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Franchising - The Business Model Spurring Social Change

social-franchise.jpgEver since Isaac Singer wanted to spread his sewing empire through the US in the 1850s, the idea of franchising has been used as a means to transfer business knowledge and experience geographically.
A new type of franchising has developed in recent years; social franchising. Like commercial franchising, people work together to share ideas driven by a common social goal.

It's just like a regular business franchise, without the monetary consideration.

Through the social franchising model, the health of women and infants throughout Africa has improved with Marie Stopes and Population Services International.

According to the European Social Franchising Network:

"To be a social franchise both the social franchisor and franchisees must be social enterprises (ie businesses that trade and have a social purpose) and there should be:

  • An organisation that replicates a social enterprise business model – the social franchisor.
  • At least one independent social franchisee that has been replicated by the social franchisor.
  • A common brand under which the social franchisees operate.
  • An interchange of knowledge between members."

Providing sexual and reproductive health care, there are Marie Stopes franchises in Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi and Sierra Leone.

Population Services International may be the social franchise equivalent of McDonalds with clinics all over the world. Providing malaria, child survival, HIV and reproductive health services throughout India, Pakistan, Lesotho, Swaziland, Togo, Uganda and other areas in Asia and Africa.

The social entrepreneur is a creature which has become more prevalent in the developed world since the recession with the search for meaningful work. Borne from the idea of corporate responsibility, where businesses work to give back socially to the community, the social entrepreneur focuses mainly on social change, with profit making a secondary consideration.

Social Franchising demonstrates how successful the knowledge sharing element of franchising is. Starting off a new business can be so daunting but the knowledge available from franchisors is what will get you through the tough times, and make sure you're in the know from your first morning in action.

We can't offer you opportunities to treat malaria in Africa, but several of our franchises and business opportunities have socially responsible approaches to trading.

Snak Appeal: Supports 25 children's hospices throughout the UK and Ireland. The franchise distributes and collects 'honesty boxes' of sweets, with a proportion of the profits going to charity.

DE Photo: Has donated more than £800,000 to grass roots sports, charitites and schools. You can become a photographer, even with no experience, within an organisation thatis responsible about social growth in the community.

Juice Community: This network of Fairtrade franchisees  distribute ethically-produced fruit juices. You can participate in a profit sharing scheme on all orders supplied directly to major retailers by the company.

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