What is Social Franchising?

Social Franchising constitutes a growing movement, through which social enterprises, NGOs, cooperatives -and in general all the organizations that are under the umbrella of social economy -, attempt to maximize the social impact in the societies, by mostly achieving common and pre-determined social objectives that are able to serve the needs of disadvantaged groups of individuals, deriving from different local spaces.

The term ‘franchising’ is widely well-known when it is correlated with commercial activities, such as in the case of chains of restaurants and shops that are located in different areas or countries under a common brand name; although the term of commercial franchising is not necessarily being connected with any social purpose.

Contrary, in order for the social franchising to exist, the presence of both a social franchisor and one -or more- franchisees is being required. By saying ‘social franchisor’ we imply a social enterprise -or another type of organization with a social purpose- that replicates a specific social enterprise business model, whilst by saying ‘social franchisee(s)’, we imply at least one independent organization with a social dimension that is being replicated by the social franchisor. Essential prerequisites are both the existence of a common social brand which is being managed by the social franchisor, as well as an exchange of know-how and a further interaction among the social franchisor and the social franchisees, whilst all of them do collaborate with the aim of accelerating the social impact that such alliance could have on pre-determined social target group(s).

Some examples of Social Franchising

To investigate further the term of social franchising, we will provide some tangible examples:

Social Franchising for Health

Website http://sf4health.org/

‘The Social Franchising for Health’ which is under the University of California, San Francisco. The specific model of social franchising is being depicted through the following picture:


Subsequently, the following picture-diagram depicts the Financing Model of the ‘Social Franchising for Health’:



Website http://www.lemat.se/en/index.html

Le Mat constitutes a social franchising organization which is addressed to social enterprises running hotels, hostels and B&B’s. The main social aim of LE MAT is to generate new job opportunities for unemployed people, by simultaneously providing the opportunity to one to become a social entrepreneur. Behind LE MAT social enterprise, is the LE MAT EUROPE franchisor that manages the social brand called ‘LE MAT’, thus seeking to convey this particular idea to many countries (www.lemat.coop ). The following video provides further details related to LE MAT scope:


Website http://energy4all.co.uk/

Energy4ALL established in 2002 with the aim of increasing the percentage of renewable energy co-operatives in the UK, due to the new circumstances that a low carbon economy requires.

As it’s written in the cooperative’s website ‘Energy4All is uniquely owned by the co-operatives it assists; As additional co-ops are established they too will take a share in this growing organisation.

Energy4All offers a highly successful combination of industry experience, community involvement, ethical investment and business acumen providing a package of sector, admin, and financial services to Co-ops in return for an annual fee’ (online source: http://energy4all.co.uk/about-us/)

In order to be informed on how Energy4all operates, please watch the following video:

The Global FoodBanking Network

Website https://www.foodbanking.org/
‘Food banking systems capture surplus food and deliver it to the people who need it most, engaging all sectors of society (governments, business, and civil) in the process. Food banks acquire donated food, much of which would otherwise be wasted, from farms, manufacturers, distributors, retail stores, consumers, and other sources, making it available to those in need through an established network of community agencies. These agencies include school feeding programs, food pantries, soup kitchens, AIDS and TB hospices, substance abuse clinics, after-school programs, and other nonprofit programs that provide food to the hungry’ (on-line source: https://www.foodbanking.org/)

Accordingly, the global network of Banks could be found here: