bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year Awards 2016

The UK's most exceptional franchisee's of the last 12 months have been revealed at the bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year Awards 2016.

Franchisee of the Year and Customer Service Franchisee of the Year

Adam Holmes, Nathan Holmes & Andrew Blackhurst

Adam Holmes

Revive! East Anglia

Pip Wilkins, bfa chief executive, said: “Every year the standard gets better and it gets harder to make our decisions. Our winners showcase the diversity found in franchising. They’ve truly demonstrated their flair for business alongside a local focus and we’re proud to recognise them with the highest honours in the sector.”

Andrew Brattesani, UK head of franchising for HSBC, added: “These business owners are outstanding examples of British entrepreneurial excellence. Each has excelled for their vision, growth and community work, maximising the advantages of the franchise model by adding their own drive and ambition. Congratulations to them all.

Of their Customer Service Franchisee of the Year award, Pip said: “Young, passionate and absolutely determined to be the best they can be, if you’re looking for inspiration to go into business for yourself then you needlook no further than Adam, Nathan and Andrew. They’re proving what’s possible by combining exceptional skills and initiative with the power of a great franchise model.”

Andrew commented: “What these guys have done is nothing short of extraordinary. In a smart repair sector dominated by single owner-operators they’re redefining the boundaries of business, with exceptional growth and a relentless focus on delivering great service. They deserve rich recognition for their efforts and we’re delighted to name them the bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year 2016.”

Young Franchisee of the Year (aged 30 or under)

Ben Witcomb

Ben Witcomb

Metro Rod Newport, Hereford & Gloucester


Pip said: “Ben is a remarkable young businessman. The vision, skills and ambition he’s shown to implement new initiatives and growth strategies since taking over would have impressed the judges from someone much older. But to have tripled turnover to well over a million pounds in just four years, while still in his 20s, is an incredible achievement.”

Andrew commented: “I’m lucky to have mentored a lot of young entrepreneurs and Ben is right up there with the best of them. He’s got a rare ability to seek out opportunities and seize them, but always while growing sustainably and with complete control. He’s a shining example of how franchising offers a business education for young people with the drive and determination to succeed.”

Female Franchisee of the Year

Tricia Craig

Tricia Craig

Metro Rod North East

Pip said: “As judges we felt genuinely inspired by Tricia’s ability to adapt and grow throughout all market conditions, while maintaining a focus on her team throughout. To have expanded her business through good times and bad over 17 years shows a rare resilience and tenacity which is why she excels as an entrepreneur.”

Andrew commented: “The standard of our four finalists in this category was exceptional so to win highlights how impressive Tricia’s business is. Her continual reinvestment, development of services and understanding of her marketplace are examples any business owner would do well to follow.”

Microbusiness Franchisee of the Year (less than £100,000 turnover)

Richard Bryan

Richard Bryan

Wilkins Chimney Sweep Tyneside North

Pip said: “Richard’s gone from having no prior business experience to a multi-award-winner in just over three years, testament to his personality and approach as well as the Wilkins Chimney Sweep model. He’s an inspiration to anyone who has ever dreamed of running their own business, and an exceptional franchisee.”

Andrew commented: “It takes a great deal of courage to leave a long public sector career to start a business. With this franchise, it takes even more to conquer a fear of heights to do so! Richard’s impressive transition into self-employment is deservedly recognised with this award. “


Judges Prize

Zak Patel

Zak Patel

O2 Yorkshire


Andrew commented: “It’s rare to see a business with such an incredible focus on its local community. Zak leads a team that’s relentless in its pursuit of service excellence, creating bespoke initiatives for the visually impaired, local students, families, foreign nationals and many more besides. It’s our pleasure as judges to recognise his incredible achievements with this award.”

Pip said: “Especially in the telecommunications sector, it would have been easy for Zak to let an employee who lost his sight go. Instead they developed Project iCare together and are now providing life-changing support for thousands in a similar situation. That tells you everything you need to know about the man behind the business and his character.”

B2B Franchisee of the Year

Kevin Lawley

Kevin Lawley

Minster Cleaning Services Norfolk & Suffolk

Pip said: “The way he’s used his transferrable skills from his previous career makes Kevin an inspiration to anyone who dreams big. Identifying an opportunity is one thing, but to transform a business the way he has since taking on his franchise is extraordinary and makes him a very worthy winner of this award.”

Andrew commented: “Kevin has offered a masterclass in B2B excellence since starting his business. Developing new services, focusing on his team and demanding the highest quality at all times have seen him become one of the most successful franchisees in a very established network and rightly take home this award.”

Olderpreneur Franchisee of the Year (aged 55 or older)

Steve Brown

Steve Brown

Rosemary Bookkeeping Newbury

Pip said: “Steve’s shown the ability and resilience to overcome many challenges. From leaving a corporate environment and starting his own business, to managing that business while caring for his wife, his calm head and steadfast approach has translated into a fast-growing business – and now a national award as well. “

Andrew commented: “While running his business and helping his daughter with hers, Steve’s still found time to put new ideas into the wider network for the benefit of his fellow Rosemary Bookkeeping franchisees. He’s a brilliant example of how in franchising, experience is highly valued and no age limit applies.”

A huge congratulations to all of our winners and finalists

Find out more about this year’s categories and what the judges were looking for

  • Nick Ménage
    Wilkins Chimney Sweep Limited - Franchisee case study

    Nick Ménage, 52, bought his Wilkins Chimney Sweep franchise after 27 years of running a gym in Banbury. The support and back-up of his Wilkins franchisors were crucial elements of his decision.

    Read the full case study
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