(on the cover; Hugo Menino Aguiar, co-founder of SPEAK at Chivas Venture Competition)

Everything starts with an ambition

Everything starts with an ambition. An ambition that has a noble-minded purpose: make a positive change; create something meaningful for the society.

Because that’s why you decided to start a business that is more impact driven than profit-oriented and make your contribution in solving one of today’s main global challenges: be these – climate change issues, refugees crisis, poverty, and unemployment – just to name few. But once you are able to turn your ambition into an expressed reality (a workable solution with a proven impact), your success is determined by how many people you are able to reach with your solution. And here’s where social franchising comes in.

Social Franchising has a huge potential to help us address the biggest problems of the world

The social franchising model is a way for small projects that successfully tackle social issues in a local context to scale internationally in a relatively easy and low-cost way, with reduced risks.

By definition, social franchising is a replication strategy of a proven organizational model according to the principles of commercial franchising, with the last aim of maximizing the social impact, while guaranteeing financial sustainability.

Because by adopting this model, social enterprises are able to save time and resources as they don’t need to reinvent the wheel or duplicate their resources and costs. Therefore, it is importante that the franchisor shares with the franchisee the learning processes, the methodologies and technologies. Also, the franchise agreement always involves a fee structure and assumes central training and support for the franchisee.

Act local, think Global

Several businesses were able to scale their success internationally through social franchising. To mention a few: Trussel Trust Foodbank (UK), Child Line (India) and CAP Markets (Germany).

Because your success at scale needs a business model designed in a way that makes its replication strategy easy and almost natural. Most importantly, it’s key to determine beforehand which elements are scalable, identify which are the core aspects of your local success and what elements are open to adaptation and evolution. Therefore, when entering the scaling process, you should answer some questions: is your social impact proven and evaluated? Is this a sustainable business model with clear ownership? Should you consider any cultural clashes? Basically, before the next step, you need to be “franchise ready”.

Social franchising can learn from commercial franchising

Take McDonald’s, Benetton, IKEA or Body Shop as examples of successful scaling through commercial franchising.

And now it’s time for social enterprises to learn from the techniques of commercial franchising, without prejudices.

By looking at the best practices adopted by commercial franchises, you can draw your successful scaling strategy:

  1. design your business for scale;
  2. choose the right partners aligned with your values;
  3. continuously develop, train and support your team,
  4. test your business again and again;
  5. create and foster a learning culture, open to feedback, innovation and new practices.

It all starts with an ambition, now you can make it possible.

Lastly, if you are a changemaker who cares about social integration, migrants and refugees empowerment, there’s a proven and scalable solution ready to take off.  Check our program Take SPEAK to your city.


Author: Michela Paolicelli

I am Full Stack Marketer at SPEAK. My daily mission is seeking the beauty in the world and find a way to spend most of my time in a lost esplanade!

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