Former professional dancer and current Razzamataz Theatre Schools franchise owner, Hayley Limpkin, has won the New Woman Franchisee of the Year in the Encouraging Women into Franchising (EWIF) Annual Awards.

The awards aim to formally recognise the contribution women franchise owners, franchisors and franchise service providers make in this sector.

As a dancer, Limpkin’s work took her around the world, but she then decided to launch her franchise in May 2010. Being able to draw upon her performing arts background, Limpkin has encouraged her students who have performed on the local radio station KMFM, as well as at local events, and they have achieved recognition at the National Kent Dance Challenge.

Additionally, Limpkin’s students have raised a total of £799 for four different charities and Limpkin’s commitment to giving back to the local community is evident through her working to build strong partnerships with community centres, schools, local businesses as well as giving away up to four scholarships yearly to attend her schools.

After receiving her award, Limpkin said: “Setting up my own business and leaving a job that had great benefits was a big risk for me. I was still working full-time when I set up my first franchise, but a year later I was able to leave this job and I haven’t looked back.

“My professional work in the performing arts industry coupled with my experience and knowledge gained from working with a blue chip marketing company managing some great clients such as Paramount, Virgin Atlantic and Sky has given me the best start in running my own business.

“When looking at the different franchise businesses I was instantly attracted to Razzamataz Theatre Schools as I love their ethos and vision. The curriculum is current, trendy and there is a level of autonomy that is uncommon within the franchising industry.

“I am absolutely delighted to win this award, it has been hard work getting my businesses and schools up and running but I have loved every minute of it. I have a great support network around me in Razzamataz head office, my great team, family and friends and also my fantastic students who make this the most rewarding job ever.

“But fun though the prospect of fame is, it is not the main driver for Razzamataz schools. What really inspires parents who bring their children to classes is seeing them grow in confidence, make friends and enhance their social skills.”

Denise Hutton-Gosney, said: “Hayley and her team of fabulous teachers bring a wealth of experience, training, inside industry knowledge and knowhow to the schools, and they share a real passion for teaching. They create a fresh, funky and modern feel for students who enjoy the performing arts.”

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