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Keynote speakers at The British & International Franchise Exhibition 2023

On 9 & 10 June 2023, we welcomed an exciting panel of keynote speakers to London's premier franchise event!

Read on to learn more about these inspiring individudals and what they spoke about at #BIFE23.

John Vincent, Co-founder of LEON

LEON logo

John Vincent

Co-founder, LEON 

Lessons from LEON: five tips for franchise entrepreneurs | Friday 9 June | 13:00 - 13:30

John Vincent co-founded and led the naturally fast food brand LEON which he sold in 2021. During this inspiring keynote session, John will draw upon his personal experience in building one of the UK’s most notable brands to share his top tips for success as a business owner.

Alongside his role at LEON, John co-wrote the government’s School Food Plan and was a founding member and Chair of the government’s Council for Sustainable Business. He was awarded an MBE in 2016 in recognition of his contribution to school food.

Along with his co-founder Henry Dimbleby, he has won numerous accolades including The FIRST Responsible Capitalism Award in 2015 and a Raymond Blanc Sustainability Heroes Award in 2017. He co-wrote Winning not Fighting, a book that explains the principles and practical application of the Chinese martial art ‘Wing Tsun’ in business and in life more broadly. John now invests in and supports purpose-driven businesses as part of his company The Longhouse.

Inspired by the Iroquois Confederacy of Native American tribes, The Longhouse businesses consider the impact of their decisions on generations to come.

Steph Hedger

Subway logo

Steph Hedger

Director of Development and Leasing, Subway 

Transforming a sleeping giant | Saturday 10 June | 12:15 - 12:45

Steph Hedger is the Director of Development & Leasing at global sandwich franchise Subway. Steph has over 15 years of experience as a strategic property and development expert within the hospitality, wellness, retail and leisure industries.

During this insightful keynote session, Steph will share real-life examples of how the team are 'Transforming a sleeping giant.'

Prior to taking on a role at Subway, Steph served as property director for the Alshaya Group where, over her 13-year tenure, Ledger delivered its expansion strategy and drove development for multiple brands, including Victoria’s Secret, Pink and Bath & Body Works. She also spent a year and a half as head of property at Diverse Dining, which oversees Shake Shack in the UK.

At Subway, Steph focuses on business development strategy and building the brand for the long term, in partnership with the brand’s business developers.

Carl Reader, Chairman of d&t

d&t logo

Carl Reader

Chairman, d&t

How to BOSS IT through franchising | Friday 9 June | 11:00 - 11:30

From leaving school at 15 to start as an apprentice hairdresser, to becoming a WH Smith Bestselling Author, Carl's journey has been full of highs and lows.

By training, Carl learned how to be an accountant by passing the exams. However his true passion came from building his business, and along the way he became a keen observer of what makes people tick, and how they are motivated. Carl's business journey was unusual. The professions were usually reserved for the middle class, and as someone who left school early with a reassuringly down-to-earth approach, the door was difficult to open.

That didn't put Carl off, and not only did he enter this world, but he also bought into his company and scaled it to the point where it was a multi-million turnover, multi-award winning business; which also allowed him to step back from day to day, and ultimately gave him the opportunity to share his insights globally with audiences on stage, his social media followers, in bookstores and in the press.

Along the way, Carl also managed to get involved with projects that not many people have the opportunity to do - from taking over a football club in the National League South, creating a federated National Governing Body for a sport which then successfully achieved Olympic funding, introducing Business Format Franchising to a country which ultimately led to the formation of their national franchising association, being a pro-bono advisor to the CEO of the largest network of Food Banks in the UK, becoming the face of marketing campaigns for some globally recognised brands, and so much more.

Carl now has a passion for sharing his views and insights far and wide, combining his unique experiences in business with the perspective that can only be gained from life.

Find out more about upcoming events here>>