Business advice on offer at NEC

Growing Your Own Business conference at The National Franchise Exhibition.

The free-to-attend Growing Your Own Business conference is a valuable feature of The National Franchise Exhibition. Complementing the chance to explore the franchise industry at the exhibition, the conference focuses on the knowledge and skills required to build and sustain a successful business.

Professionals specialising in business growth will share knowledge and expertise with audiences through free skills workshops and keynote speakers will inspire with their personal stories of success.

24-year-old Ed Hollands, founder of DrivenMedia which was featured on Dragons’ Den earlier this year, will be the keynote speaker on Friday October 5th. Ed’s business, which turns commercial trailers into mobile billboards, grabbed the interest of Dragon Jenny Campbell. Calling Ed and his business “highly investible,” Jenny agreed a deal with Ed on the show in February. Ed’s keynote speech is entitled From the Roadside to Dragons’ Den.

Ed comments: “I’m going to be talking about the highs and lows of my business, what I’ve learned, and what I would have done differently given my time again. I’ll also be talking about Dragons’ Den and how to go about pitching for investment, as well as touching on what it’s like to be a young entrepreneur.”

Lauren Dorling, founder of sock sensation Solesmith, will present a keynote speech on Saturday 6th October entitled Put Your Best Foot Forward. She comments: “I’m going to talk about the journey we went on – from getting started and how we did it, to tactics which were useful for us and things we regret not doing. There are a lot of lessons you learn when you’re trying everything for the first time.”

Further lessons will be shared across the series of six workshops within the conference. The Growing Your Own Business Hub provides a platform for visitors to network and gather one-to-one advice from industry specialists including Transmit Start-Ups, who provide finance, business support and mentoring for new businesses throughout the UK.

While at the event, aspiring business owners will meet a wide range of franchise brands including event sponsor Fitness Space, McDonald’s, Belvoir, Access4Lofts and Tutor Doctor to find a business which exactly fits their career, lifestyle and investment goals. All exhibiting brands have been accredited by the British Franchise Association.

Helen Wood, portfolio sales manager at Venture Marketing Group, organisers of The Franchise Exhibitions, comments: “By bringing together industry professionals, inspirational speakers and more than 100 bfa-accredited brands under one roof, The National Franchise Exhibition creates a valuable hive of information and support for ambitious entrepreneurs aiming for maximum success.”

Free tickets to the event taking place at the NEC on 5th & 6th October are available online using promo code CAS1, saving £15 per person on the door. For more information on all aspects of the event visit