babyballet founder takes two accolades, as does founding partner of Boddy Matthews Solicitors
Claire O’Connor (pictured) won the Overall Woman in Franchising title at the NatWest Encouraging Women into Franchising virtual awards ceremony last night (March 11).
The babyballet founder and CEO also took the Inspirational Woman in Franchising accolade.
Another double winner was Kate Matthews of Boddy Matthews Solicitors, who was awarded both Service Provider and Ambassador of the Year.
Helen Mansfield, managing director of EWiF, says: “This was the 11th annual NatWest EWiF Awards and once again we received a record number of award entries.
“The entries from 2020 are uplifting and inspiring in a unique way. They detail more struggle and hardship than most years, but with that comes great tales of courage, problem solving and spirit.
“The professionalism and achievements of all the finalists and winners is inspiring.
“They’re great examples of the kind of women we’ve been privileged to work with - women breaking into the industry and taking their futures in their own hands.”
Full list of winners:
New Woman Franchisor of the Year 2021 sponsored by Daisy First Aid
Deborah Salsbury, The Reading Doctor
The franchise helps people who struggle with reading to overcome their barriers to learning.
As the lockdown closed schools, franchisor Deborah reached out to disadvantaged young people who were impacted by the pandemic.
Woman Franchisor of the Year 2021 sponsored by Hitachi Capital Franchise Finance
Lucy Campbell, Right at Home UK
This is the second year Lucy, Right at Home’s chief operating officer, has taken home this title.
Lucy supported her network of 60-plus franchisees in a practical and pragmatic manner, resulting in Right at Home having its most successful year.
New Woman Franchisee of the Year 2021 sponsored by NatWest
Gemma Green, it’seeze
Even though her franchise has only been open since February 2020, Gemma has achieved significant success, making her franchise fee back within four months.
During lockdown, she increased her social media engagement, rising to the top of the it’seeze sales leader board. She also had more five-star Trustpilot reviews than any other franchisee in 2020.
Woman Franchisee of the Year 2021 sponsored by Darwin Gray
Victoria Rowley, Puddle Ducks
Victoria is Puddle Ducks’ youngest franchisee.
In August 2020 she expanded her business when she bought a neighbouring franchise, merging the two areas. Victoria managed to retain the majority of her customers and kept all her teachers in work, despite operating from less than half of the usual swimming pools.
Woman Franchise Employee of the Year 2021 sponsored by Boddy Matthews
Elaine Hamilton, Caremark
Elaine is field care supervisor at Caremark Sutton.
Throughout 2020 she selflessly helped care workers deliver excellent care in the community and personally contacted their most isolated and vulnerable clients during lockdown.
Young Woman in Franchising of the Year 2021 (Under 30 years) sponsored by McDonald’s Restaurants
Hannah Drury, Caremark
The third time Hannah has won this award, her dedication to her network, staff and community impressed the judges once again.
From supporting employees as they transitioned to remote working, to collaborating with the police on their ‘Herbert Protocol’ initiative, which aims to protect the vulnerable, Hannah takes everything in her stride.
Service Provider of the Year 2021 sponsored by FranScape
Kate Matthews, Boddy Matthews
Kate’s senior role in the legal profession lends itself to encouraging and supporting women in the franchise sector.
In 2020, she helped businesses affected by COVID-19, even providing pro bono support in a number of cases.
Inspirational Woman in Franchising 2021 sponsored by Platinum Wave
Claire O’Connor, babyballet
Following the coronavirus outbreak, Claire moved her business online, creating additional content and resources while adapting babyballet’s systems, marketing, reporting and infrastructure to reflect the new way of working.
She also onboarded five new franchisees and sold a master licence in New Zealand.
Ambassador of the Year 2021 sponsored by What Franchise
Kate Matthews, Boddy Matthews
Kate has been the EWiF south regional chair for many years and is helping to drive the growth and development of the not-for-profit organisation.
She’s arranged countless regional meetings, engaged with EWiF ambassadors up and down the country and her firm, Boddy Matthews Solicitors, also sponsors one of the EWiF Award categories.
Most Innovative Leadership Throughout the Pandemic sponsored by Coconut Creatives
Anna Neville, Kidslingo
An award that’s voted for by the franchise community, Anna stood out by successfully leading her network through the changing landscape of teaching online.
She worked tirelessly to migrate Kidslingo classes online and support franchisees who had extra students join their language classes.