Inkbox: Aiming to have 30 franchisees by the end of 2007

Recycling in England has trebled since 1997, according to Defra, with many local authorities producing rates in line with the best in Europe. East Anglia-based franchise Inkbox is doing its bit for the environment by employing environmentally-friendly techniques in the construction of its stores such as low energy light bulbs, specific paints, and biodegradable bags to return used cartridges.

Established in 2003 to supply the business-to-business market with re-manufactured inkjet cartridges, it quickly became apparent that a larger market existed supplying conscientious consumers on the high street.

'We decided to simplify the operation of the stores and remove the negative factors associated with re-manufacturing inkjet cartridges,' explains Managing Director Kevin Whitbread.

'We introduced biodegradable bags for customers to return used cartridges in, and centralised production to maintain quality and eliminate the time customers used to spend waiting for their re-filled cartridges. We then decided to franchise the business and employed British Franchise Association certified specialists to put the model together.' Kevin describes the Inkbox franchise as a 'straightforward business' and is aiming to have 30 franchisees by the end of 2007 making Inkbox second in the market.

'Our first stores have all taken money with very little marketing,' Kevin added. 'We need hardworking, honest and ethical people who want to grow their own businesses.'