Taylor Made Franchising acquires 50 percent stake in Women in Business Network (WIBN)


Taylor Made Franchising has acquired a 50% stake in the women’s networking franchise operation, Women in Business Network (WIBN).

Taylor Made Franchising now owns, or part owns, eight franchise businesses with over 100 franchisees and an annual turnover in excess of £8m.

Women in Business Network was originally founded in 2006 and currently has eight franchisees in the network.

Najat Johnson and Helen Fletcher bought the business in 2020. The pair have made considerable investment into the infrastructure of the business including building a new website and social media system to support the company’s activities. 

Johnson has now sold her share of the business to Taylor Made Franchising, to pursue her skin care business. Fletcher remains in post as co-owner.

WIBN is a networking group for women who run their own businesses to meet, both on and offline, to learn, share best practice, offer support to each other and to refer business. Pre-Covid there were over 20 franchisees with groups running across the UK and Ireland.

On the new partnership Fletcher said: “I am really excited about this new partnership with Taylor Made Franchising both for us and for our franchisees.  Najat and I spent much of last year working on our marketing, systems and processes, rolling out a brand-new website and getting our communications for the business right, so it absolutely feels like the right time for us to grow.  With Darren’s huge experience in franchising and his highly experienced management team to guide us, I know this is great partnership and I’m excited to see where we will be in 12 months’ time.”

Talking about the effect Covid had on the business Fletcher said: “Like many businesses we were forced online during Covid but in some ways that proved to be a good thing for WIBN. It showed that our business model was highly adaptable, and ultimately, it worked. When we surveyed our members, asking them how they would like to proceed as life returns to normal, most said they would like to return to a hybrid model consisting of some face-to-face events and some virtual.  We listened to their views and adapted our meeting model to cater for that request. Many women running their own businesses now follow a hybrid approach, so offering members and franchisees a mix of online and in person meetings, makes us a very inclusive organisation and an attractive franchise option.” Darren Taylor, CEO of Taylor Made Franchising said: “The team and I are delighted to be new part-owners of the Women in Business Network. Helen and Najat have done great work so far and, with a little guidance from us, we are confident we can help increase the number of franchisees across the network. Covid has taught us all that we need to be flexible, and their business model has proven it can work both on and offline which is a huge bonus. We are looking forward to meeting their franchisees over the coming weeks and to creating a successful partnership for us all.”

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