Empowering Women in Business 2023

Pip Wilkins QFP, CEO to the BFA (left), Nathalie Buckley, Coconut (mid), Lyndsey Hancock (right)

Pip Wilkins QFP, CEO to the BFA (left), Nathalie Buckley, Coconut (mid), Lyndsey Hancock (right)

New to Coconut, and new to franchising, we sent Nathalie Buckley and Lyndsey Hancock to their first ever franchise event. Here, Nathalie shares what she loved about attending the BFA’s EWIB conference!

On Wednesday, 27th September, 2023, my colleague Lyndsey Hancock and I had the incredible opportunity to attend the Empowering Women in Business (EWIB) conference hosted by the British Franchise Association (BFA). As newcomers to both the worlds of Coconut and franchising, this event was an eye-opening and inspiring experience for us.

The visionary behind the operation, Pip Wilkins QFP, CEO of the BFA, ensured EWIB made a triumphant return, for its 10th year, with a resounding focus on the theme, ‘Making Every Moment Count.’ The event brought together a diverse network of women from various sectors within franchising, and it was nothing short of exceptional to be a part of it.

EWIB showcased an outstanding array of guest speakers hailing from diverse business backgrounds, and included:

  • Harpreet Kaur, co-founder of Oh So Yum Desserts & winner of The Apprentice 2022.
  • Sam McAlister, who provided exclusive insights into the notable Newsnight interview with Prince Andrew, titled “How to Convince a Prince.”
  • Eniola Aluko, a double-FA Women’s Cup winner and three-time Premier/Super League champion.
  • Pip Wilkins QFP from the BFA
  • Emily Price QFP also from the BFA
  • Anne-Marie Martin from diddi dance
  • Jane James from Little Voices
  • Lucy Campbell from Right at Home
  • Vicky MacQueen from diddi rugby
  • Rebecca Newenham QFP from Get Ahead
  • Amy Cridland from McDonalds
  • Suzie McCafferty QFP from Platinum Wave
  • Farrah Rose QFP from The Franchising Centre
  • Gillian McAteer from Citation

These extraordinary women and inspirational business leaders delivered an unforgettable experience throughout the day. They generously shared their personal journeys, experiences, and entrepreneurial wisdom. EWIB allowed us to delve into the importance of finding one’s passion, pursuing dreams with unwavering determination, and embrace the challenges that come with the journey to success.

As we absorbed the insights from these accomplished women, I discovered several key takeaways, which I will reflect on further:

“Inspire others to be the best versions of themselves.” – Empowering others is a path to personal and collective growth.

  • Pip Wilkins QFP, CEO of the BFA

“Plan your time to grow your business and create financial freedom for yourself.” – Effective time management is crucial for success and financial independence.

  • Harpreet Kaur, Oh So Yum Desserts

“Collaborate effectively, define your purpose, involve the right people, and encourage collaborative behavior.” – Building a strong support network and working together can lead to remarkable achievements.

  • Anne-Marie Martin, diddi dance

“Set realistic goals, practice self-compassion, and build a support network.” – Self-care and a strong support system are essential for navigating challenges.

  • Lucy Campbell, Right at Home

“Lift as you climb.” – As we rise, we should bring others along and share our knowledge and experience.

  • Amy Cridland, McDonalds

EWIB demonstrated that franchising is an inclusive and supportive industry, welcoming women from diverse backgrounds. It showed me how personal growth, self-empowerment, and the pursuit of dreams are not limited by our histories, but enriched by them.

EWIB also stressed the importance of adaptability, maintaining a healthy work-life balance, and investing in our teams. Additionally, it highlighted the value of readily available coaching and mentoring programs, which are there to help us thrive in franchising.

In conclusion, my first EWIB conference was an unforgettable experience, reinforcing my belief in the power of women in business. Lyndsey and I discussed how we’re now more motivated than ever to embrace our journey in franchising, armed with the wisdom and inspiration we gained from these remarkable women. As we move forward, we’ll carry the lessons of empowerment, collaboration, and personal growth with us, making every moment count in our own entrepreneurial endeavors.

To find out more about our journey into the world of franchising, read Lyndsey’s blog and explore her personal experience of EWIB through our partner site, EWiF

Guest speakers at 2015 Best Franchise Conference

Coconut Creatives were recently guest speakers at the Smith & Henderson 2015 Best Franchise Sarah Smith and HendersonConference. Our Founding Director, Sarah Carlile, explained all about the 5 ½ marketing mistakes made by franchisors and even had a little guide to give away as a bonus!

We were delighted to be asked to speak at the event and hope that everyone who attended enjoyed finding out more about the mistakes made by franchisors and how you can avoid making the same mistakes!

The Best Franchise Conference is designed to offer advice and guidance to franchisors looking to recruit more quality franchisees and improve network performance. The guest speakers come from all sectors across the franchise industry and each and every one of them has valuable advice to give.

Other guest speakers included:

  • Dave Williams, RBS
  • Jo Stone & Tracy Townend, Puddleducks
  • David Paulson, TaxAssist Accountants
  • Matt Davies & Rod Levington, Business Doctors
  • Graeme Payne, Victoria Hobbs & Shelly Nadler, Bird & Bird
  • Chris Roberts, Franchise Finance
  • Carl Reader, Social Media Exchange
  • Martin Jones, Home Instead Care

The key note speaker was Neil Clough, a finalist on The Apprentice in 2013. Since The Apprentice, Neil has gone on to build his own highly successful sales training and recruitment business. Neil gave an inspiring talk and inspired our franchisors to go home and push their networks forwards.

The Best Franchise Awards also took place during the conference. These awards recognise the very best franchisors in the industry based on feedback from thousands of franchisees. Being recognised in these awards helps differentiate franchises from the competition and build trust with prospective franchisees.

Winners included:

  • Best Franchise (less than 25k investment) – diddi dance
  • Best Franchise (£25k-£75k investment) – EweMove
  • Best Franchise (75k plus investment!) – TaxAssist Accountants

Please contact us
to get a free copy of our 5 ½ marketing mistakes guide. We can help you avoid them!

An opportunity not to be missed…

Here at Coconut Creatives, we’re well versed in hosting and attending franchise events. That’s why we’re helping the BBIC (Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre) to host two pilot franchising events next year. We’re looking for franchisors who would like to get involved in the Yorkshire Franchise Seminars.

These seminars are offering the chance for franchisors who are looking to recruit franchisees in the Yorkshire are to get in front of an audience of prospective franchisees. The seminars will be providing prospects with information on how to get involved in franchising.

Each franchise brand will be given 3-5 minutes to present themselves and their brand to the audience with an opportunity to network with prospective franchisees throughout the event.

These pilot seminars are free to be involved with and are a great way to get to know prospects in the Yorkshire area. If you’ve got any prospects in the area, why not invite them to come along? Meeting you in an informal, no obligation environment might help their decision-making process!

We’re only looking for 6-8 franchise brands to get involved so don’t miss your chance to support and benefit from two great events!

Contact rebecca@coconutcreatives.co.uk if you’d like to get involved.

A busy Autumn at Coconut Creatives!

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November is the time when most people start winding down for the Christmas break and start getting into the holiday spirit. Not at Coconut Creatives! Throughout November, we’re busier than ever with hosting our own events and supporting our clients at their annual events and conferences. Don’t miss your last chances to meet us this year at the below events. We’d love to see you and you know we’re never too busy to stop and talk about all your franchise recruitment marketing needs!

Industry Events

4th November: Our Coconut Workshop ‘Practical Social media skills’ 

We still have places available so please contact us if you would like to come along!

4th November: The Franchise Supplier showcase

Come and meet us there to find out how we can help you with your franchise recruitment marketing needs.

12th November: EWIF North Regional Meeting

EWIF has 3 regional meetings in November! The South region is meeting on the 3rd November and both the North and South-West regions are meeting on the 12th November. Details on the meetings can be found here. We’ll be attending the North meeting, hope to see you there!

27th November: Smith & Henderson Conference

Our Founder, Sarah Carlile, will be delivering her talk on ‘The 5 ½ Marketing Mistakes Made by Franchisors. Don’t miss the event, book your place now and chat to Sarah and the team at the event.

Client Events

We’re also supporting our clients at the following events. We like to make sure our clients’ events run smoothly so we often go along to offer our support and advice on the day as well as providing their franchisees with a little extra marketing support!

  • 24th Nov: HR Dept annual conference
  • 27th Nov: Auditel annual conference
  • 27th Nov: Rosemary Bookkeeping annual conference


A successful show for Coconut Creatives!

As you may know, we attended the National Franchise Exhibition at the Birmingham N.E.C at the Coconut show workshopbeginning of this month. We even exhibited for the very first time!

The show was a great success for us with three speaking slots, lots of meetings and a busy stand. We’re looking forward to making contact and working with everyone we met at the show over the weekend. It’s been an exciting time at Coconut Creatives with our new, revamped team and we’re offering even more services than ever before. We’re excited to be back in the office and working our magic for our clients. We look forward to taking on even more clients soon.

We were invited to speak on one of our expert topics, Social Media on the first day of the show and we were so pleased with the results. During our Social Media seminar, our hashtag #ishouldcoco was seen by over 7,500 people!

If you missed us at the show, or if you did attend and want to find out more, why not come along to our Social Media Skills workshop on 4th November to learn more!

….and don’t forget to #ishouldcoco!!

Come and meet us!

Here at Coconut Creatives, we’re excited to be attending the National Franchise Exhibition at the Birmingham N.E.C on 2nd & 3rd October.

As well as being available on stand, we’ve been putting time aside on both days so that you can come and talk to us! Each team member attending specialises in a different area of the business so if you’re struggling with a certain part of your recruitment then let our specialist take you for a coffee and together we’ll recommend tweaks to help get you where you want to be:

Sarah Carlile, Founding DirectorIMG_2696


Adam Lovelock, Head of Online MarketingAdam Lovelock

  • Follow up after exhibitions ‘how to ensure you maximise the potential of the leads you receive at the show;
  • Email marketing – tips and tricks to super charge your email marketing
  • Social media for franchise recruitment – how can you find and recruit franchisees through social media?


Adam Knight, Head of Technology & Systemsadam knight

  • Tracking and attribution – knowing how and where people find you online is hugely important so you can accurately measure your ROI and return on time with your marketing
  • User experience – this is crucial to ensuring you do not put up barriers to the right potential franchisees finding you at the right time
  • Funnel marketing – having a clearly defined sales funnel can make the difference between a business doing well and sky rocketing.


Paul Clegg, Marketing Account Director Paul Clegg 

  • Recruitment process – are your prospects falling out of your process at a certain point and just not progressing further? If so, a recruitment process review is crucial to see why this is happening
  • Paul spent several years working inside the world class Mac Tools franchise recruiting 30-40 franchisees PER YEAR for 3 consecutive years UK-wide. His experience in his area is vast, book a meeting with Paul to discuss your own recruitment growth and how you can improve it.



Helen Thresh, Client Account ManagerIMG_2605

  • Market Your Franchise webinar programme – how helping your franchisees market their businesses supports your network as a whole
  • Franchise marketing workshops – if you would like to join us on one of our specialist marketing workshops then Helen’s who you need to speak to


 Nick Carlile, Board Director & Coconut Company Secretary

  • Glean Nick’s experiences of launching and growing the world’s first property franchise,                        Platinum NickProperty Partners
  • Talk to Nick about advanced sales strategies you could adopt which have generated him millions of pounds of investment across the franchise offering and other business ventures
  • Franchisor thinking of selling your franchised business or want to attract capital investment into your franchise? Nick’s your man for pulling together an investment plan and/ or preparing your brand for sale. Nick has generated several million £’s doing exactly this in other businesses.


Don’t miss this unique opportunity to pick our brains! Come and see us on Stand H240 or contact us to book a one-to-one meeting with a member of the team.