ENTREPRENEURS WILL BE GIVEN ACCESS TO A £13 BILLION INDUSTRY AT THE BRITISH FRANCHISE EXHIBITION, EVENTCITY, MANCHESTER ON JUNE 1920
With 581,000 new businesses founded last year - more than one a minute - the UK has become a nation of entrepreneurs. Within this, franchising continues to be a successful and safeguarded route to owning a business, with over 500,000 Brits employed in the sector and industry turnover amounting to £13.7 billion.
Enjoying significant economic growth, last year 13,054 new businesses were launched in Manchester - making it one of the UK’s top performing cities. Returning to EventCity this summer, The British Franchise Exhibition will showcase the benefits of running a business and offer visitors the chance to discuss potential ventures with established franchise brands offering regional opportunities.
Pip Wilkins from the British Franchise Association says: “Franchising performed remarkably well during the economic downturn, growing both revenues and employment by 20 per cent between 2008 and 2013.
“As the economy is predicted to continue its recent growth, the sector can be expected to continue its exponential growth. The diversity of business opportunities in franchising is now very high, so whatever your passion and skill set, there’s something for you.”
Sponsored this year by global gym brand Anytime Fitness, The British Franchise Exhibition remains the only franchise event in the north to carry British Franchise Association accreditation.
Pip explains: “The bfa is first and foremost a standards-based organisation, representing ethical franchising. Therefore, it associates itself with brands that can demonstrate a knowledge of and commitment to good franchising practice.
“By working closely with The British Franchise Exhibition, we can ensure that only brands that adhere to these guidelines and receive accreditation are present at the shows.”
Showcasing a cross-section of sectors, among the key brands exhibiting this year are McDonald’s, Clarriots Care, Anytime Fitness, Esquires Coffee, Signarama, Snack in the Box, Expense Reduction Analysts, Platinum Property Partners and EweMove.
To make the most of your time at the exhibition, visitors are advised to visit www.franchiseinfo.co.uk, which has an online meetings booking service, allowing attendees to browse the extensive exhibitor list and secure pre-booked appointments with companies of interest to their franchise requirements.
A variety of free and informative features, as well as first-hand guidance from industry experts, will also be available to those attending the exhibition. This includes an extensive conference programme offering over 40 free seminars, finance clinics, and panel discussions.
Back by popular demand are the McDonald’s Open Sessions. Running throughout the two-day event, these invaluable seminars offer an exclusive insight into one of the world’s most successful franchises.
Visitors will have the chance to meet with McDonald’s staff and learn about the company’s franchisee training programme. With currently over 1,200 restaurants in the UK, which serve more than three million customers every day, this is an unmissable opportunity for those interested in breaking into the food industry. McDonald’s will be looking for potential franchisees with a hardworking approach to running a customer-oriented business.
Pip Wilkins continues: “The British Franchise Exhibition is an excellent way to start researching, with a combination of informative seminars and the chance to meet face-to-face with a wide variety of accredited franchisors and advisers, across a number of business sectors.
“Speakers at the bfa’s exhibition seminars are all long-standing experts in their field, providing outstanding access to a wealth of information, and the bfa team are always on hand to provide objective advice.”
Helen Lawson and Sophia Lucop-Leech, who both founded Inspired Goodbyes, which specialises in innovative bereavement gifts, cards and jewellery, will be delivering their highly anticipated keynote speech on Saturday, June 20 at 12.15pm, talking about how their personal tragedies inspired them to start a business.
Helen says: “The idea came after we both had personal experiences of bereavement. People can be afraid to talk to you when you’ve just lost someone you love and cards that say ‘With sympathy’ don’t really say anything at all.
“We wanted to improve the choice of cards and gifts for people to give to better support people through grief. Key to our success has been having a unique idea, being confident about our products and approaching different market sectors.”
Sophia explains: “Our keynote focuses on the events that inspired us to create our business, backed up by how important it is to have a thorough business plan.
“Seeing a gap in the market is one thing, bringing your product to market is another. We want to show that even though passion, excitement and enthusiasm is crucial, so too is sound thinking and solid business basics.”