Sign of the Times

Wednesday 19th June 2019

Historically, men have often dominated franchising, however, more and more women are now owning and running a franchise than ever before.

Val Duggan, co-owner of Signs Express Leicester & Loughborough

Val Duggan, co-owner of Signs Express Leicester & Loughborough

With the number of women taking on a franchised business growing by 20% in the last two years, the landscape is certainly shifting and not just with franchisees. Last year, 65% of people employed in a franchising business are female, equating to over 400,000* in the UK alone.

Signs Express have been witness to this increase and in the last 18-months, the UK’s largest signs and graphics company had an increase of female franchisees by 40%. In fact, since April 2018, the award-winning franchise has welcomed three new female franchisees on board in Oxford, Colchester & Chelmsford and Leicester & Loughborough.

Women have always had roots in the signage industry with individuals such as Margaret Calvert who designed an entirely new signage system for the UK’s roads in the 60s. Since then this primarily male industry has continued to evolve and as part of this evolution, women are increasingly making their mark.

Mayura Joshi, owner of Signs Express Colchester & Chelmsford

Mayura Joshi, owner of Signs Express Colchester & Chelmsford

Mayura Joshi, owner of Signs Express (Colchester & Chelmsford) explained:

“Signage was interesting to me because every business needs it – that’s what drew me. I spoke to existing Signs Express franchisees and they come from a diverse range of backgrounds that made me feel confident coming into the sector”

For those who want to run a business in a creative and dynamic industry, whilst having a dedicated support network, Signs Express, offers many opportunities for all entrepreneurs.

It is, therefore, no surprise that with the UK sign industry being estimated to be worth £500m, owning a signage business remains an attractive proposition for people who want to combine the freedom of running their own business whilst being a part of a large franchise network.

Priya Lawry, co-owner of Signs Express Oxford

Priya Lawry, co-owner of Signs Express Oxford

One of the main advantages of joining Signs Express is the dedicated UK-based team of people around you ready and able to help you along your journey advising you in all aspects of the business. The Franchise Support Centre can give you the leg up you need to get over any hurdles that you may come across so you can keep on track.

As a Signs Express franchisee, you get the on-going support and training needed to not only get your business off the ground but also throughout your time as a member of the Signs Express family. Not only that, but you also have the security of knowing, that having been established for 30-years, Signs Express has strong foundations and a proven business model to make this opportunity a personal and professional success.

If you are looking to be a part of a diverse and profitable industry contact the Signs Express Franchise Recruitment Team via phone on 0800 731 2255 or email

*Source: NatWest & BFA 2018 Report