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Enfranchising change-makers

Seven reasons how social franchising can work for enterprises and entrepreneurs

· entrepreneurship,social enterprise,franchising,change maker,social impact
The skeptic

A way for charities to raise money. This is how I was introduced to Social Enterprise. This oversimplification is still used today. I was not hooked.

#SocEnt is a totally different approach to doing business, and tackling complex societal challenges.

When I was introduced to social #franchising it was sold to me as a “McDonalds” #strategy for #scale. Like we can’t find a more compelling example?

There are some excellent pioneer’s of social franchising as a #strategy (look to Spring Impact) and some great examples of the model in action (look to WSV Global).

  Being converted

Through the work of Spring Impact I learned enough to appreciate the strategy. Enough to support Speak founders to base replicating in 100 cities on social franchising. It is through learning-by-doing as part of the team that I have been converted.

Social franchising won’t work for everyone or everything. Yet as I have writtenalready, even thinking about can be useful, as part of planning to grow for example.

I believe it can really work, both for enterprises and entrepreneurs.

  Here are seven reasons how

For enterprises

  • When you have proved what you do works at a certain level, social franchising may enable you to, teach others to do it. Growing then is as a developing community of practice and support network. Impact, creativity and capacity become crowdsourced.
  • This could mean you develop as a technology company providing software-as-a-service to that network. Perhaps deploying this to manage key aspects of the model, measure impact effectively, and to otherwise share resources.
  • Leading a franchise is an entrepreneurial effort, even if the entrepreneuership snobs celebritise another heroes. If this is vital to your model and engaging the creativity and entrepreneurial culture of a dispersed team is important to you, then social franchising may be a way.
  • Say you want to offer flexible working, job-sharing, include people with additional needs in your teams, embrace intercultural benefits of diversity in international operations. How can you do that early enough to make a difference to how your business grows and matures? Social franchising, is a less isolated entrepreneurial challenge; it is delegated and standardised, yet can be flexible and adaptable.

For entrepreneurial people

  • For those people wanting to change the world (including young people), the support and community-based platform for social franchises may offer the ideal learning environment and support structure. Franchises may provide more exit options for founders than something which is entirely their own idea, including selling it or managing the handover to someone else.
  • For skilled freelancers, family leaders, students, and other portfolio workers, leading a social franchise may enable people to share their skills and benefit from different business models in their life.
  • For those who need flexibility, want to work in a team, share the roles and the responsibilities of creating a business and creating their own employment, social franchising may enable groups of people to achieve this.

Concluding thoughts

Perhaps this is why the founders we have started to attract to Take Speak to Their City include a high proportion of women, a high proportion of migrants, and teams who appreciate job-sharing the roles and responsibilities.

If this sounds like you, contact us.

If you want to consider this as part of your enterprise or as a social entrepreneur in a UK City, drop me a line

This is defintely why we are exploring social franchising as the way to replicate our successful social enterprise-based affordable school in Nigeria.

  • An opportunity to work with entrepreneurial education professionals;
  • an opportunity to co-produce effective educational management systems; and
  • an opportunity to reflect and take collective action in problem solving for such diverse and often volatile operating environments.

Website coming soon …

Interested in this already, then drop me a line on

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