Across various industries, people are turning to franchising driven not just by logic, but by matters of the heart. Meet Kate, Gary, Dani, and Barry-four individuals whose journeys into franchising were fuelled by love, compassion, and a burning desire to make a difference. Through their unique stories, we explore how franchising can become a vehicle for turning personal passions into thriving businesses.

For the love of...her brother                                                        

Franchisor Kate Ball was working in corporate learning and development when her brother (age 22) died suddenly of cardiomyopathy. Kate says: "No-one on the scene, when he first collapsed, knew how to do CPR; the first aid system was old fashioned and often tarnished as 'dull or dry', so I decided to change that, by creating Mini First Aid. I designed a memorable first aid teaching system with innovative teaching styles and recruited the very best people to join my team, as I firmly believe that no-one should be faced with a medical emergency and not know what to do. In 2021 the franchise featured on Dragons' Den and secured investment from Sara Davies MBE. The award-winning franchise now has 72 franchisees (at 80 the franchise will be full) and trains over 1000 people in first aid every week in the UK.

For the love of ...people's health and wellbeing                     

Franchisee Gary Derbyshire has spent his entire career helping people, at home and abroad.  Initially Gary spent 12 years working with the UK Meteorological Office, helping people who suffered with COPD (Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) to stay safe and well in their own homes, through a phone-based service, run jointly with the NHS, that warned them of incoming bad weather, that could potentially exacerbate their condition, saving the NHS a considerable amount of money in the long run. Following this he worked across Africa helping the local population better cope with extreme weather including floods and droughts, by improving local services and protecting them from the effects of climate change.  In October 2016, Gary invested in a live-in care franchise, so he could continue his calling to care for others.  Gary says: "I invested in a franchise with Promedica24 and live in care because I am motivated by helping people who are old or vulnerable to cope better with the challenges they face in life and to have a choice to live their lives on their own terms."

For the love of...her life                                                                    

When you read franchisee Dani Meighen's web page on the diddi dance website, it reads much like any other.  She explains she trained as a dancer from the age of six, before going on to study contemporary dance at college, followed by a BA (Hons) in Performing Arts specialising in dance, at university. After that she worked as a children's entertainer and dancer in hotels in the Canary and Balearic islands, which she loved. So far so good. What she doesn't say is that with the arrival of motherhood, she stopped dancing and took a job in her local council tax office and in 2021, during Covid, was diagnosed with breast cancer, and it was this that made her pack in the office job and return to the dancing that she loved so much, investing in a diddi dance children's dancing franchise.  Dani says: "After I was diagnosed with breast cancer I decided to go back to my roots in dance, do something I love but also make a difference to the local community, because life's too short right?  Being a diddi dance franchisee has not only given me a great sense of fulfilment and pride, but also watching the little ones grow in confidence and skills, knowing that I have played a part in getting them ready for their next chapter in life; it was the best decision I ever made."

For the love of.... educating children                         

It's no secret that being a teacher isn't an easy job and that many are on the brink of leaving because of the unreasonably long hours and low pay, but some find a way of doing the job they love, without the headache that comes with being part of a conventional school system and Barry Sherry is one of them. A former teacher, three years ago Barry invested in a children's tuition franchise Conexus Tuition, where he now teaches children from an area with high levels of social and economic deprivation, giving him extra challenges to his more affluent suburb-based colleagues, but that's not a problem for Barry. Not only is he surviving, but he's positively thriving. Barry works closely with local schools, with families through his tuition classes and with the wider community through his charity work, including sponsoring his local youth football team. Commercially he is smashing it too. The first franchisee in the brand to establish his own premises, he won ‘Oldham Young Business Award 2023' last July. Commenting on his decision to invest in his own tuition franchise Barry says: "I am proud to work within my local community, helping to empower our young people through educational excellence and achievements."

With hundreds of different franchise opportunities available, the BFA can help you pursue your dreams, and support your passions just like Kate, Gary, Dani and Barry. To ensure you are investing in an ethical, professional franchise, we advise you to visit our website to view our 300+ members whose businesses, after rigorous testing, been awarded the coveted status of membership.

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