86. Green Square Renewable Energy
The first ever dedicated high street franchise for renewable energy
Founder: Richard Hiblen
Founded: October 2012 (launched March 2013)
With the British high street in well-publicised difficulty, setting up a bricks-and-mortar store dedicated entirely to the sale and installation of renewable energy products may seem counterintuitive. However, Richard Hiblen had spotted a gap in the market for renewable energy products targeted at domestic and small business consumers and realised that a franchise model based on physical stores would benefit from a significant tax advantage – Green Square can charge just 5% VAT to their customers whereas online suppliers must charge 20%. Already, the Raynes Park-based business is expected to hit £70,000 turnover in its first year of trading, and has just offered its first three franchises for like-minded entrepreneurs in the South East to hop on board. The company is launching a targeted marketing campaign over the summer to attract franchisees and the business plans to concentrate on PR and exposure in line with government grants for green businesses due to be published soon.