Derbyshire businesswoman up for major business award

An ex-scuba diver for blockbuster movies, now turned local businesswoman, has been nominated for a national award.

Jennie Mills is owner of Rainbow International Derbyshire, a disaster recovery and specialist cleaning service for businesses and homeowners.

The 27-year-old has now been shortlisted for Young Female Franchisee of the Year at the 2019 bfa HSBC Franchise Awards.

Jennie opened the business four-years ago, after a previous career as a commercial scuba diver in the film industry.

Despite no previous business experience beforehand, she has improved annual turnover year-on-year, and is currently implementing an apprenticeship technician scheme for the local community.

She even used her previous working expertise as a scuba diver assisting a blue-chip business with cleaning algae from a lake on their premises.

Commenting on the nomination, Jennie said:

“I’m so happy to be shortlisted for this award. Having only ran the business for four years and being completely new to the industry, this nomination shows that I’m doing things right and gives me the motivation to continue growing my business, and my team.

“To be recognised for this is a rewarding accomplishment which I am so grateful for. I give a lot to this business and I really want it to grow and become an even bigger part of the local community. I’d like to wish all the other nominees the best of luck for the awards night.”

Pip Wilkins, CEO of the bfa, said:

“Jennie has enabled her business to thrive in the East Midlands. Being part of the trail blazer group for the betterment of the brand and twice recently winning Franchisee of the Month, Jennie is an integral franchisee who pioneers improvement within the network.”

The awards are hosted by the British Franchise Association (bfa), and recognise those in franchising who have shown exceptional business acumen over the past 12 months.

All nominees for Young Female Franchisee of the Year, are under the age of 35 and have shown exceptional growth and development within their business.

Andrew Brattesani, Head of Franchising at HSBC, added:

“Year-on-year Jennie has continued to increase her turnover after taking over the resale of the territory. Although not from a business background, Jennie has done tremendously well in growing her business.”

Jennie represents a growing trend in franchising, recent figures from the 2018 bfa survey show that 18% of all franchisees are now under the age of 30, higher than ever before.

Jennie will go head-to-head against two other shortlisted young female franchisees, one from Home Instead, a domiciliary care provider, the other Creation Station, creative arts classes company for children.

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