Entries rolling in for Startups Awards 2014 Franchisee of the Year

Entries are rolling in for the Franchisee of the Year at Startups Awards 2014 with franchisees urged to take part in what is already shaping up to be the most keenly-awaited contest in the event’s 11-year history.

Sponsored by Simply Business and organised by, the number one website for start-ups and small businesses, the Awards recognise the success of Britain’s newest businesses which have been trading for three years or less.

The deadline for entries is 12 September, with winners announced at a prestigious ceremony at Kensington Roof Gardens, London, on Thursday 27 November, 2014.

Last year Gary Riches, owner of Colchester-based Driver Hire, was named Franchisee of the Year and was delighted with the recognition it brought his company, which has gone from strength to strength.

Gary said: “To win Startups was an amazing experience and since we won the award, breaking the £1m turnover mark in 12 months has been our biggest achievement.

“I would recommend entering even if you don’t win because getting to the final round is still a great way to be recognised for the hard work you put in. Also it doesn’t matter what size your businesses is. At the time we only had four people in the office and we were competing against people with far greater numbers of employees and bigger turnovers.”

Now others are being urged to follow in Gary’s footsteps as entries roll in for the 2014 Franchisee of the Year, sponsored by Small & Sweet.

David Lester, founder of, commented: “The quality of businesses that have entered so far is outstanding, and the standard of entries is very high. The aim is to make this year’s Awards the best yet, and we are certainly on target for that. To anyone considering entering, my advice is to take the plunge – as soon as possible.”

Previous winners of the Startups Awards have included some of the UK’s fastest rising brands, such as (sold to Google for £37.7m), The Cambridge Satchel Company, Raspberry Pi, Ella’s Kitchen, Naked Wines,, YPlan, Joe & Seph’s Gourmet Popcorn and Secret Escapes.

This year there are 15 awards on offer, with categories including Innovative Business of the Year, Service Business of the Year and Young Entrepreneur of the Year, alongside two new awards for 2014: Independent Shop of the Year and Restaurant of the Year. The main prize is the much coveted title of Simply Business Startups Business of the Year, the recipient of which is selected from the winners of the other categories.

Additionally, the People’s Champion award will go to one of 50 companies that make the long list of outstanding entrants before the finalists are announced and will be voted for by readers of

Seventeen high-profile judges, including entrepreneurs, CEOs and managing directors of the country’s most successful companies, as well as media experts, will select the winners in all other categories.

Head of Marketing & Communications at Simply Business, Jasper Martens, commented: “Time is already running out for businesses if they want to be involved – and I would strongly recommend they do so. There is simply no better celebration of business achievement in the UK right now than these awards.”

To enter simply visit