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International opprtunities to light up leading exhibition

With more than 100 companies from the UK, USA and around the world showcasing their brands, along with a comprehensive choice of seminars and experts, The British & International Franchise Exhibition, taking place at Olympia, London, on March 14 & 15, is the perfect place to find \ra new career.

This leading exhibition will offer budding entrepreneurs a wealth of opportunities and interesting features to provide them with everything they need to know about franchising.

As a result of the US Department of Commerce granting Trade Fair Certification to the exhibition last autumn, many well-known American brands are also going to launch their franchises in the UK at this event.

The exhibition will feature a vast range of franchise businesses to suit all interests and budgets including Ewe Move, McDonald’s , Clarriots Care, Anytime Fitness, Mac Tools, Go Cruise, Dream Doors, KarePlus, Belvoir Lettings, Southern Fried Chicken, LuluLocal and Tutor Doctor. Overseas-based exhibitors include Mobalpa Kitchens, Crestcom International, Shawarma Xpress, Llao Llao, Fibrenew, Johnny Rockets, Cuisines Schmidt, Theobroma and Sanoserv.

Visitors can discuss all opportunities with full confidence as, since this is the only event of its kind in London to be accredited by the British Franchise Association (bfa), every exhibitor has been fully checked and approved to ensure they meet the association’s strict code of ethics. There are many features to help visitors further their knowledge of franchising. The free seminar programme will cover every topic from how to set up your own franchise to finance and business plans. They will offer a general introduction to franchising, as well as advice and information on how to get started.

The exhibition made a positive impact on visitors who attended last year. Amjud Shah, an HR consultant from Maida Vale in London, said: “I thought the seminars were very helpful and I gathered lots of information that I can go through at home and pick one of them as my next business venture.”Ann Rivers, a police administrator from Crawley agreed: “the presentations have been excellent. They have given me a good all round understanding about being a franchisee.”

InternationalThe International Franchise Conference will also take place within the exhibition on both days, hosting delegates from all around the world. It will feature sessions on a breadth of topics highly valuable to potential franchise owners and current franchisors. ‘The world is your oyster, but which countries are ripe for international expansion?’ will look at why Latin America is the land of opportunity and how Russia’s economic growth is creating opportunities for foreign franchise brands. It will also discuss why India presents a huge growth opportunity for brands from across the globe. Taking your business international through Master Franchising is discussed in ‘Selecting the right Master partner to represent your brand,’ with Tony Fitzpatrick from Franchise Your Business and John H Pratt of solicitors Hamilton Pratt examining what a master franchise agreement should include.

Growing businessesTo help those who have already decided to start up their own venture, successful entrepreneurs Dave Hill, founder of Salty Dog, and Rob Hill, of Eventa Group, will share the secrets of their successes as keynote speakers. Richard Forte, Chief Operating Officer of McDonald’s, will also deliver a keynote address on franchising with McDonald’s.There will also be high-level investment seminars for those who have a larger amount of capital to spend on buying a franchise. These will go into detail about companies at the top of the market and what makes them stand out. Platinum Property Partners, Anytime Fitness and the French brand, Mobalpa Kitchen will have representatives in attendance on the day, with the keynote speech coming from Steve Bolton, the founder of Platinum Property Partners.

FinanceAnother popular feature is the Finance Clinic, a specially designated area in which advisors are on hand to help out with the all important business plan. Having a good plan in place is crucial for securing funding and future support.

The Expert Advice Clinic is the area in which visitors can book appointments to meet with expert lawyers, consultants and franchisors to ask any questions they may have before venturing in to franchising.

The Real Franchise Stories sessions offer visitors the chance to hear first hand accounts from people who have made the transition from employee to franchisee. The audience will be able to find out more about the realities of buying and running a franchise and hear useful tips on the recommended next steps.

There will be a pre-booked appointments system available via, which enables visitors to plan their day and make sure they spend the most time with the exhibitors that really interest them.

Brian Smart, Director General of the bfa, comments: “UK franchising offers thousands of people each year the opportunity to take on their own sustainable business, in turn creating employment for many thousands more – a success that has continued through hard economic times while other parts of the economy have struggled.

“The exceptional performance of the franchise sector since 2008 augurs well as the UK returns to business growth and prosperity. There are now nearly 1,000 franchise brands operating in this country across multiple business sectors, offering plentiful opportunities for those undertaking the necessary research and due diligence to join the franchise success story.”