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Franchising for social change

January 6, 2013

When one thinks of franchising, the examples that come to mind are the commercially successful ones and typically fast-food or coffee related, like McDonalds and Starbucks.

But then there’s another form of franchising called “social franchising” where the primary goal is not in creating monetary profits, but creating social benefit.

From a franchisee perspective, it works in the same way as a commercial franchise would, in the sense that not everyone can be an entrepreneur or innovator but they are willing to work hard and can be trained to run a business.

With social franchising, many people want to create positive change in their community; they’re prepared to work hard too, they just don’t know how.

So social franchising gives these people the opportunity to do so through a quickly replicable model that the franchisee adopts and is given systems and support for operating.

And being replicable means social franchising offers a way to scale up successful solutions to benefit more people over a greater geographical area.

The key differentiator of social franchising is that, like social entrepreneurship, social franchisees are able to turn a profit while creating social change, and are not wholly reliant on donations like an NGO would be.

Social franchising in South Africa:

In South Africa, there is huge potential for expanding social franchising in order to better the lives of disadvantaged individuals and communities.

So how does one do it?

Social franchising relies on social enterprises systematising the work they do, says chief executive for the International Centre for Social Franchising (ICSF), Dan Berelowitz.

“You put as much of the operational elements as possible into an operating manual, a day-to-day bible of the organisation so to speak,” he says.

This means that it can be easily replicated elsewhere. But people are by no means homogenous, meaning systematising can be a challenge.

To meet this challenge, ICFS has developed a prototype online toolkit for small enterprises that want to replicate their work.

A working example:

South African social franchise, Sport For All, offers a working example of the social franchising model: Sport is an excellent means for boosting confidence, enhancing life skills and social interaction with peers, as well as weight loss and fitness.

The business therefore uses a structured, multi-sport curriculum to train children, youth and adults in a number of different sports and improve the inactive lifestyles of families with limited access to quality recreational activities.

Sport For All originally started out as an NGO in 1996, but as CEO Kelli Givens explains, “sustainability became an issue.

That’s when it was decided to introduce a fully-commercial franchise model to ensure that the concept could be run on a profitable basis. That assures its future,” she explains.

Sport For All offers companies with the opportunity to fulfill their social responsibility goals by acting as sponsors. “Most franchisees set up on municipal grounds, where they can take advantage of facilities and reach out to communities historically lacking in this kind of programme,” says Givens.

Things to consider

When contemplating a social franchise, it’s important to:

• Find a partner aligned with your. values

• Consider the kind of license you will grant to franchisees

• What fees and royalties will be payable to the franchisor

• Determine what training and support there will be for franchisees

• Branding, intellectual property and. systematising operation

For more information about ICSF, replication readiness tests, and resources available, visit http://www.the-icsf.org

Link to the original article:
http://bizconnect.standardbank.co.za/sector-news/franchising/franchising-social-change.aspx

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

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4 Comments
  1. cvheerden permalink

    I really dig your approach. Got here through #build_SA on twitter. Great man! There are many who are currently trying their hand at creating networks for sustainable change in SA, good people, good hearts, really needing to link. Check out http://www.educationconnectionsa.com/ for a nice new network (not mine). Also includes Sports etc.

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