Women in Franchising


Dinah Madelin runs Caremark West Oxfordshire and Cherwell with her husband, John. She spent nearly 30 years working for the NHS before launching her Caremark fra nchise in March 2010.

What did you do before franchising and what prompted you to make the change? During the last few years of my nursing career, I spent a lot of time caring for elderly patients who weren’t capable of caring for themselves at home. I found that heartbreaking. On a more personal note, my late father had Alzheimer’s disease and, for a long time, my mum cared for him on her own, which was exhausting for her. Once careworkers came on board to help her, her quality of life improved markedly. There was a real need for in-home care in our area and my husband had always had an interest in owning a business, so that prompted us to look into the opportunity.

How did you fi nd out about Caremark? We read an article about Kevin Lewis, the CEO of Caremark. He spoke so passionately about the brand, the values and Caremark’s standard of delivering care. We thought a Caremark franchise would be a great opportunity for us.

Describe the process for getting on board – how long did it take? About seven or eight months, but it can often take less time. We really wanted to cover all of our bases and take time to meet with the franchisor



and existing franchisees to discuss their experiences. I would recommend doing this to anyone considering a franchise, no matter the sector.

What attracted you to this franchise opportunity? We had considered a number of other business opportunities before coming across Caremark, including a bicycle repair shop! If I was going to run a business, it would have to be something I was passionate about and that’s where the care sector came in. After reading about Caremark, the

pieces of the puzzle seemed to fall into place. With my background in nursing and John’s career in marketing, we were confi dent we could make a success of our own business, but we had never attempted anything of the sort before. With Caremark, we felt safe in the knowledge that franchises have a proven track record for success, as opposed to starting a new business from scratch. Once we’d made that initial enquiry,

we met with Kevin. He spoke with such conviction and his dedication to the care sector was very inspirational. It was hard not to come away and feel invested in the brand, even in those early days.

What was the initial training and support like? It was a real learning curve for me, after 30 years with the NHS! I’d never worked on a business plan before, for starters. The training was immersive, informative and very full on but I learnt a lot from the other franchisees at the training. We worked together for mutual benefi t – I had a background in caring, while they had a background in business. I couldn’t wait to get back to the offi ce and get started!

What training and support is available on an ongoing basis? The support has been so consistent. We have monthly meetings with our regional development manager, who is an invaluable support in running our business. There are regular training events and forums, so we’re constantly in contact with the rest of our network. If you have a query or a problem, chances are someone else in the network will have already dealt with a similar problem and will be able to guide you through it.


of new fra nchisees in the UK are women – up from 20% in 2015...


...and of all new fra nchisees under 30, 52% are women

Overa ll,

of fra nchisees in the UK are women


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