Reading Time: 3 minutesWith almost 20 years of successful business behind them, the team at a national theatre school franchise is celebrating a number of high-profile award nominations and accolades.
The trust and credibility that comes with awards recognition has encouraged Razzamataz Theatre Schools to enter a number of different categories; from business success through to achievements in the children’s sector.
The Approved Franchise Association (AFA) held its first annual awards ceremony to celebrate the incredible achievements made by the UK franchising community, a rapidly evolving sector.
The Head Office team was awarded Bronze in the outstanding franchise marketing category and Nick Furlong and Gemma Hextall, Principals of Razzamataz Sutton Coldfield were awarded Silver in outstanding young franchisee of the year. Nick was 22 and Gemma 21 when they bought re-sale franchise Razzamataz Sutton Coldfield in September 2015. They were both in the final year of study at Birmingham School of Acting when the opportunity arose. After a week’s intensive training they took over the school with 38 students. After they applied all their learnings from training, they re-launched and gained a further 78 students. By year 2, they had doubled their school’s size to 141 students. In September 2017 they had 209 students and then September 2018 272. Currently, Razzamataz Sutton Coldfield has more than 300 students.
“Franchising opened our eyes to what can be achieved and we met other young franchisees so there was a very clear route to success,” says Nick. “Without franchising, I think we would have got a few weeks in and just been overwhelmed and thought that we were too young, and it wasn’t realistic for us.”
The biggest influence and drive for Nick and Gemma is the chance to make a difference to young people in their community. In recognition of this, Razzamataz Sutton Coldfield were also nominated in the What’s On 4 Kids Awards, in the category of ‘most loved dance, drama or performing arts activity franchise territory.’
“As well as growing a financially sound business, Razzamataz is allowing us to continue to work and inspire young people in our community,” says Nick. “We have forged partnerships with secondary schools where we give careers talks to share our positive experiences and engage with the young people in the community. One of the things we love about being Principals of Razzamataz is being part of young people’s lives and helping to shape their future.”
Razzamataz were also finalists in both the ‘best print advert’ and ‘best overall marketing campaign’ in the Franchise Marketing Awards and MD and Founder Denise Hutton-Gosney and Razzamataz were also finalists in two of the categories for the Best Business Woman Awards.
“The award success over the last few months reflects the passion and commitment of everyone involved in Razzamataz,” says Denise. “When I started Razzamataz, it was with a wish to make performing arts accessible to young people, to improve their confidence and allow them to express themselves through the arts. As we open more schools across the UK, that simple wish is becoming a reality for more children. I’m incredibly proud of all the team and the franchisees who have been instrumental in providing so many wonderful opportunities for young people.”
Recent award success includes double awards at the British Franchise Association (bfa) Awards, winners of a 5 Star Franchise Satisfaction Award for two consecutive years with the Smith & Henderson survey, finalist in two EWIF awards; Inspirational Franchisor and Woman Franchise Employee of the Year and of course a successful appearance on BBC’s Dragons’ Den. Razzamataz have also just been granted membership to the Children’s Activities Association (CAA), an industry-led, not-for-profit community interest company founded and governed by experts to help parents, schools, nurseries and all children’s activities providers by raising the standard of children’s activities.
The success of Razzamataz in the recent awards comes at an exciting time for the Dragons’ Den backed franchise. January 2020 is the start of the 20th birthday celebration, which includes a special financial incentive to join the award-winning network. Selected potential franchisees are being invited to attend the annual Razzamataz Conference held on 20 January 2020 at Skyloft Millbank, London. This is a chance to meet Denise and the Head Office team and to find out more about running a theatre school including the many large-scale performing opportunities, business development and the launch of new products under the Razzamataz brand.Contact Franchise →