practice in franchising throughout the country, commending franchises of all sizes across a diverse range of industry sectors. Winners will be announced at Heythrop Park, Oxfordshire on 26 June.
The following awards are now open for entries:
- bfa HSBC Franchisor of the Year Award
The most prestigious accolade of all, this award celebrates a franchisor’s passion and commitment to ethical franchising. It will commend the fantastic support networks and infrastructures provided by franchisors that create the best possible environment for franchisees to succeed and reach their full potential.
- Emerging Franchisor of the Year
For brands franchising for five years or less, this award is a chance for young franchisor businesses to stand out from the crowd. It will showcase exemplary support given to a rapidly-growing network and recognise the solid preparation carried out prior to launch.
- Innovation Award
This award honours franchisors that have taken a bold step in a new direction to drive significant growth in their network; perhaps through technologies, diversifying into new markets or managing a corporate conversion. The winner will demonstrate how innovation has strengthened the franchise system and network.
- International Achievement Award
This Award will honour the pioneering franchisors driving international growth of British business, expanding into overseas markets through a franchise model.
- Brand of the Year
This category will showcase the strong brand building carried out by leading franchisors, exploring outstanding marketing techniques used at both local and national levels, whilst maintaining consistency and quality of message.
- Franchisee Recruitment Award
The Award recognises best-in-class lead generation, qualification and selection of new franchisees.
Brian Smart, director general of the bfa, said: “The awards showcase the country’s most outstanding franchise businesses, regardless of size or sector, championing them amongst their peers. The range of franchisors that have been celebrated over the past 25 years demonstrates the diversity found in franchising, and our new categories reflect this growing, vibrant part of the UK economy. The successes highlighted by this year’s awards should encourage others to consider franchising as a viable and effective expansion model for their business.”
HSBC have been a long-standing supporter of the awards and their head of franchising, Cathryn Hayes, comments: “We’re always bowled over by the high quality of award entries, and the evidence of UK franchisors providing extremely high quality support networks to franchisees, implementing innovative systems and processes to sustain growing businesses. We are looking forward to hearing about, and celebrating, the exceptional talent that the UK is fostering in franchising at the moment.”
Seán Hammond, head of franchising for Express Newspapers, adds: “Each year we interview franchisor entrants who are maximising opportunities, surpassing expectations and leading the way in their respective sectors. The awards provide an excellent platform for franchisors to showcase how they are challenging the business norm and innovating, and we are excited to celebrate those leading the way in best practice.”
Franchisors can enter all categories for which they qualify. Entry forms can be downloaded and the deadline for entries is 5pm on 28 March 2014. The shortlisted finalists will be invited to a judging panel on 21-22 May where the successful franchisors will be determined. The winners will be announced at a prestigious ceremony at Heythrop Park, Oxfordshire on 26 June.