The Social Franchise Accelerator project is wrapping up after a year-long journey with four social impact organisations. Franchising Plus, along with UCT’s Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and the International Centre for Social Franchising (ICSF) ran the programme to assist social impact organisations to ramp up their scaling plans.

The Social Franchising Accelerator helped these four organisations during their franchising journey. Each of the organisations was taken through the first four phases of a five-phased social franchising process, starting with proving the business model, and moving into a design, systemisation, and piloting phase.

During the month of August we ran workshops around the country to share the main insights from the project. The main learning was that there are eight critical success factors to consider when embarking on a journey of replication through social franchising. We divided these success factors into pre-decision and post-decision aspects that need to be considered.

Pre-Decision to scale:

1. Validate upfront that replication as well as social franchising is right for your solution and organisation.
2. Confirm all members of the organisation are ready to systemise and adopt a “scaling mindset”
3. Ensure that sufficient processes, systems, and resources are in place before deciding on a social franchise strategy
4. Articulate your social franchise strategy – i.e., your vision, outcomes, model, values & approach – collectively, upfront

Post-Decision to scale:

5. Franchise only those elements of your model that are critical to your target outcomes and replicable
6. Be clear on which individuals and organisations you will work with: Set clear selection criteria
7. Systemise vigorously to ensure reliability, yet dare to customise your model to local needs and demands
8. Don’t cease to learn and adapt & pace your scaling efforts: Getting your first franchise right is key

If you missed the workshops or would like to learn about social franchising, visit our website www.socialfranchising.co.za