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How a toddler play business from Newport rapidly grew to more than 40 UK locations

A female entrepreneur from Newport will reveal how she turned a small business running baby and toddler play groups into a successful company with over 40 franchisees when she appears at this month’s Ready Steady Grow – What Franchising Could Do For Your Business workshop in Cardiff.

Helen Gillies, founder of Tots Play, will be one of the guest speakers at the event being hosted by NatWest and Darwin Gray Solicitors at the bank’s Entrepreneur Accelerator in One Central Square on June 20.
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She will share her journey of launching Tots Play in 2009 and the insights of franchising her business and managing multiple franchisees just ten years later.

Helen Gillies, founder of Tots Play

Helen said: “What I love about being a franchisor is the opportunity to not only see your business idea grow and reach new people, but to also play a part in your franchisees growing and developing as business owners and reaching their own goals. I’m really looking forward therefore to talking about my own journey with Tots Play and hoping that others feel inspired to take that first step.”

The Welsh franchise sector is a growing market currently worth more than £500m, yet many businesses do not know how to take advantage of the opportunities it presents, particularly when it comes to developing their own businesses as a franchise.

The event aims to empower these businesses and those looking to start a franchise with a series of talks and Q&As from sector specialists Darwin Gray Solicitors, and Peter Howe, NatWest’s regional lead for franchise, who will outline the finance options and support available to both franchisors and franchisees.

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Siobhan Williams, Associate and Qualified Franchising Professional at Darwin Gray, said: “Franchising is an increasingly popular method of business growth.  In the UK the franchising sector continues to grow, and according to the 2019 British Franchise Association/Natwest survey contributed over £17bn to the UK economy in 2018.

“However, there are still a lot of misconceptions about franchising, and many businesses are missing out on the benefits franchising could bring them. Darwin Gray is therefore delighted to be delivering this event in partnership with NatWest to provide insights into the franchising process, answer some common misconceptions anddiscuss how to assess whether a business is suitable for franchising.”

Peter Howe continued: “The number of franchise businesses in the UK has grown by more than 10% since 2015 to over 48,000 businesses. Nearly 1,500 of these are in Wales where they contribute £500m to the economy. It is therefore a thriving sector where last year fewer than 1% of businesses closed because of commercial failure. This event is an important opportunity for those who have thought about franchising their business or launching a franchise to learn about the facts and opportunities and support available.”

For further details and tickets to this free event visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ready-steady-grow-what-franchising-could-do-for-your-business-tickets-61691004455?utm_term=eventurl_text

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