Five students at Lancaster University’s Management School have been selected as the Best Franchise Report award winners. Producing the report was part of the Franchising module of their course, which covered all areas of the franchise industry.

As a reward for their hard work the five students have each been presented with a cheque for £50 plus a special commemorative plaque, donated by award sponsor Nigel Toplis, Managing Director of Recognition Express.

Adam Bancroft, Peter Bartlett, James Hall, Michael Howarth and Neil Tinker, who graduate this year, were tasked with putting together a report on the pros and cons of different franchises, including recommending specific franchises to a ‘client’ facing redundancy. Overall their report received a mark of 75 per cent.

Bartlett said: “The franchising module was a unique learning experience as it tied theory with a hands-on, real world approach. I especially enjoyed digging deep into the world of franchisor marketing, coupled with the various case studies illustrating both success and failures. Winning the Recognition Express Award was a thrilling experience, as along with the academic success, there was a real sense of achievement when it was presented by Nigel himself. It created a superb end to a stimulating course.”

The franchising course is available to all second, third and final year students in the management school. The main aims of the course are for students to develop a familiarity with current theory and research in franchising, as well as form a critical understanding of the management issues and problems involved in the foundation and development of a franchise network. The course explores the ingredients required for a successful franchise system and the problems and challenges, which arise in the management of franchise networks, as well as, the nature of the franchise owner/franchisor relationship.

Dr Joanne Larty, Course Convenor for the Franchise Module & Programme Director for BSc Business Studies, added: “The course is intended to get the students to interact more directly with managers in the franchising industry, so that they could get a better idea of what it is like to own and manage a franchise. We are grateful for the continuing support from Recognition Express. It’s so important for the students to see that what they are doing is totally relevant and applicable to real life business situations.”

As part of the course, students write an essay on aspects of franchising like the franchise owner/franchisor relationship and developed a consultancy report for a franchisor.

In addition to being a key sponsor for the course, Toplis also gave a talk to the students. He said: “We are pleased to support this course and have done for many years. I was really impressed with the students’ report, which demonstrated that they have an excellent grasp of the franchising concept. I hope they have benefitted from this experience.”

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