Wednesday, January 02, 2008

MicroFranchise Venture Fund

Jason Fairbourne mentioned, almost in passing, that the BYU MicroFranchise Development Initiative has a verbal commitment of $100 million dollars to start a MicroFranchise Venture Fund in India. UNITUS, the microfinance accelerator, originally came out of BYU, perhaps this will turn out to have similar success but for microfranchising.

The focus on India is interesting; it is becoming the popular place to launch microfranchises: Scojo, Rat Catchers, OneRoof, n-Logue, Dishtree.

It will be interesting to see who they recruit to manage the fund and the companies they initially invest in. I suspect the highlighted practitioners at the conference would be likely candidates.

If you had $100 million to invest in microfranchises who would you support as your early investees?


Robert said...

David, I can't help but want more information about this. A $100 million fund to invest in microfranchises? Can Jason give us more info? I ask because such a commitment, if real, would rival Omidyar's $100m gift to Tufts to fund microfinance, or other fund announcements in the emerging markets world.

As you have more info, please post it, I will be watching carefully!

Rob Katz

Paul said...

I hope they connect with Opportunity International as well- Ted Mosier talked at TechAwards about their efforts to take successful borrowers and use them as potential microfranchisees.

The other fund that seems similar is James Tooley's one for schools for the poor.

Paul Hudnut

Anonymous said...

I had an interesting experience at an 'International Social Franchise Summit' in Berlin in early December, hosted by the German Federation of Foundations. The panel I facilitated focused on the role of donors and the need for differentiated investment approaches--e.g., start-up financing, growth financing, etc. It reminded me of discussions in the microfinance sector 5-7 years ago.

I'll be interested to see if this $100 million fund surfaces.

Sean Kline
Director, Reach global
(a B2B social franchise recently launched in India, West Africa and Mexico)
Freedom from Hunger

Sean Kline said...

Any news on a microfranchise venture fund?

Reach Global