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Finalists announced for the Ulster Bank Irish Franchise Association Awards 2012

The Irish Franchise Association announced today that the large number of entries received for this year’s Franchise Awards has been reduced to a list of finalists from which the overall winner in thirteen categories will be chosen. The Irish Franchise Awards recognise excellence in franchising and reward outstanding achievements of businesses and individuals in the franchise industry. The judging panel for the 2012 Ulster Bank Irish Franchise Association Awards include Irish Dragon and Newstalk Presenter Bobby Kerr; Orna Stokes, Head of Specialist Sectors, Ulster Bank; Orla Nugent, Director Executive MBA, UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School; Greg Swift of Dublin County Enterprise Board and Cian O Mongain from the Sunday Business Post.

The awards categories represent both retail and service industries. Finalists include Hillbilly’s Fried Chicken, Funky Monkeys, The Zipyard, Boston Brand Bars, Fastway Couriers, FitKids, Motivation Weight Management Clinics, Snap Printing,  Snap Printing, Home Instead Senior Care, Car Medic, Cartridge Green, CEX, Stockwatch, Chemdry and BCM.  Orna Stokes, Senior Manger, SME Strategy, Ulster Bank said, “Ulster Bank would like to congratulate all of the nominees.  This year’s shortlist is an impressive array of businesses who are finding success using the Franchise model.  It is our job at Ulster Bank to provide solid guidance, appropriate financial support and a robust service to our business customers, including franchisors and franchisees, to help them take advantage of the opportunities that are out there, whether at home or abroad. The Expo provides us with a great opportunity to support the start-up and franchising sector and the Awards recognise and reward outstanding entrepreneurs in Irish Franchising.”

The awards will be presented at a formal black-tie awards ceremony at the RDS on Friday April 27th 2012. The award ceremony is anticipated to be an impressive business event reflecting the remarkable growth of the franchise sector in these challenging times.  According to the latest Irish Franchise survey, there has been a marked increase in turnover for the sector to €2.4 billion representing an increase of 15% since the last survey in 2006.  In total the Irish franchise industry contributes 4,086 operating units on the island of Ireland and offers 42,927 full-time jobs to the economy. 

The franchise model
David Killeen, Chairman of the Irish Franchise Association said “We are delighted to provide a platform for the franchise sector to professionally present the excellent business opportunities that exist for entrepreneurs looking to establish themselves in their own business through franchising. The awards are an opportunity for us to formally acknowledge the excellent work being done by all franchise practitioners in growing the sector, consolidating existing businesses and protecting sustainable jobs despite the difficult trading conditions we currently face. The minimal level of business failures recorded to date in the franchise sector is testament to the robustness of the franchise model and we sincerely thank Ulster Bank for their continued support and commitment to our sector”

The Awards ceremony is the highlight of the much anticipated Ulster Bank Irish Franchise Association EXPO on April 27th and 28th at the RDS Dublin.   The purpose of the EXPO is to act as a showcase for Irish franchisors and the franchising sector with excellent opportunities for prospective franchisees to meet existing franchisors and seek out new business opportunities. 

The EXPO features exhibitors from the franchise sector, both domestic and international, and extensive information and advice for individuals interested in franchising through an extensive programme of free seminars over the two days, covering all aspects of Franchising from legal matters to finance with interesting case studies and strategic management advice. 

To exhibit at the expo, attend the awards or simply visit our expo please visit for further information.