Bridgewater Home Care office

Franchise partners Kristy Roff and Suzanne Evett of Get Ahead Berkshire, North Hampshire & Surrey, are delighted to have been shortlisted in the Great British Business & Community Awards in the Female Entrepreneur category.

Launched in 2021, the Great British Business and Community Awards recognise businesses, charities, and individuals that have made an outstanding contribution across Great Britain. The awards are judged by an independent panel of some of the UK’s biggest business leaders, entrepreneurs, charity ambassadors and influencers/figures.

The Female Entrepreneur of the Year category recognises an outstanding female or female partnership which has started their own business, played a significant role within an organisation or had/has either a business directorship or leadership role within the UK. This year, judges are particularly looking at how nominees have adapted, diversified, contributed to their community, and survived during the COVID-19 pandemic and the cost of living crisis.

Excited to have made the shortlist, Kristy says business life has been a rollercoaster ride.

“Covid hit us in March 2020. We both had to home-school our children, and we were ineligible for any government assistance, having only recently started our business. But we still welcomed new clients and delivered a huge online event. We offered our services free of charge to a community initiative during lockdown to get decent coffee to NHS staff and started a virtual charity business quiz. It was important to bring people together during that challenging time and help others in need.”

With restrictions eased, the dynamic duo were able to accelerate their franchise growth, including expanding into a new territory, Surrey, in 2022.

“Suzanne and I are living proof that going into business with a female friend can be both rewarding and highly successful.” Kristy continues. “We are both mums juggling work and family life. But we’ve boldly decided to put life in our own hands by starting our own franchising business. It was a scary step, but we wouldn’t change a thing. There have been tough times for both the business and us personally, but it has all been part of the journey. We are immensely proud of how far we have come and everything we have achieved. Nearly four years later, we are still great friends and successful business partners.”

The awards ceremony takes place on Friday, 21st April, at The Hilton, Reading. Over 350 business people are expected to attend a fabulous evening of recognition and celebration.

Suzanne adds,

“We strongly believe that our friendship adds to our success and want to show other people that going into business with a friend might be risky, but it could also be the best decision you ever made. We are also passionate about setting an example for our children, showing them that women can make fantastic entrepreneurs and that running a flexible business around your family is possible. Finding the right balance is never easy, but we are determined to prove that female entrepreneurs bring unique value to the business world that should be celebrated and rewarded. We’ll be keeping our fingers crossed for the awards night!”