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Lancaster University franchise prize comes of age

Franchise Award winners

24 July 2017

A group of undergraduate students studying a module in franchising have been crowned this year’s winners of a prize sponsored by the Bardon Group for the 21st year running.

The group of five (Chris Eagle, George Flay, Chris Harling, Lucy Ibbotson and Naomi Lee) were all studying ENSI311 Franchising. During the course, they conducted a project in which they were asked to analyse a franchisor’s business and provide advice in the form of a consultancy report on key areas for achieving growth objectives.  These included the organisational structure, operations, recruitment and training, support, financials, territory allocation, franchise agreement, and potential challenges.

In the winning project, selected by course tutor Dr Qihai Huang, the students showed an excellent understanding of the strategy for growing a franchise chain and drew upon secondary and primary sources in substantiating their recommendations.

The group received cheques worth a total of £400, presented by Nigel Toplis, Managing Director of The Bardon Group. The award is presented as part of the Franchising course at LUMS and 2017 marks its 21st year. 

Said Mr Toplis: “Franchised businesses are the lifeblood of the UK economy yet it disappoints me that very few academic institutions cover the franchise business model within their curriculum.  The Lancaster University franchising module is excellent and is in my opinion the best in the country.

“I am always impressed by the quality of the projects entered by its students for our prize and am delighted to have been the sponsor of this prize for 21 years.  We need more people to understand how the franchise model works and why it is such an excellent way to start a business and I would like to see other academic institutions following Lancaster’s outstanding example.”.

On received the award, winning student Lucy said that, “I was very pleased to hear that we had won the award. I found compiling the report with my team very enjoyable, as we were able to explore a number of different elements of the franchising system. It was great to get some recognition for the hard work we had put in.” 

George said: "The module was a highlight of my second year, providing an opportunity to develop analytical skills whilst working as part of a team. It was also great to work within a group that was enthusiastic and wanted to achieve. All members engaged with the report in a proactive manner, tackling the project from the very start of the module."

Fellow winner Chris added, "Glad to see hard work, collaboration with others and advice from the university pay off. Sponsored prizes are a nice way to add a friendly competitive element and connection to the external business world."

Naomi said that "It was great to receive recognition for the hard work that the group put in. Winning the award was an honour and it is such a good way to reward students for their continuous efforts."