A factory manager for over 30 years before being made redundant, Graves is the owner of TruGreen South Bedfordshire. By the end of 2014 he had 300 customers and a turnover of almost £60,000; turnover in the first six months of 2015 is up 60 per cent year-on-year.
Graves said: "It's such a privilege to be considered amongst the best and brightest franchisees in the UK. The journey to this point has been challenging but hard work has paid off and we're now waiting in anticipation for the results in October."
Alan Lewin, managing director with franchisor ServiceMaster added: "TruGreen is a fantastic franchise opportunity and Les' shortlisting is testament to the strength of the brand and its success."
Winners will be announced on 1 October.