An interview with BBX, Sponsor of the AFA Franchisor of the Year Award

John Attridge, Founder & CEO, tells us why he made the decision to join the AFA and how he feels sponsoring the AFA Awards will benefit his business.

It’s not too long until our fabulous AFA Awards take place, celebrating the incredible achievements made not only by our members, but the whole UK franchising community.

In this next blog in our series about the Awards, which take place on Thursday 19th September, we speak to John Attridge, Founder & CEO of BBX UK. BBX UK is the proud sponsor of the Franchisor of the Year Award.

Question: Please can you tell us about your business and the products and services you provide?

John: BBX has been around as a platform since 1993 and has operations in fourteen countries. Conceptually, the arrival of complementary currencies has enabled people to move on from doing direct trade with each other to selling excess or spare inventory or capacity. We capture that spare capacity in the form of mutually accepted credit, which can then be used to purchase goods and services from other clients who are registered on the platform.

You can find these suppliers via an app on your phone, search the online directory or via your account manager, who works with you to identify your spare capacity and find suppliers you can spend your BBX pounds with. You pay a one-off registration fee to join BBX, along with a success-based fee for any sale that comes to you via the platform.

BBX is looking for entrepreneurial, likeminded business owners who want to do something different to get a better result. If they can sell their spare capacity and then apply it to offset the costs of running their business, then they’ll either grow their business, get a better lifestyle out of running the business, or sell the business for more at the end of a given period of time. The average business owner, who just wants to carry on doing what they’ve always done, won’t be a profile that you will see on our platform.

Question: What is your involvement with the AFA? How do you plan to support the AFA moving forward?

John: We are a Partner Member and help the AFA by promoting their brand and membership opportunity to our 7,400 customers in the UK and Ireland (some of whom are franchisors and franchisees).

The AFA is also a registered customer on the BBX platform, selling their own, spare capacity (i.e. memberships, sponsorship opportunities, tickets to events etc) and using their BBX pounds to buy goods and services. The difference between the number of franchisors across the country and the number of members they currently have is an example of their spare capacity.

We already attend the regional meetings, wherever BBX has a local franchise owner. I’ve personally been to their meetings in Exeter, Bournemouth and Milton Keynes, and will continue to do so.

Question: What influenced your decision to join the AFA?

John: If I’m brutally honest, it was due to the treatment I received from another, much larger franchise association. As I mentioned, we have a presence in fourteen countries and, when we first launched in the UK, I contacted this association to become a member. However, I was told I could only be a ‘provisional member’ for the first one-two years, meaning I would have to pay them a vast sum of money but wouldn’t even be allowed to attend their events. I was told that the reason for this was an attempt to ‘keep the riff-raff out’! I was completely outraged by this, especially as our global turnover is significantly more than theirs.

I wanted to join an alternative association, where I would be valued as a member, and first encountered the AFA at The Franchise Show at Excel. This was in the very early days of the AFA, when they only had a few members, and I liked what I saw, so I decided to do everything I could to support them in their objective to grow into a credible franchise association. We’ve been partners ever since!

Question: Why did you decide to sponsor the AFA Awards?

John: I like and firmly believe in the association and wanted to use BBX funds in a positive way. We get a double whammy – we demonstrate our commitment to the AFA and also raise our profile with the inclusion of BBX branding at the event. Sponsoring this award will support the association by funding it to grow, so it’s a win-win opportunity. Often in business people want your money but nothing comes back in return, but this is a case of “I scratch your back, you scratch mine”.

Question: Which Award are you sponsoring and what particularly excites you about this category?

John: We are sponsoring the Franchisor of the Year Award. That was our preferred category as it’s the star award, as far as we’re concerned. We try to represent the cream of the crop with our customer base on our platform, so it made sense to go for this category.

Question: What are you most looking forward to on the night?

John: I’m looking forward to seeing a full room, along with some well received awards. I’m hoping for humorous, interesting speeches that will recount people’s experiences and share the ups and downs that come from working within this industry, which I think everyone will benefit from.

I’m also hoping to meet some like-minded people there because, at the end of the day, many of the people in the room, once we’ve had a chance to talk to them and tell them what we do, could become potential BBX clients.

We would like to thank BBX UK for their support of the AFA Awards and look forward to welcoming them to the event on the night.

To find out more about BBX UK, please click here:

If you’re interested in sponsoring the AFA Awards, it’s not too late to get involved! Please contact with Sarah Canny, Business Development Manager at

To book your Awards tickets, please click here:

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