Franchising took centre stage at the IFE 2014

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International Franchise Exhibition

10 – 12 April 2014 – Sandton Convention Centre

Despite the economic recession still holding its grip on business growth, franchise companies in South Africa seem to be following the international trend of being far more resilient than other business sectors and showing good signs of growth and recovery. This was seen in the uptake on stands for FASA’s International Franchise & Entrepreneurial Expo (IFE) which took place at the Sandton Convention Centre from the 10th to the 12th April 2014.

According to Vera Valasis, Executive Director of FASA, this is a strong indication that the franchise sector is heading for a full recovery. “Consistent with its entrepreneurial character, franchising simply won’t be held back. What we are seeing are international brands breaking into our market, local franchise brands forging ahead with expansion plans and a whole lot of new business opportunities breaking onto the market. By the same token, people, tired of the recession and affected by downsizing, forced early retirement or the lack of jobs in the formal sector, are keen to take control of their own futures and start their own businesses.”

FASA’s recent franchise survey has shown that franchising is the one business format that can weather the economic storms and be a driver of entrepreneurship, skills transfer and job creation. The statistics on the success of franchising are impressive:

  • Less than 10% of franchises fail compared to the over 90% of failures for those starting their own businesses.
  • Just under one in two (46%) of franchisors have been in business for more than 12 years and 75% have been in business for more than 6 years.
  • According to the survey the industry generated a turnover of R302 billion in 2012, adding 3 700 new franchise businesses to the economy and employed more than 300 000 people.
  • South Africa has 668 franchised systems, 30 206 franchise outlets and 17 franchise business sectors with 90% of those brands home-grown concepts.
  • The IFE, owned and managed by the Franchise Association of South Africa, is the ideal platform to showcase business opportunities and encourage small business development which continues to be the backbone of the economy.

This year’s IFE showed that our entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well with both established and new concepts on show.

  • The Fast Food sector continues to dominate with well-known brands, our advertisers that took stands were Taste Holdings’ stable of brands (Scooters Pizza, Maxi’s, St Elmo’s & The Fish & Chip Co), the new kids on the block were Body Fuel Express, international brand Subway and King Pie.
  • The Retail, Building, Office & Home Services and Automotive Products & Service are sectors that continue to be good investments and IFE this year showcased The Gas Boys, DIY Depot, Car Service City, NWJ and Cash Converters.
  • The Education sector, whether for babies, children or adults has held its own over the recessionary period as people continue to improve their education and supplement their children’s educational development. Our advertisers included Kumon Education and Sherpa Kids (a new international education franchise) focused on school children.

FASA has, for the past two years, worked with its members to offer visitors to the Expo the chance to win a franchise. For this year’s Franchise Expo, a new and exciting entrant into the education field, Sherpa Kids, offered a franchise to a successful qualifying applicant who visits their stand at IFE.