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Congratulations to Sonia Shwabsky – Franchise Woman of the Year!

The Franchise Council of Australia hosted the NSW/ACT Excellence in Franchising Awards Night, a glamorous affair showcasing the achievements of outstanding individuals in the franchising industry. Sonia Shwabsky, CEO of Kwik Kopy Australia, gratefully accepted the Franchise Woman of the Year Award. Her acceptance speech focuses on both the challenges of the industry and a personal commitment to mentoring success for other women.

Good evening everyone, and thank you so much for this incredible honour. Receiving the Women in Franchising Award is truly humbling. It means a lot to me to be recognised by such a distinguished group, and I stand here grateful for the countless people who have supported throughout my career.

My story, as you’ve heard, is not one of linear progression but of embracing diverse experiences and unexpected turns. Each chapter has shaped who I am today, from navigating the complexities of a third-world environment to spearheading digital transformations. These experiences taught me the value of resilience, adaptability, and a relentless pursuit of learning new things.

Throughout my career, I’ve encountered challenges, particularly as a woman in very male-dominated industries. Facing scepticism and underestimation only fueled my determination to prove that ambition, innovation, and a collaborative spirit are the cornerstones of success, regardless of gender. 

As a leader, I believe in empowering others and fostering a “Can Do” culture. This philosophy has been instrumental in our turnaround at Kwik Kopy, transforming a declining franchise business into a thriving organisation on all fronts. It’s about believing in the potential of each individual and creating an environment where everyone feels valued and empowered to contribute their unique strengths.

My passion lies not only in achieving success for myself but in paving the way for others, especially women. I’m committed to increasing female participation in franchising, both as leaders and business owners. By championing mentorship programs, promoting success stories, and fostering an inclusive environment, we can rewrite the narrative and demonstrate the immense value women bring to the industry.

This award is not just a recognition of my achievements, but a testament to the collective effort of everyone who has been part of this journey. It’s a reminder that true success is found in collaboration, shared purpose, and a genuine desire to make a positive impact.

Looking ahead, I remain committed to advocating for sustainable practices, fostering a vibrant and inclusive franchising community, and nurturing the next generation of talent. This journey is far from over, and I’m excited to see what the future holds, together. Thank you once again for this incredible honour. I am truly grateful for your support and belief in me.

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