Chamber to Host 'Franchise Focus' on March 21

Published Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Clarksville Area Chamber of Commerce announces its second annual event aimed at enhancing and enriching local entrepreneurial opportunities. This year’s workshop, titled Franchise Focus, will provide materials on franchises that have expressed interest in the Clarksville-Montgomery County market.

“Entrepreneurship is at the heart of the local business community,” said Sidney Johnson, board chairman of the Clarksville Area Chamber of Commerce. “We have seen increased interest in franchise opportunities in the last few years and, by focusing this year’s event on franchising, we hope to match entrepreneurs with specific opportunities.” 

Franchise Focus is a half-day workshop that includes two keynote speakers plus a panel of local entrepreneurs. Each will share their experiences and offer step-by-step advice relating to both starting a business and franchise options.  

The seminar will take place at Old Glory Distilling Company, 451 Alfred Thun Road, on Tuesday, March 21. The cost is $30 per person and includes breakfast. The event is offered at a discounted rate thanks to additional funding by the Aspire Clarksville Foundation.

“The future of Clarksville is dependent on small business owners and the services that they offer this community,” said Melinda Shepard, Chamber of Commerce executive director.

Keynote speaker April Consulo is a Hall of Fame songwriter, a top five percent award winning Realtor®, vice mayor of Lakewood, Tenn., and CEO and founder of a non-profit organization. Her  501(c)(3) not-for-profit, The Friends of Lakewood, assisted children and addressed issues like beautification and neighborhood watch programs.

Consulo is also the author of Permission to Live. “This book comes from the desire and passion to teach women to dust of their dreams, and offers step-by step-advice on how to make it happen,” she says. “As a ‘serial entrepreneur,’ I know what it takes to sacrifice time away from your family and friends to build a successful business.”

Participants will also hear from Gigi Butler, entrepreneur and founder of Gigi’s Cupcakes, which opened a franchise location in Clarksville in 2016. Butler, who had opened a cleaning company at age 15, moved to Nashville to pursue county music professionally. After a decade of cleaning houses by day and singing at night, Butler decided to take a chance on another passion – baking.

In eight short years, Gigi’s is now the largest cupcake franchise in the world with more than 100 locations. Her franchise locations grossed an estimated $43 million in sales in 2013. Gigi admits she’s living the unexpected American Dream as she risked it all on an idea hoping customers would love her creations.

A panel of local entrepreneurs, Allan Groves (DQ of Clarksville), David Berggren (Furniture Connection), and Dr. Deborah Hellums (Right at Home) will kick off the event by sharing their insight and experience.

To reserve your spot or for more information, please contact Lucian Green at 931-245-4342 or Lucian@clarksville.tn.us.

 About the Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber of Commerce was established in 1905 to represent the interests of the business community and its membership by advancing community development, promoting the business and economic environment, and improving the welfare of the community by enhancing the quality of life in the region. Today, Chamber membership is composed of 1,625 individuals from 896 businesses and is located at 25 Jefferson Street, Suite 300. Learn more at www.clarksvillechamber.com.

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