Media Release

Small business success stories on show in Melbourne

Get ready Melbourne – the movers and shakers of the small business world will be at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre for the Franchising & Business Opportunities Expo, Saturday 26 - Sunday 27 August.

Speaking at the event will be the likes of Jim Penman from Jim’s Group; Sara Pantaleo from La Porchetta and Begin Bright’s founder Tina Tower, plus there will be more than 100 exhibitor stands with franchisors, advisors and industry insiders ready to assist people start or grow their own business.

The seminar sessions are free with entry to the Expo and run all day on the show floor with a wide range of speakers and topics. In addition to Penman, Tower and Pantaleo, there will be Franchise Council of Australia CEO Damian Paull, Small Business Commissioner Judy McConnell, leading business mentor Paul Henshall from ActionCOACH, and panel sessions featuring legal and financial experts, leading businesswomen and successful franchisees.

Stacey adds that the Melbourne show is traditionally the biggest Franchising Expo for the year and visitors will find a wide range of business ideas, from lucrative food and beverage or home service franchises to innovative concepts such as digital photo booths, virtual office space and app development.

“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.”

The Melbourne show will feature a number of successful international companies looking for Australian franchisees. They include Montagu Dried Nuts and Fruit from South Africa, Experimac, Venture X, Fully Promoted, TapSnap and Papa John’s Pizza from USA, Vom Fass from Germany and Josco Retail from India. 

Montagu CEO Hannes Jansen is looking forward to expanding in Australia and believes that franchising is a powerful and rewarding means to encourage entrepreneurship and to build the economy of a country. “The risk of running a business is minimised if investors make use of a trusted and proven model, that’s why franchises work so well,” he explains.

Industry sectors well represented at the show include home services, food and beverage, health and fitness, and financial services.

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.”

Tickets are available online before the show for $10, or $20 at the door. The free seminar sessions are held at the centre of the show floor and there is no need to book, however seats are limited.  

Melbourne Franchising & Business Opportunities Expo
Saturday 26 August – Sunday 27 August, 10am-5pm
Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre.


Media Contact:
Sally Cross
Specialised Events
T 03 9999 5468

Paul Henshall – The benefits of buying a franchise over going it alone

As CEO for the ActionCOACH Australian and New Zealand Master Licenses, Henshall’s role is to lead the growth of the network of coaches throughout the region. Previously he ran a successful ActionCOACH franchise based in Bendigo, Victoria for 12 years, and he has coached over 300 business owners. ActionCOACH is the world’s largest business coaching firm, with approximately 1000 coaches in 72 countries.

Judy McConnell – Franchising: navigating contracts, leases and disputes

Recently appointed Victorian Small Business Commissioner, Judy McConnell has forged a distinguished career both nationally and internationally, in roles with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and more recently with the Australian Taxation Office, as Assistant Commissioner for Small Business. O’Connell is an accomplished small business engagement leader with a proven track record of achievement across the public sector.  She also brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience working with the Victorian small business community.

Sara Pantaleo – How do you embrace disruption and manage change to improve your franchise?

As CEO, Pantaleo was instrumental in driving La Porchetta’s growth from 12 restaurants when she joined in 1996, to Australasia’s largest franchised, licensed, à-la-carte restaurant group with more than 70 outlets across Australia and New Zealand today. Pantaleo has served on the FCA Board at state and national level, is a member of the Family Business Association Victorian Committee, and was named National Franchise Woman of the Year in 2010.

Damian Paull – Together towards tomorrow

After five years with the Australian Retail Credit Association, Damian Paull joined the Franchise Council of Australia as CEO last year. He is a highly regarded membership organisation executive, who brings years of experience, a successful track record of achievement and reputation for effective stakeholder collaboration and membership engagement.

Jim Penman – Every customer a raving fan

Famously starting the Jim's Mowing system with just $24 over 35 years ago, Jim Penman is founder and CEO of Jim's Group. With 45 different business systems and close to 4000 franchisees, it is Australia's largest franchise network. Penman started a part-time gardening business while he completed his PhD in history. It went full time in 1982 and was franchised in 1989. He has written several books, including ‘Selling by Not Selling’ and ‘Every Customer a Raving Fan’.

Tina Tower – Back yourself. Find the courage to start up and scale your business

Opening her first tutoring centre at 20, Tower noticed the need for school readiness classes and began developing her own program. She licensed the Begin Bright school readiness program in 2008 and converted to a franchise system in 2011. Now with more than 25 centres in four states, Begin Bright was acquired by Cognition Education Australia in 2016 and Tower remains as Executive Director of Business Development. Tower was the Telstra 2014 NSW Young Businesswoman of the Year, and was named ‘one the top 10 female entrepreneurs to watch’ by The Huffington Post Australia in 2016.