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The finalists in contention for this prestigious title are:• ActionCOACH, Hull• Driver Hire, Colnbrook, Slough• Schmidt Plamers Green, London (N13)• Heritage Healthcare, Cardiff• Diamond Logistics, Bournemouth• Puddle Ducks, St Albans

Sponsored by UK’s business insurance broker Simply Business and organised by, the number one website for start-ups and small businesses, the Awards recognise the success of Britain’s newest businesses which have been trading for four years or less.The judges were impressed by the ambition and ability demonstrated by all six businesses in the Franchisee of the Year category.

Franchisee for the Hull branch of business coaching chain ActionCOACH, Pamela Featherstone is a finalist for Franchisee of the Year, joining her is Tejwant Karir of Driver Hire in Slough.

Katerina Zaravinou is also vying to become Franchisee of the Year. Zaravinou became a franchisee for kitchen; bathroom and living room solutions chain Schmidt in 2012 with her Palmers Green showroom. Also in the running will be franchisee Jameela Rangoonwala, owner of the Cardiff branch of homecare specialist Heritage Healthcare.

Courier and logistics specialist Hon Leung joins the nominees with company Diamond Logistics in Bournemouth, and the sixth finalist is Ravneet Bermi, franchisee of baby and mother swimming academy Puddle Ducks.

A panel of 24 leading entrepreneurs and businesspeople will now whittle the shortlist down to one outstanding, award–worthy, company.This year’s judging panel boasts a stellar line up, including Dragons’ Den star Touker Suleyman, much-loved British designer Cath Kidston MBE, Divine Chocolate founder Sophi Tranchell MBE and co-founder Holly Tucker MBE, as well as co-founder of Innocent Drinks Jon Wright, JUST EAT CEO David Buttress and Simon Franks, co-founder of LOVEFiLM.

With the Startups Awards 2015 more popular than ever before, receiving a 40 per cent increase in entries compared to last year, the judges face a tough task indeed.

While each of these companies dreams of taking home a prestigious Startups Award when the winners are announced on 27 November, they also hope to be named People’s Champion, an award voted for by the general public.

David Lester, founder of, comments: “Congratulations to all the businesses on being named a finalist in the Franchisee of the Year category at the Startups Awards 2015 – that is no mean feat!“The start-up talent in the UK at the moment is of exceptionally high quality. I am proud that the Startups Awards gives these outstanding businesses a platform to grow from, and I look forward to celebrating their successes in November.”


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