Case Study: Jacqui Stevenson

Franchisor: Stretch 'n' Grow

Jacqui Stevenson has recently set up a Stretch-n-Grow franchise in the West Manchester region, taking a huge leap into self-employment after a steady career in the third sector.

Previously, Jacqui’s career included supporting young people into either education, employment or training through a role with the Prince’s Trust charity, working in a children’s home, various years working in the NHS and a variety of middle management roles.

Looking for a new challenge, Jacqui’s daughter suggested the Stretch-n-Grow franchise, which delivers health, fitness and nutrition classes to pre-school children in nurseries, playgroups and schools

New to franchising, Jacqui sought support from FranchisingWorks. She says:

“I attended workshops to build my knowledge and gain support as to how to go about becoming a franchisee. It was extremely useful to attend the workshops as they helped me to focus and ensure that it was the right thing for me. It was also helpful to have the one to one support sessions so that I was doing everything necessary.”

After thorough research, she kept coming back to Stretch-n-Grow as – she says –  it “‘ticked all my boxes’ in terms of a low cost, low overhead opportunity that would keep me interested, but challenged as I have a very keen interest in health and fitness.” The educational element to the franchise – educating children on how their bodies work, their muscles, and healthy eating – was a particular attraction to the franchise.

She started trading in September 2013 and she is extremely pleased with how well received it has been in nurseries. She would like to continue to support people who are unemployed and be able to employ 2-4 people.

Jacqui comments:

“Without the support that I have received from Franchising Works, I may not have been brave enough to make the decision to get into franchising and to be self-employed. It has been an enormous leap from being an employed person to being a self-employed business owner!”