Sign up to the newsletter

Sharing the secrets of success

Awide range of speakers will provide business tips, advice and details about their experience of setting up on their own which, in turn, will provide visitors with the know-how and confidence to take the plunge for themselves.

There will be Growing Your Own Business conference programmes at both The National Franchise Exhibition and The British & International Franchise Exhibition.

Thomas Power is delivering the keynote address at The National Franchise Exhibition called Twitter Can Rule The World.

Thomas was one of Lord Sugar’s original apprentices in the 1980s. In 1988, he left Amstrad to set up his own marketing company DMS Europe, and became one of the first internet experts. He is an internationally acclaimed speaker on digital media and has written seven books about life online, the most recent being Know Me, Like Me, Follow Me.

Thomas has presented in 55 countries and coaches business people worldwide on How To Go Social Online. He also founded Ecademy, offering business support and networking groups for entrepreneurs and small business owners, and recently launched the Ecademy Digital School to teach business people how to embrace the new digital and social world.

Another speaker at The National Franchise Exhibition is Nicolas Holzherr, delivering an inspiring session called Anyone Can Do It: Choosing The Right Ideas, testing them and developing them into a business on a shoestring budget.

Since his graduation in 2009, Nicolas has founded three companies – QRky Ltd, which uses quick response technology to link digital contact and multimedia data to printed business cards;, which links recipe websites with online supermarkets; and Co-Go Coffee To Go Ltd, which sells high-quality, ethical takeaway coffee.

Nicolas is fast becoming recognised for his achievements, being named Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year 2010 by Midlands Business Insider. He is also a guest lecturer at two of the main academic establishments in Birmingham, the University of Birmingham’s Business School and Birmingham City University. In 2011, he was named Birmingham Young Professional of the Year 2011 for the Entrepreneurial category.

Sarah Lu, founder of Youdoodoll Ltd and Start Brand Agency, is one of the speakers at The British & International Franchise Exhibition in March. She is set to explain the story behind her two companies, including her successful pitch to BBC’s Dragon’s Den, in her talk I Am A Dragon Slayer – Find Out How I Survived!

At the age of 21, Sarah set up her first business, Shortlong Graphics, with funding from the Prince’s Trust. Shortlong Graphics was sold in 2005 and she then worked at advertising agencies based in New York.

Sarah founded Youdoodoll Ltd in 2007 and the ‘create your own mini-me’ product successfully gained investment on the popular BBC programme. To date, Sarah has produced a range of Youdoodoll products, acting as inventor, supplier and distributor for the UK, USA and worldwide.

In 2011, she launched Start Brand Agency (SBA), a business advisory, design and marketing agency, specifically targeted at new business start-ups. With Sarah’s experience and flair for new enterprise, combined with the support of local and international businesses, SBA helps entrepreneurs realise their dreams. After launching only a few months ago, the company already has 34 clients and services include business advice and mentoring, business planning, marketing and branding.