The nonprofit sector has been traveling the familiar road of donors and grants for a long time, yet many fear that road is becoming narrow and overcrowded, which prompts many to consider a new journey to reinvigorate them and provide reliable resources for the mission ahead. While the path of social enterprise becomes well trod with new business development, earned-income and job-training platforms, it has left some travelers by the wayside with failed attempts, diminished resources and constantly moving targets. Moreover, those that have succeeded cannot afford to continue to rely solely on a single path if their full potential is to be reached.
There are almost a million franchised businesses in the U.S., accounting for over 10% of private sector output and employing as many as 11 million Americans, according to the International Franchise Association. At the same time, franchise companies face an efficient capital marketplace with new competitors emerging daily, giving franchise prospects more choices and opportunities than ever before, and making it more difficult for concepts to distinguish themselves among their competitors. Also, many franchise companies are considering how they can effectively participate in socially responsible endeavors to support the communities they serve, but have struggled to find a disciplined approach beyond making donations, holding special events or the traditional efforts.
Welcome to the Era of Social Franchise, the intersection of the nonprofit and franchise sectors, which can create a powerful and compelling gate to the future. It promises to provide renewed prospects for differentiation, to develop long-term sustainability, and to enhance the mission or goal for the conjoining parties. While there have been some pioneers who have forged ahead over the past decade, there are numerous opportunities for “social franchises” in the United States today, and it represents an emerging and dynamic new path for generating revenue and meaningful job creation.
If you would like more information on how SFI can help your orgainization create a Social Franchise Strategy please contact us.