FIP 48: Social Franchising Series 1/4: Social Franchising 101 with Bill Maddocks

Bill Maddocks is University of New Hampshire’s Director of Social Sector Franchise Initiative, Director of Sustainable Microfinance and Development Program and Community and Economic Development Advisor for UNH Cooperative Extension. Bill has been involved in the economic justice movement for 3 decades, and for 7 years he led the Microenterprise and Development Institute at the School of Community Economic Development at Southern New Hampshire University, which had a training program in Africa and the United States.

Kicking off our 3-part series on Social Franchising, Bill takes us through “Social Franchising 101” where he sets the landscape for us to dive deeper in the following two podcasts. On this episode we discuss:

  • How to define social franchise, which is similar to a commercial franchise, but differentiates itself by providing goods or services that improve social outcomes.
  • Core components of a commercial franchise that provides the bedrock for social franchising, namely operational systems, a defined brand, and franchisee ownership over their franchise.
  • A brief overview of the challenges posed by building a franchise model in emerging markets compared to established markets ones by highlighting institutional and market differences.
  • The social franchise entry-point: microfranchising and microconsignment. These models require less up-front investment than a full franchise, offer more procedural flexibility, and minimal ownership stake.
  • How social franchising is on the rise among revenue-generating social enterprises as a replication model and in particular, an attempt to shift from subsidized, charity-based structures to profitable social businesses.
  • How to assess your social enterprise’s readiness for social franchising and whether it is the appropriate replication model for you based on established procedures and brand development, market fitness, pricing, and your internal capacity to share knowledge and train others. We hear about a Malawian agro-veterinarian retail business and its journey through franchising.
  • When to start planning to replicate using the franchising model. Hint: early birds get the worm!
  • Alternative replication models, including licensing and joint ventures, and how they are similar and different from franchising.
  • Insights into UNH’s social franchising accelerator program, where the public can learn from the 7 month journey of 5 social enterprises as they confront and overcome the challenges of building their social franchises.

Resources

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