Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Third buzzword of 2007

And, for those who have been waiting, we have found our third buzzword of the year (here are numbers one and two). Drumroll, please......and the word is....Microfranchising.

Some use the term to describe the practice of nonprofit organizations opening up and running a franchise of a commercial entity. Examples include nonprofits that run Ben and Jerry's outlets through the PartnerShop Program.

Others are using the term to describe the creation of small franchise enterprises that themselves have a social purpose. Examples include LivingGoods, which I've previously discussed here. More information is on a new blog called Microfranchising, which features stories on eyeglass franchises focused on the poor and the hippo water roller franchise.

My prediction? By January 2008 microfranchising will be a big part of the discussions among philanthropists and social entrepreneurs. Just remember, you heard it here.


Anonymous said...

Microfranchising isn't new for our local St. Vincent de Paul which runs 5 thrift stores whose primary purpose is to support our charitable services (food, prescription, furniture, clothing, rent/utilities, and housing assistance). Our thrift stores support about half of our charity; monetary and in-kind donations from corporations and individuals account for the remainder.

The thrift stores also provide, however, innumerable benefits to the community including encouraging the creative reuse of products thus helping the environment, and providing household goods and clothing at reasonable prices to satisfy our market. Our Thrift Stores are regularly voted #1 or #2 in Best Women's and Best Men's Clothing categories in our local newspaper.

St. Vincent de Paul's all across the nation study and learn from our stores, as do other nonprofits looking to set up similar shops.

Anonymous said...

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