Melbourne focuses on franchising

Everyone looking for proven and profitable ways to become their own boss will be descending on the Melbourne Exhibition Centre on Friday 26 – Sunday 28 August for the Franchising & Business Opportunities Expo.

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Business Ideas

A highlight of the Small Business Festival Victoria running throughout August, the Franchising Expo will showcase more than 100 franchisors, advisors, and industry insiders ready to assist people start or grow their own business.

“The Melbourne show is traditionally the biggest one for the year and visitors will find a wide range of business ideas, from lucrative food and beverage or home services franchises to innovative ideas such as aerial drones, beer line cleaning and app development,” says Event Manager Fiona Stacey.

“It means the Expo is really a one-stop-shop and the only place where you can meet face to face with such a wide range of franchisors, consultants, suppliers and advisors from industry and government.”

Damian Paull, CEO of the Franchise Council of Australia (FCA), is a strong supporter of the Franchising Expo. “It provides an opportunity where people can have a conversation about franchising, where they can learn whether franchising might be right for them, where they can be inspired by meeting with others in the franchising community,” he explains.

New York Slice Pizzeria Stand Franchise Expo Melbourne 1024X616

“By participating in the Expos, the FCA gains a better understanding of the needs of the franchising community and really shows us where we can further help and implement change for a continuing prosperous sector,” adds Paull. “It directly puts us where we need to be, in front of the community as a peak body for the franchise sector.”


The free seminar series will feature keynotes from FCA Chairman Bruce Billson and Clark Rubber’s Chris Malcolm. There will also be a daily special guest presentation “Surviving the First Five Years”, by Sharon Jurd from HydroKleen.

In addition Lenard’s CEO Chris Caldwell will give his thoughts on contemporising an old favourite; John Vine from Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources will discuss the importance of research; and Geoff Brown, Victorian Small Business Commissioner will give his tips on franchise success. There will also be panel sessions from the FCA featuring successful franchisees, and introductory panels discussing “Is Franchising Right for You?”

Food and Beverage Franchises

The Melbourne show will feature a large range of franchises in the food and beverage industry, with exhibitors such as Franchised Food Company’s Mr Whippy, Lenard’s, New York Slice, Degani, The Coffee Club, Xpresso Mobile Café, Sharetea, The Jolly Miller, BK’s Takeaway, Papa John’s, Spudbar, and Ferguson Plarre.

Retail Food Group will be showcasing leading brands including Donut King, Michel’s Patisserie, Brumby’s Bakery, Crust Gourmet Pizza, Pizza Capers, Gloria Jean’s and The Coffee Guy.

Stan Gordon, Managing Director of Franchised Food Company, says the company will feature the full stable of brands including Trampoline Gelato and Cold Rock, but will be especially showcasing Mr Whippy, Pretzel World and new acquisition Healthy Habits.

“Particularly exciting for us is that we’ll be using the Franchising Expo to launch our brand new Mr Whippy and Pretzel World mobile retail concept vehicles,” he says. “These three-wheel, retro-style Tuk Tuks are a truly innovative concept unlike anything seen before. Priced at under $100,000 and $60,000 respectively, they’re likely to prove especially popular with prospective franchisees.”

Diverse franchise offers

There will also be international franchise offerings across a wide range of industries, plus a delegation of 12 franchises from Malaysia.

Fiona Stacey says the diversity of franchises and price entry points is a huge drawcard for the Franchising Expo. “Some visitors come with specific businesses in mind, while others are open to new ideas, in industries they had never previously considered,” she says.

“We also attract entrepreneurs wishing to grow their business through the franchising model. They come because the Franchising Expo is the country’s leading event to find information and inspiration to start, build or grow your own business.”

Pre-register online at to save 50% on the door price. Seminar sessions are free and there is no need to book, however seats are limited.

Melbourne Franchising & Business Opportunities Expo

Friday 26 August, Saturday 27 August, Sunday 28 August, 10am-5pm

Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre. 

Keynote: Chris Malcolm, Clark Rubber

Chris Malcolm’s story is truly inspiring. In 1995 Clark Rubber existed in name only, with the last stores closed by Adsteam a year earlier, and the brand sold to what is now Pacific Dunlop. With 20 years retail experience, Malcolm saw an opportunity to grow the 50-year-old business through franchising and became a licensee.

By 1998 there were 50 stores and it was once again one of the most recognisable retail brands in Australia. In 2000, Chris bought the Clark Rubber brand from Pacific Dunlop and continued to grow its sales and store numbers. In 2003 Clark Rubber was awarded FCA Franchisor of the Year in the under $200,000 entry category, and three years later it was named overall Franchisor of the Year.

Today Clark Rubber has over 75 stores nationally and is continuing to grow. Chris and his team are now solely focused on helping franchisees to build their own successful Clark Rubber retail business.

Keynote: Bruce Billson, Franchise Council of Australia

Bruce Billson was appointed as the Executive Chairman of the Franchise Council of Australia in March 2016 after a long and respected career in politics.

As the Member for Dunkley in Victoria from 1996-2015, Billson held numerous portfolios in government and opposition, including most recently as Minister for Small Business from September 2013 to September 2015.

He was the Shadow Cabinet Minister for Small Business, Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs from December 2009 September 2013. Billson’s Shadow Ministerial roles between 2007 and 2009 included Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, and Sustainable Development and Cities. He was the Minister for Veterans Affairs and Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence from 2006 to 2007 in the Howard Government.

A former small business owner with his wife Kate, Billson has a Masters in Business Leadership, a post-graduate Management Diploma and a Bachelor of Business.

Sharon Jurd, HydroKleen

Sharon Jurd is a highly respected international best-selling author as well as a seasoned business executive, entrepreneur, growth strategist and success coach.

Jurd began her franchising journey at Century 21, where she rose to become the organisation’s youngest female director. After selling her real estate franchises she joined her partner as co-director of HydroKleen and in two years grew it to the market leader. Jurd has won 36 business and industry awards, including Franchise Woman of the Year, and has written two books; How To Grow Your Business Faster Than Your Competitor – The Secrets to Freedom and Success in 5 easy Steps and Extraordinary Women in Franchising – How their businesses have grown and how yours can too.

Geoff Browne, Victorian Small Business Commissioner

Appointed as Victorian Small Business Commissioner in October 2011, Geoff Browne was previously Deputy Director at Consumer Affairs Victoria for six years. He has had senior management experience in both the public and private sectors, working in telecommunications, finance, and e-commerce.  He has also run his own small business. Browne has a Masters Degree and First Class Honours Degree in Economics, and a Graduate Diploma in Company Secretarial Practice.

Chris Caldwell, Lenard’s

With 20 years’ experience in marketing, business development, retail and franchising, Chris Caldwell was appointed CEO of Lenard’s Chicken last year. Previously Caldwell was General Manager of Australian Operations for Baker’s Delight, and he is also the founder of Love Pollo, a small, growing premium rotisserie roast chicken brand with stores in Melbourne and Byron Bay.

Sarah Cobb, BforB

As Director and Australian Franchisee of international referral marketing franchise Business for Breakfast (BforB), Cobb is well qualified to share her practical, hands on techniques for generating and increasing business opportunities through referrals. Cobb is also Managing Director of Cariblue, a management and franchising consultancy, and has extensive experience in business management and strategic growth and development in the private, franchise, not for profit and government sectors. She is the 2012 Australian Institute of Management’s ‘Owner Manager of the Year’ for the Gold Coast and was named Queensland/NT Franchise Woman of the Year in 2013.

John Vine, Dept of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport & Resources

John Vine has been involved in the Small Business and Franchising sectors for over 30 years, holding senior positions with The Shell Company of Australia and South Pacific Tyres, as well as running his own small business.

Within the franchise sector he has developed new franchise systems, mentored new franchisors, managed national franchise groups and has been a franchisee. Vine regularly speaks at seminars and presents comprehensive programs on behalf of the State Government. He is an Accredited Franchise Executive with the Franchise Council of Australia and has supported clients with Government Grant applications.