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The Bardon Group Boss Boosts Academic Awareness Of Franchising

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The franchise sector contributes £17.2 billion annually to the UK’s GDP, yet the business model is still seriously underrepresented in academic circles.

Nigel Toplis, Chairman of The Bardon Group and past Chairman of the British Franchise Association (bfa) , has long championed the economic benefits of franchising. In 1996 he was instrumental in setting up a franchise module at Lancaster University Management School and each year the Bardon Group sponsors a prize for the best franchising project. For the 27th year running, Mr Toplis visited the School last week to present a cheque and certificates to the winning students.

Part of the University’s BSc Hons Business Management (Entrepreneurship) programme, the ENSI311 Franchising Module led by Professor Lola Dada, Head of Department of Entrepreneurship and Strategy at Lancaster University,  gives students the opportunity to look at franchising’s place in the global economy and critically examine the management issues involved in founding and developing a franchise network.

Mr Toplis is an honorary fellow of the Management School in recognition of his mentoring and support within the School. 

The Bardon Group of franchises includes the iconic Kall Kwik brand which is a shining example of the franchise model in action. Whilst many other high street businesses have long since disappeared, Kallkwik has flourished for over 40 years with each print and design centre in the UK wide network benefiting from the expertise and foresight of the franchisor, enabling rapid reaction to changing marketplace needs.

Mr Toplis said: “ It has been my long held and passionately believed view that the franchising model offers a highly credible opportunity to assist in the regeneration of local, regional and national economies. It’s important that the franchise business model gains the level of recognition it deserves especially within the world of academia.  Lancaster University Management School fully recognises the part franchising has to play in the economy, and I am delighted that each year the entrepreneurs of the future studying at Lancaster have had an early opportunity to learn about and understand the role franchising has to play in the business world. I really look forward to meeting with the students each year and hope that other management schools would follow Lancaster’s lead and include the franchise business model in their curriculum.”

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