Via Uno won this year’s award for the best franchising concept at the International Franchising Fair, held in Paris last month, where the Brazilian shoe company exhibited along with 400 other franchisors from many different sectors. Nearly 27,000 people attended the show. Via Uno has been very successful with its franchising program since its launch in 2005. It now has a total of 235 stores around the world, including 151 in Brazil and 84 in more than 15 other countries including Chile, Mexico, Cuba, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, Dubai and South Africa, among others. Founded in 1991 in Novo Hamburgo, the company produces 8 million pairs a year at four Brazilian factories that employ more than 5,000 workers. About half of the production is sold abroad. Paquetà, the big Brazilian shoe manufacturer and retailer, is said to have indirectly a stake in Via Uno.