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PIC BY STEWART TURKINGTONwww.stphotos.co.uk07778 334771Our Ashford franchisee, who took a risk when starting out in business during the recession, is celebrating a successful five years in business.

Richard Clark, owner of environmentally-friendly oven valeting service, Ovenu Ashford, took the plunge into self-employment back in 2010 after spending six years as a trading standards officer.

Since then, Ovenu Ashford has gone from strength-to-strength, completing more than 2,000 oven valets in its five years, with 60% of business coming from repeat custom and referrals.

Our network made up of more than 100 businesses owned by men and women working throughout the UK and almost 30 overseas.

Mr Clark, 40, said: “It was quite a big risk starting a business in such tough economic times, but I am delighted that it has paid off. I had always wanted to be my own boss, so I jumped at the opportunity of investing in a franchise.

“The business has continued to grow over the past five years and it is satisfying that the majority of my business comes from referrals. I am now looking forward to celebrating further milestones in the future.”

Rik Hellewell, Managing Director and Founder of Ovenu, said: “The recession hit many people hard and a lot of businesses suffered as a result, so Richard’s progress is a credit to the way he has managed his business over this period of time.

“It just goes to show that Ovenu’s proven business model, coupled with our franchise support network, can help our franchisees run a successful business whatever the economic climate. I am delighted for Richard that he has been able to grow his business and I would like to wish him all the best for the future.”