Thursday, September 13, 2007

In the News: Microfranchising at NextBillion

A post today responding to the SSIR article about microfranchising over at NextBillion.

I obviously echo Ana's thoughts about microfranchising being a 'hot topic' of late, hence this blog. I will say that Microfranchising isn't a new phenomenon, it just has a name now. But I do think having a name has great power and implications for the sector. The two parts of the word 'micro' and 'franchising' both carry certain connotations and imply certain lines of thinking. I think the word can also help social entreprenuers think and design their interventions with an eye towards replication from the beginning. It really is the principles advocated in such books as the popular E-Myth, now applied to the BOP. I also think the name is very appealing to private sector donors/funders/investors who are businessmen through and through and want a big bang-for-their-buck in their social investments as well. Not to say that's the heart of the matter but I do think the word resonates with them.

Ana also mentions the pity that the new publication MicroFranchising: Creating Wealth at the Bottom of the Pyramid is so expensive. I think the authors were likewise disappointed in the price set by the publisher in terms of the popular audience it could reach. And so things are already in motion to publish a new book for a wider audience that will focus on telling the stories of microfranchisees and the founders of the organizations.

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