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Growing Your Own Business Conference, NEC, Birmingham 16 - 17 Feb 2018


Growing Your Own Business Conference

The Growing Your Own Business (GYOB) conference & showcase is incorporated within The National Franchise Exhibition on 16 & 17 February at the NEC, Birmingham. 

The event is designed to equip entrepreneurs with the skills necessary to build and sustain a successful business.



When 'going at it alone' and setting up a business, it is important to meet like-minded aspiring entrepreneurs and successful business owners to build your network and gain essential advice.

Meet with representatives from organisations that specialise in boosting business growth, as well as fellow visitors with varying levels of experience, to gain useful insights and first-hand guidance.

Growing Your Own Business Hub

Growing Your Own Business Hub

Get free impartial advice from business experts across both days of the exhibition. 

Find out more.


Keynote Speakers

Inspiring business leaders will speak about the highs and lows of starting your own business and share the secrets behind their success. 

View our keynotes here.


Growing Your Own Business Workshops

Find out how to develop and sustain a successful business at the Growing Your Own Business workshops, with advice on finance, digital marketing, publicity generation and social media.

View a full list of workshops here.

Want to get involved? 

If you are interested in getting involved in the Growing Your Own Business showcase, please get in touch. We are looking for speakers and companies with a wealth of expertise in business growth strategies, startups or entrepreneurship.

Email: to find out more.

Book free tickets to the Growing Your Own Business Conference

Growing Your Own Business Conference

Incorporated within: 

The National Franchise Exhibition 2020
Registration opens soon

The personal data you provide will be used to register you for an event. By completing this registration form, you accept the Terms & Conditions for The Franchise Exhibitions. 

Growing Your Own Business Workshops

Friday 16 February 2018

11:15 - 12:00 | Raising finance through crowdfunding 

Speaker: Sonal Shah & Haico Van Der Steen

  • An introduction to crowdfunding 
  • How crowdfunding works
  • What investors and borrowers are looking for
  • The three key points when considering crowdfunding

Haico Van Der Steen

Sonal Shah

Simple Backing

12:30 - 13:15 | Likes in your pocket – managing your social media whilst on the move

Speaker: David Glenwright

  • 80% of time spent on social media is on a mobile device
  • Manage social campaigns whilst on the go
  • Explore the free mobile apps that are available to help schedule content etc

David Glenwright

JC social media

 13:45 - 14:30 | Are you making the 3 most common sales mistakes
 Speaker: Jeremy Jacobs
  • Often have to leave money on the table? 
  • Have to face objection after objection? 
  • Spend time chasing customers? 
  • If so, you need to attend this seminar 

Jeremy Jacobs

The Sales Rainmaker

15:00 - 15:45 | The Power of PR

Speaker: Peter Murray

  • What is PR and how can it help firms grow?
  • What makes a good story and how can you secure coverage in the traditional and new media?
  • PR dos and don’ts & examples of successful PR for SMEs

Peter Murray



Saturday 17 February 2018

11:30 - 12:15 | Buy-ology – welcome to the freemium generation

Speaker: Adrian Marks

  • Learn how to generate an endless stream of enquiries and customers online 24/7
  • How to leverage online and social media triggers to get customers spending more money
  • Learn how to align your marketing and sales activity to how customers now buy in this social digital world

Adrian Marks

Enjoy! Marketing

12:30 - 13:15 | Business planning made simple

Speaker: Chris Roberts

  • Why you need a business plan
  • How to prepare your business plan
  • How to use your business plan

Chris Roberts

Franchise Finance

13:30 - 14:15 | SEO: Search engine marketing 101

Speaker: Antony Tattum

  • What is search engine marketing?
  • How can you effectively implement it?
  • Hints and tips from leading SEO experts

Anthony Tattum

Big Cat

Confirmed Keynotes

Shola Kaye

Founder, Speak up like a DIVA

Shola Kaye – a self-confessed introvert – is a professional public speaking coach, an award-winning author, and an internationally acclaimed professional singer.

Shola founded her company, Speak Up Like A DIVA, to provide a platform for women in the workplace and female business owners to be heard and to speak up within their workplace. Shola wrote her book, How to be a DIVA at Public Speaking as a useful reference point to support her coaching techniques.

Shola has made use of her wide range of knowledge and experience to create her own unique coaching system. When it comes to speaking, Shola’s audiences are guaranteed a lively time combining a range of singing and inspirational stories with communication skills training and helpful hints and tips for visitors to take away and put into practice.

Shola will be presenting a keynote address at The National Franchise Exhibition on Friday 16 February. Book free tickets here.

Tim Benjamin
Fitness Space

CEO, Fitness Space

Tim Benjamin began his career on the track with accomplishments including Olympic and World Championship 400m finalist. In 2009, he transitioned out of the world of elite sport into the leisure industry and started his first health club, Fitness Space.

He focused on developing a unique concept, providing a supportive, service-orientated environment to help members achieve their fitness goals. In 2015, Fitness Space piloted its first franchise. Today the rapidly growing brand has 22 studios open across the UK, with Tim leading the business as CEO.

Alongside the development of the Fitness Space brand, Tim has been involved in the start up and operation of successful brands such as One 10, Cross Fit and Fivestar Health and Fitness.

Tim is regarded as a fitness industry expert working with leading brands such as Technogym as a digital content consultant and keynote speaker. He is a Princes Trust Ambassador and is in the Welsh Athletics Hall of Fame.

Come and listen to Tim's story at 13:00 on Saturday 17 February - claim your free tickets now

Tim Benjamin

Directions & Opening times for the national franchise exhibition

Opening times:

Friday 4 October | 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 5 October | 10:00 - 16:00


National Exhibition Centre (NEC)
Hall 3
B40 1NT


You’ll find the NEC clearly signposted from all motorways and major routes including the M42, M40 and M6 - just pop B40 1NT in your sat nav. When you arrive at the NEC, don’t follow the satnav anymore, look out for the show name you're visiting on the signs. Then, simply jump on our free shuttle bus or walk along the signposted footpaths.
Also, save money and pay for parking in advance. With pre-pay online parking, not only will you save money, spend less time queuing and have more time at the show, but you’ll also benefit from exclusive food and drink offers at the venue during your visit.
Read more here.


Getting to the NEC by train is easy as it's is located a five-minute walk away from Birmingham International Railway Station.

Direct services run all day, however if you’re travelling from further afield you may need to catch a connecting train at Birmingham New Street, which is less than a 15-minute journey away.
Or take advantage of exclusive discounts with NEC PLUS. Get 20% off Virgin Train advance fares on your visit to the NEC. Virgin West Coast Mainline trains run regularly to the on-site rail station Birmingham International, so you can arrive fresh, relaxed and show ready. Read more here.


Over 120 National Express and Megabus coach services run daily across the UK to Birmingham Airport.

From Birmingham Airport you can get to the NEC via the free air-rail link, which takes just 90 seconds and runs every two minutes.

Jumping on a bus in the West Midlands area? There are numerous options that will get you to the NEC. Check out the Network West Midland link here to plan your journey:


Simply take the free and fast air-rail link to Birmingham International Railway Station located at the upper level of Terminal 1. The train runs every two minutes and only takes 90 seconds. When you arrive just head straight through to the NEC.

Bicycle and on foot:

The best and safest way to get to us by your own steam is to use the shared cycle footpath route to Birmingham International Railway Station and then the NEC is a short walk from there, it should take you about 10 minutes.


To reserve accommodation, please contact our official booking agents Ellis Salsby on +44 (0)1562 829 939 or visit

Ticket prices:

Tickets are free if booked online in advance here

If you wish to attend on the day and do not book in advance, tickets will cost £15 on the door. FREE tickets can be booked online up until the close of the exhibition.