In a “Big Society” many of the exciting education and youth social enterprises that I advise will take on an increasingly important role. Some argue that “social franchising” is the key to scaling these organisation up quickly and effectively, but is this model of replication really the magic bullet we are promised?
I just posted this blog based on some research I carried out earlier this year. I'd love to know your thoughts on it.
Possibly Lois. On reflection it's a franchising approach of sorts we've been basing our work on over some years. Replication had been achieved in the work done in Tomsk,Siberia which was the proof of concept for our social purpose business model and that was managed and then replicated in several other cities by USAID.
Our 2004 paper prescribed a franchised cellular model for rural community broadband which would re-invest in the funding of new social enterprise. In this context it was both a franchise and self-replicating.
It hasn't worked yet though the potential still exists. Failure to find investment and be heard amongst social enterprise orthodoxy might be the reason.
Our efforts re-located to Eastern Europe to produce a national scale strategy for social enterprise in Ukraine where at least one component was franchise model.
I've posted up a few pieces as well over the years on this subject - http://thirdsectorexpert.blogspot.com/2010/03/franchising-social-en...
and have been involved in social franchsing for about 12 years now in various capacities from involvement in at least 2 national programmes (so was slightly bemused to read that CAN are support a 'new' initiative into social franchising when they've run their own before, with some unexpected outcomes..), as well as creating new social franchise offers, critically evaluating others', and also managing franchises.
Anyways - I also looked at various models and theories of social franchising recently as part of my accredited level 6 advanced diploma in business support - which raised some interesting issues... (most of which I've covered in the linked to blog post above). Would be happy to share this freely once my assessor gives me the nod that it doesn't need any redrafting, and also happy to share stories in addition to those in the blog post and its links...
and in case anyone missed it, there was also an article in the Guardian last week on this issue as well - http://www.guardian.co.uk/social-enterprise-network/2011/jan/07/loo...