Cartridge World has more than 200 stores in the UK. It launched in Australia in 1988 and now operates more than 1,700 franchises in over 60 countries. Great Yarmouth is their 218th UK store. Cartridge World uses specifically formulated inks or toners so they can refill or remanufacture all major brands of inkjet and laser cartridge. This offers substantial savings on the cost of an original and provides an environmentally friendly alternative to throwing the cartridge into landfill, where it can take up to 1000 years to decompose.
Donna was introduced to the concept of owning a franchise by the Women’s Employment, Enterprise & Training Unit following a referral from her local job centre. At this stage Cartridge World was identified as a potential franchise opportunity.
The opening of the Great Yarmouth store has created two new jobs, both of which have been taken by individuals also affected by redundancy. The store will be managed by David Oldham who returns to Great Yarmouth having spent a number of years away from the area as a IT manager.
In September Donna will open another Cartridge World franchise in Lowestoft. Again, this has created two new jobs. Through both stores Donna will work closely in supplying local schools with recycling bins for cartridges. She will be seeking to incentivise them to recycle their cartridges.
NatWest who earlier this year launched a dedicated fund to support franchise operators have provided Donna with working capital facilities alongside business advice in the start-up of the Great Yarmouth store.
Speaking about her plans, Donna Ioannou said: "Starting your own business is very exciting, if not a little bit daunting. Since leaving the Royal Mail I have been looking for the right next step for myself and the more I looked into franchising, the more I believed it was the right fit for me and my business skills. Franchising is a well established business model and Cartridge World has a strong footprint in the UK. It has a strong emphasis on an environmentally friendly approach to the market with a clear aim to reduce the amount of cartridges sent to landfill. I am excited by finally opening in Great Yarmouth and look forward to Lowestoft adding to my portfolio in September."
Jenna Wicks, relationship manager, business banking at NatWest added: "Franchising as a sector has continued to grow through the recession. Donna is a very good example of someone turning redundancy into an opportunity. We look forward to working with her on both the Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft stores as she establishes her franchise portfolio."