Social Sector Franchise Initiative

The Social Sector Franchise Initiative is a project of the Center for Social Innovation and Enterprise, a joint venture of the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics and the Carsey School of Public Policy, both at the University of New Hampshire. The Center for Social Innovation & Enterprise collaborates closely on this initiative with The Rosenberg International Franchise Center (RIFC),  a respected authority on business format franchising, also at the Peter T. Paul College of Business & Economics.


Social Sector Franchising harnesses business format franchising, one of the most popular business models, to reach large numbers of customers with goods and services, which fulfill market and social needs. Social Sector Franchising businesses are represented in healthcare, clean water and sanitation, clean energy, education and other markets. 

The Social Sector Franchise Initiative (SSFI) aims to help contribute to the growing field of social sector franchising by providing applied research and information on social sector franchising mechanisms to help inform success for practicing social sector franchise leaders, non-governmental organizations; investors, donors and government officials. Our main activities include:     

  • Organizing events such as the annual Social Sector Innovations Roundtable, which bring together representatives from the social and commercial franchising sector to discuss how social franchises can improve both their social and financial bottom-lines by learning from and possibly partnering with commercial franchises.
  • Conducting action research on emerging social franchise businesses through a Living Case Study methodology which is an social business accelerator model using rapid prototyping, mentoring and other forms of technical support combined with data collection through a case study format.
  • Forming partnerships to create an enabling environment for socially oriented entrepreneurs working to build a social franchise industry.