The International Franchise Exhibition (IFE 2010) takes the lead in stimulating entrepreneurship


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International Franchise Exhibition

All eyes will be on South Africa in 2010! This watershed year not only marks the hosting of the FIFA World Cup Soccer, the premier world event, but it will also mark the significant upswing in business and consumer confidence. Whilst all sectors of business have felt the effects of the economic recession, franchising has managed to weather the storm better . Franchising, known as one of the most securest of business formats, will be leading the way in economic recovery by stimulating the small business sector with its entrepreneurial opportunities, skills development and job creation. IFE 2010, under the auspices of the Franchise Association of Southern Africa, which takes place from the 6 ÔÇô 8th May 2010, 10am to 6pm daily (R40 entrance per person) at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg will be the ideal springboard for that recovery.than independent businesses.

Franchising in South Africa, since the very first fast food franchise opened its doors in the 1960ÔÇÖs, has always been in the forefront of change and has always stayed one step ahead in terms of business innovation. Says Vera Valasis, Executive Director of FASA, ÔÇ£When the country had to endure years of sanctions and isolation, the franchise sector did not fade into oblivion but instead took great entrepreneurial strides and developed home grown franchise concepts, many of which are household names and today 88% of its franchise concepts are home-grown. Likewise, through all the economic recessions, franchising has stood its ground and continues to be the first entrepreneurial stone thrown that causes the ripple effect in business innovation.ÔÇØ

With just over 12% of business activity going through the franchise route at present compared to over 50% in the US, the potential for increased franchise growth remains high and shows like IFE are the ideal platform for prospective franchisees to find out more about this business format. When there is insecurity in the job market, or when retrenchments or retirements happen, people are spurred into being entrepreneurial, fully aware that they have to consider alternative careers. The opportunity of going into business suddenly becomes feasible and it is here that franchising comes into its own.

With the business format of franchising so successful throughout the world, many existing business entrepreneurs should be asking themselves – is my business franchiseable? The business format of franchising offers exciting opportunities as a distribution mechanism. It can be a means of vertical integration that combines a high degree of control with a low degree of risk. It is also closer to the consumer level through its franchisees and this aids the anticipation of trends in the consumer market. The opportunity also exists to franchise current operations, or to expand the concept further through franchising instead of establishing branches.

Says Thulani Cele, Chairman of FASA, ÔÇ£Franchising in South Africa is under-utilized and is not given enough credit for the role it plays in the economy, in stimulating entrepreneurship, in establishing small businesses that make up the backbone of the economy and above all in providing the close to 500 000 jobs across the sector. FASA would like to see government give more attention to the positive role that franchising can play in stimulating the small business sector and urges big business to look at the potential of using the franchise format as an alternate expansion mechanism.ÔÇØ

The International Franchise Expo – on at the Sandton Convention Centre from the 6 -8 May 2010, will profile a significant selection of franchise and business opportunities as well as have all the free advice and information on offer from professional advisers such as lawyers, bankers, consultants etc. The exhibition will bring together a wide range of well-known business concepts and brands, covering everything from fast food to car repairs, from retail to education, including some international brands from France and the USA.

One must also not forget that fascinating anomaly that some of the greatest companies and franchises have been started and built during the worst of times. According to Executive Director of FASA, Vera Valasis, the association represents the highest number of franchisors in its 31-year history and in the past six months over 20 franchises joined, many of them new concepts such as Kanhym Fresh Meat Delis, Boost Juice, Lotters Pine Furniture, National Voice Switching Centres, Oasis Water, The Courier Guy, Inkcor, Fastway Couriers, Debt Restructuring Services, Mass Hire and Applebox Accounting, to name a few of those who will be exhibiting at IFE 2010.

For prospective franchisees, the IFE 2010 Expo is an excellent opportunity to see franchisors face to face, take a measure of the substance and style of the operations and find the one that best suits them. In addition, a SpeakersÔÇÖ Corner sponsored by Standard Bank will host key speakers on a wide range of subjects pertinent to business success, franchising and funding. A one-day Franchise Convention, which takes place on Friday 7th May in Committee Room 4 of the Sandton Convention Centre, will look at the state of the economy, analyse consumer trends and discuss the challenges facing the sector in the years to come. Bookings for the FASA Franchise Convention can be made through Giuli Osso on 011 802 1611 or email giuli@gocomms.co.za.

IFEÔÇÖs 16-year history of delivering thousands of qualified buyers to leading edge franchisors is unmatched in Africa. As the largest, most dedicated franchise show on the continent, it is the definitive, one-stop resource for business owners and entrepreneurs who want to invest and operate a premier franchise.

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