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The event, which incorporated the Growing Your Own Business Exhibition and Conference, was the culmination of National Franchise Week and its hall at the NEC, Birmingham, was packed with over 14,000 visitors attending the event over two days. They met more than 250 established and new franchisors from a wide range of industry sectors, as well as small business services suppliers.

The speakers at the many different seminars included Nighat Awan, OBE, Chief Executive of The Shere Khan Group; Rocky Mirza, Founder of iBETX; and Perween Warsi, CBE, Founder & CEO of S&A Foods. These three entrepreneurs highlighted how they had overcome the challenges they have faced on their way to the top.

This year's event also included several new initiatives such as the Women in Franchising Zone, where female entrepreneurs could speak with other like-minded people and listen to experts for advice.

'The NFE is the perfect platform to market a franchise,' said Rosemary Conley, CBE, Managing Director of the Rosemary Conley Diet and Fitness Clubs.

'It gives visitors a golden opportunity to meet face-to-face with potential franchisees. This year's Women in Franchising initiative was a great step forward and we were very happy to be its main sponsor.'

The exhibition organisers report positive feedback from exhibitors, who were impressed with the standard of the visitors that attended the exhibition.
John Davidson, Managing Director of Aqua-lec, said: 'We achieved more than 100 qualified leads at the NFE and our hourly presentations were really well attended - people spilled in to the aisles! The NFE was an ideal platform from which to announce the development of our money-back guarantee, and as a result visitors were particularly interested in our success at the show.'


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