Palgrave entrepreneur scoops prestigious franchise prize

Kevin Lawley (centre) receives his award from Pip Wilkins (left), bfa chief executive and Andrew Brattesani, head of franchising for HSBC.

Kevin Lawley (centre) receives his award from Pip Wilkins (left), bfa chief executive and Andrew Brattesani, head of franchising for HSBC.

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An entrepreneur from Palgrave is celebrating after scooping an award at one of the most prestigious events in the franchise sector.

Kevin Lawley, 55, left a 30-year career in international retail and commercial banking to launch his Minster Cleaning Services franchise in Norfolk and Suffolk in 2011.

This award is recognition of not just my own team but Minster’s highly successful business model; I’m delighted, not just for myself but everyone involved in our success

Kevin Lawley

Managing director of the Norfolk and Suffolk branch, since taking over turnover has trebled from £420,000 to £1.4m.

And last month at an event in Birmingham, he was crowned B2B (business to business) Franchisee of the Year at the British Franchise Association’s 2016 bfa HSBC Franchisee of the Year Awards ceremony.

“This award is recognition of not just my own team but Minster’s highly successful business model; I’m delighted, not just for myself but everyone involved in our success,” he said.

The franchise had its first office at the Diss Business Centre, but has since moved to the Mid-Suffolk business park in Eye.

The business now boasts 170 contracts, and 200 employees, with about 50 of those based in Diss, Eye, and the surrounding areas.

Pip Wilkins, bfa chief executive, said: “The way he’s used his transferable skills from his previous career makes Kevin an inspiration to anyone who dreams big.

“Identifying an opportunity is one thing, but to transform a business the way he has since taking on this franchise is extraordinary and makes him a very worthy winner of this award.”

Andrew Brattesani, UK head of franchising for HSBC, added: “Kevin has offered a masterclass in B2B excellence since starting his business.

“Developing new services, focusing on his team and demanding the highest quality at all times have seen him become one of the most successful franchisees in a very established network and rightly take home this award.”