In a first for KwaZulu-Natal, Ithala is hosting the Franchise Association of South Africa’s (FASA) flagship event – the 21st International Franchise and Entrepreneur EXPO.
“Ithala approached FASA as part of its efforts to grow its Franchise Fund portfolio and provide SMME’s and co-operatives in KZN with opportunities to enter the franchising industry, not only as franchisees but also a means to convert their businesses into franchises,” said Ms. Pearl Bengu, Group Chief Executive Ithala Development Finance Corporation.
“The exhibition focuses on entrepreneurship. In line with Ithala’s economic growth and job creation mandate we aim to bring investment into KZN and match this with people keen to run their own businesses and have an opportunity for a better life,” she said.
“After holding franchise exhibitions in Johannesburg for the past 20 years, FASA is proud to be expanding its footprint into the provinces – affording prospective franchisees the opportunity to meet representatives from franchise brands face-to-face and find out more about the opportunities offered by the franchise sector,” said Vera Valasis, FASA Executive Director.
The IFE Franchise Expo, to be held at the Durban Exhibition Centre on March 8 and 9, will bring together franchisors, potential franchise buyers, potential franchise suppliers and businesses looking to franchise and find business opportunities.
With some 40 home-grown brands spread across a broad spectrum of sectors from the automotive industry to beauty, IT, technology, baking and tourism exhibiting as well as regular talks by experts there will be plenty for the thousands of visitors which are expected over the two days.
Throughout the two days experts in franchising and related fields will provide free talks on matters crucial to buying and owning a franchise. Topics include, how to evaluate a franchise business; what is the best way to fund a franchise and how to turn your business into a franchise.
The cost to access this exciting expo has been kept to a minimum. Early-bird online registration at www.ife.co.za is R50 per person per day. On the day door tickets will be R100 per person. A kiddie’s play area will be provided and hosted by an educational franchise – children under the age of 16 are admitted free of charge.
Ms. Bengu said that as a development finance institution, Ithala’s primary focus is the development and empowerment of previously disadvantaged individuals through its tailor-made funding solutions, promoting entrepreneurship and stimulating job creation in KwaZulu-Natal.
Therefore the focus of this EXPO is on brands wanting to expand into the province and which are financially accessible to new franchisees. “What you won’t find at this exhibition are the large well established franchise brands that are already prevalent throughout the country,” she said.
Ithala is also aiming to match entrepreneurs in the Radical Agricultural Sector Economic Transformation programme with franchises to supply these with products or produce.
“Franchising offers aspiring business owners a standardised proven business practice with access to certain centralised services such as supply chain, marketing, training, financial support as well as the value of the trade-name or trademark.
“This form of business has a proven track record, mitigating many risks associated with starting a new business. It is also favoured by funders as most of the business and financial risks are minimised provided the entrepreneur adheres to the stipulated business practice standards.
“Franchising is a great way to get the much-needed experience of entrepreneurship, especially the youth who have challenges in accessing businesses or funding opportunities. It is a way of being in business for yourself but not by yourself,” said Ms. Bengu.
Despite a struggling economy, South Africa’s franchise sector has grown steadily and continues to make a strong contribution to the South African GDP across its various sectors, according to FASA’s 2018 survey of the industry.
With an estimated turnover of R721 billion the sector contributes 15,7% to the total South African GDP, has over 850 franchised brands and around 41 000 outlets.
“The franchise system has weathered the economic downturn better than other business models,” said Ms Vera Valasis, FASA Executive Director.
“The continued growth of new franchise concepts proves that franchising is the entrepreneurial heart of any economy – its growth might be temporarily curbed due to economic influences, but it remains the one business sector that is always innovating and has the highest success rate.”
Valasis believes that on a global front, our changing world is opening up opportunities on the franchise horizon. “As spending patterns change, entrepreneurs will be looking at business sectors where there is an appetite for franchising and flourishing new industries will start to see the light. Niche markets are also offering one-of-a-kind franchises that give one the opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a new franchise trend.”
Visit www.ife.co.za for information on the Expo. To book a stand contact Martha Mashele at email@example.com.
For more information on Ithala visit www.myithalastory.com/ www.ithala.co.za or call 031 907 8911.
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