The UK's largest franchise exhibition Showcasing new ideas for aspiring entrepreneurs

The National Franchise Exhibition arrives at Birmingham's NEC on 3rd & 4th October 2008 and is a 'not to be missed' event for all budding entrepreneurs looking for exciting new business opportunities

As the largest dedicated franchise exhibition in the UK, The National Franchise Exhibition provides the perfect place to research franchising and gain a real insight into what is required to buy and run your own business. By being able to talk first hand to franchise owners and those that have already bought into a particular business, visitors can assess for themselves the benefits of running a franchise and find the ideal match to their interests and skills.

Held in association with the British Franchise Association (bfa), The National Franchise Exhibition is the only such event sponsored by the bfa with all the franchises present having been accredited by the Association. This means that visitors can be assured that every exhibitor present abides by the bfa code of ethical franchising and all have proven to be viable enterprises.

This year's event will showcase more than 250 business concepts ranging from health & fitness, motoring and recruitment to computing, food & drink and home improvement. Companies exhibiting include: Apollo Blinds, Atlantic Business Resources, Bartercard, BB's Coffee & Muffins, Cartridge World, Cash Converters, ChipsAway, Countrywide Lawn Doctor, Dream Doors, Fastway Couriers, Gardeneer, Papa John's, Premier Sport, Prontaprint, RockMasters, Shoes Galore, Snap-on-Tools, Snappy Snaps, Subway, The Original Smoothie Co and Wimpy.

As well as being able to meet the franchises, the exhibition also presents the ideal forum for visitors to gain free, expert advice from the British Franchise Association (bfa) as well as leading banks, accountants and solicitors on practical issues such as raising finance and handling legal contracts.

Whether a visitor is considering becoming a franchisee or is taking the first steps to becoming a franchisor, a series of free seminars run by the bfa will provide an essential overview for all those new to franchising. Held on both days of the event, these presentations will provide expert guidance for visitors as well as inspiring success stories from leading speakers who are all bfa members or affiliates.

The seminars include:

This seminar is for aspiring business owners new to the franchising concept. It will address issues including: the benefits of franchising versus other business formats; what the franchisor looks for in a franchisee; what a franchisee should look for in a franchisor; the size and the expected growth in the franchise market; the initial choice of a franchise; the business plan; the finance and how to get it.

This free hour-long seminar consists of a short introduction to franchising as a means of expanding an existing business or developing a new venture.

The exhibition will once again feature the very popular Find Your Franchise Zone, which has been especially created to help match up a visitor's interests and experience with their ideal franchise. Participants will gain guidance on the most suitable franchise options available at the event according to their level of investment, preferred industries and location. The Zone will then provide visitors with a bespoke route plan around the exhibition.

The Woman in Franchising Zone, sponsored by Rosemary Conley Diet & Fitness Clubs, is a dedicated area aimed at educating and assisting female visitors considering a new career through franchising. The Zone, which opens with a keynote presentation form Rosemary Conley, will feature a series of free seminars led by leading female entrepreneurs, providing useful business tips on how to get ahead in business from a female perspective.

Addressing the seminar on 'Making it in business - from a woman's perspective', the speakers will including Jessica Huie founder of Colorblind Cards, a multicultural greeting card company which is the UK's only ethnic card range to be stocked in a high street chain, and Lara Boyle, joint founder of Beauty & the Bib, designers of bespoke baby bibs.

Visitors to this area will be able to listen to the founders of some of the country's leading franchise brands, as well as their highly successful franchisees, and gain an insight into the ideas behind their business concepts.

New this year will be The Franchisee Forum - from employee to franchisee. This will provide the perfect fact-finding opportunity for visitors allowing them to question and network with existing franchisees about how to make the successful transition from being an employee to working for themselves.

Running alongside The National Franchise Exhibition, the Growing Your Own Business Exhibition & Conference, supported by Barclays Bank, presents a superb opportunity for small business owners to gain expert advice on how to develop and strengthen their businesses and improve profitability. The exhibition will be supported by a free conference with inspirational presentations and thought-provoking stories of achievement from leading business advisors and successful entrepreneurs.

These dynamic entrepreneurs and successful business leaders will lead the conference. The keynote speakers include Hugo Burge, head of International and Vice Chairman of Cheapflights, the leading travel price comparison website, in addition to Simon Calver, chief executive of LOVEFiLM International, Europe's largest online DVD rental subscription service.

With exhibitors such as Acumen Insights, Companies House, Coventry City Council, Sales Dynamics, The Business Resources Group, Venture Navigator and Business Link, the Growing Your Own Business Exhibition & Conference will offer vital services and guidance to help entrepreneurs take their business to the next level. The National Franchise Exhibition and the Growing Your Own Business Exhibition & Conference are open from 10am each day, closing at 5pm on Friday 3rd October and 4pm on Saturday 4th October.

National Franchise Exhibition