Social Franchise Accelerator
The world’s first Social Franchising Accelerator was established at the UCT Graduate School of Business Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship in partnership with the International Centre for Social Franchising (ICSF), and Franchising Plus in 2014.
With funding from the Rockerfeller Foundation, the initiative was a unique academic-NGO-private sector partnership to help meet the needs of poor and vulnerable people across the country by supporting and scaling up successful social impact organisations.
Former President Bill Clinton aptly noted “Nearly every problem has been solved by someone, somewhere. The frustration is that we can’t seem to replicate (those solutions) anywhere else”.
Social impact organisations can be NGOs or social enterprises that are successfully helping to solve social and environmental problems through their work.
Using the tools of commercial franchising, which have proven to be highly effective in growing businesses, creating local ownership and economic wealth, the idea behind the Social Franchising Accelerator was to take successful social impact organisations and create the systems and support necessary to replicate these effectively. The intervention started with training of ten organisations on the mechanism of social franchising. Out of these, four were chosen to undergo extensive mentoring and consulting to enable them to develop social franchise models.
Social franchising is a powerful way to replicate successful projects. Instead of reinventing the wheel and wasting scarce resources, social franchising enables successful social impact organisations to reach greater numbers of beneficiaries far more quickly than would be possible if they were to expand on a wholly owned or branched basis as it makes use of social franchisees’ resources and local knowledge.
“By combining the best of the private sector and social sector practice on two continents, we are well-placed to ensure that positive social impacts can be multiplied so that greater numbers of people benefit from models that already working well,” said Anita du Toit, Franchise Consultant and Partner at Franchising Plus.
In addition to offering one-to-one in-depth franchising support, the Social Franchising Accelerator also offered one-to-many training, funding and mentoring to create a comprehensive package of support to enable impact enterprises to franchise and scale up their social impact sustainably.