A group of undergraduate students at Lancaster University has been crowned this year’s winners of The Bardon Group Best Franchising Project Award which has been sponsored by the franchise specialist for over 20 years.

Teams of students studying ENSI311 Franchising at Lancaster University Management School (LUMS) compete each year for the Bardon Group prize which is presented by The Bardon Group managing director Nigel Toplis.

Students share a cash prize of £400 and receive an award plaque.

Senior Lecturer Dr Lola Dada decided that the 2018 prize should go to a group of five students (Bradley Barrett, Duke Chen, Daniel Cheng, Tao Ding and Dougiee Gausi Simwawa).  She explained: “The winning group’s report developed strategies for achieving nationwide growth in the size of franchised outlets in a franchise organisation, over a 2-year period. To achieve this objective, the report demonstrated excellent awareness of the relevant procedures and mechanisms for growing a franchise business through the development of recommendations, which focused on multiple areas, such as franchisee recruitment, franchisee funding, franchisee support, franchisor-franchisee relationship, territory allocation and the franchise agreement. The recommendations show how a franchise organisation can develop competitive advantage, thereby increasing the likelihood of organisational success and growth.”

The Bardon Group operates four market leading franchise brands; Recognition Express, ComputerXplorers, Kall Kwik and Techclean. It champions the franchise business model and is keen to raise awareness of the franchising industry.

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 involved with the course for so many 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.”