Social Sector Franchise Initiative

The Social Sector Franchise Initiative (SSFI) is a project of the Center for Social Innovation and Enterprise (CSIE), a joint venture of the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics and the Carsey School of Public Policy, at the University of New Hampshire. CSIE collaborates closely on this initiative with The Rosenberg International Franchise Center (RIFC),  a respected authority on business format franchising, which is 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 SSFI aims to help contribute to this growing field 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 sectors 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 a social business accelerator model using rapid prototyping, mentoring, and other forms of technical support and 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.

UNH Students Support for Health Social Franchise Global Partners in Hope Togo

Last June, UNH nursing students Kiley McKenna, and Elizabeth Lapsley,  and Aboubacar Konate, UNH engineering graduate participated in a ten-day mission with Global Partners in Hope (GPiH) to conduct a community health needs assessment for the rural community surrounding the village of Agbelouve, Togo. GPiH uses a unique hub and spoke, social franchising model to deliver a wide range of health care services. A main hospital is built in a central location and then several smaller community clinics are set up a day’s walk away to serve local medical needs that do not require the more comprehensive services found at the hospital. Each small community clinic run by a nurse and operated at a franchise of the main hospital. The mission to Togo was supported by UNH Emeriti Council International Service Initiative Fund (EC-SISI) and the UNH Nursing Department.