Bruce Billson elected chair of Franchise Council

Former Small Business Minister Bruce Billson has been appointed executive chair of the Franchise Council of Australia (FCA) board.

“Franchising is a wonderful model for entrepreneurship where people can be in their own business but not be on their own for this commercial journey,” Mr Billson said.

“The experience and know-how made available by franchise systems and the drive and entrepreneurship of franchisees combined to make franchising a very resilient business model during and post-GFC.

“With improved business conditions, now is the time to take Australia’s leading role in franchising to the next level and grow the number of first-class systems, investors and livelihoods made possible by franchising.”

Mr Billson was the Minister for Small Business from September 2013 until September 2015.

“I am excited to be able to work with the FCA board, executive team and membership to build on the positive momentum in franchising by continuing to nurture confidence in this model of commerce, the capacity of the sector and our commitment to quality to ensure more people see franchising as a pathway to a more prosperous future.

“There is considerable scope to expand the appeal of franchising, particularly to the increasing number of women and young people looking to ‘have a go’ in their own business, by adding to the 79,000 independently-owned and operated franchised outlets.

“Our export markets are also ripe and ready for successful and proven Australian franchise systems to expand their reach,” Mr Billson said.

In addition to Mr Billson’s board appointment, the Franchise Council will shortly be appointing a new CEO with the board keen to reset, renew and reenergise the value, contribution and representation of the FCA.

Outgoing FCA chairman and Pack & Send founder and CEO, Michael Paul, said the board felt the time is right to expand the organisation’s positive outreach and engagement to boost the understanding and profile of franchising in order to increase membership, sector investment and education.

“Great franchise systems backed by informed investors able to access learning and training opportunities are the best conditions to encourage people to invest, recruit and expand”, Mr Paul said.

“With more than 1100 operating franchise systems in Australia employing 460,000 people, franchising is an important and positive contributor to our economy and needs to be well represented, nurtured and promoted in order to fulfil its potential to contribute even more to Australia.

“The FCA is certain that the future of franchising is very positive and the Board has taken decisive action to reshape the industry body to be able to add greater value for franchisors, franchisees and sector service providers as franchising continues to grow.

“The positivity, experience and passion of Mr Billson will enhance the Board’s interaction with the executive team to enhance the FCA’s performance, help raise the public profile and understanding of franchising and improve how the sector’s value and benefits are communicated to the broader community,” Mr Paul said.

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