AFFI Board Members (from left to right) : John Chung, President of Acquasuisse; Paul S. Tan, AFFI Director for Education, VP for Operations Aquabest; Armando O. Bartolome, AFFI Chairman of the Board, President of GMB Franchise Developers; Ricardo Z. Cuna, Chairman of 14th Franchise and Business Expo, President of Fiorgelato; Jean Uvero, AFFI Member and Fellowship Director, Owner of Nail It!; Jelyn Chung, AFFI Director for PR and Marketing, Owner of Acquasuisse; Josie See, AFFI Director for Membership and President of Peanut World; Anne Francisco, Owner of Ferinos Bibingka and AFFI Adviser; Mr Sonny V. Francisco, Director for Partnerships, Franchiser of Ferinos Bibingka; Jerry Neil C. Ilao, President and CEO of AFFI, President of Ink All You Can.

The Association of Filipino Franchisers Inc. (AFFI) is staging the “14th Franchise and Business Expo: Empowering Entrepreneurs” from October 2 to 4, 2015 at the World Trade Center Metro Manila.
Known as the biggest and longest-running event of its kind in the country, the expo brings together over 300 exhibitors showcasing a wide range of business concepts and brands from both the Philippines and a number of countries included in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It also hosts a broad array of seminars and activities from various organizations to further improve the business acumen of all participating parties and promote exhibiting brands.
“Every year, members of AFFI look forward to this expo because it gathers some of the most dynamic and insightful minds in the local business community,” says Ricardo Cuna, owner of the Fiorgelato ice cream franchise and head of the 14th Franchise and Business Expo organizing committee. “Since its conceptualization years ago, it has become an important platform to showcases businesses, promote brands and pursue the association’s goals in aiding local businessmen.”
In order to push its endeavours to improve the local business sector, AFFI includes in the expo this year around 300 household names in the franchising industry as well as start-up entrepreneurs thereby allowing them to showcase their concepts alongside participating franchisers. The inclusion of these new businessmen goes hand in hand with the association’s recent rebranding effort to extend its membership not only franchisers but to entrepreneurs as well.
 “We believe that the expo will be very beneficial to new business owners since it will allow them to test their concepts or further promote them to the show’s large following,” Cuna says. “It will also help AFFI in developing start-ups who may eventually move into franchising.”
In line with its attempt to aid new entrepreneurs, AFFI has also launched this year the expo’s  comprehensive Business Journey series, an actual tour for aspiring business owners, guiding them on how to go into business. It contains extensive information on how to become a successful entrepreneur, the proper mindset one must have in starting a business, and how one can properly utilize available government services, investment tools and technology in pursuing one’s entrepreneurial aspirations.
 “These days, it is very important to nurture the Filipino entrepreneurs and make it ready to compete with in a global arena,” Cuna says. “With the on-going ASEAN integration, more and more foreign brands will be entering the country. Therefore, it is necessary for us to properly arm our local businessmen so as to improve their chances of success despite heavy competition. This is why the expo and AFFI itself have concentrated on the goal of empowerment.”
Founded by a handful of local business owners back in 1997, AFFI now stands as one of the largest and oldest trade organizations in the Philippines. The group was spearheaded in order to promote responsible small medium enterprise businesses through franchising. Currently, it consists of Filipino corporate presidents, CEOs, and prominent businessmen who seek to improve the competitive potential of the local businesses in the global market. This year’s “14th Franchise and Business Expo: Empowering Entrepreneurs” is but one of the many events the association pushed for this year in order to realize its goals.