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.


The SSFI aims to help contribute to the success of the growing field of social sector franchising by providing applied research and information on social sector franchising mechanisms to help inform practicing social sector franchise leaders, non-governmental organizations; investors, donors, and government officials.

SSFI programming includes:    

  • Social Sector Franchise Innovations Roundtable (SSFIR)
    SSFIR is an annual invitation only conference convening a diverse cross section of social sector franchise entrepreneurs, commercial franchise experts, social impact investors and donors, as well as scholars and select students.
  • Social Sector Franchise Accelerator (SSFA)
    A combined accelerator and action learning applied research project, the Accelerator takes place over eight months and engages emerging social sector franchise entrepreneurs who receive intensive organizational support including ongoing mentoring with a commercial franchise expert.
  • Action Research on Emerging Social Franchise Businesses
    Accelerator social franchises are also subjects of a Living Case Study (LCS) methodology studied through field-based action research conducted by UNH students and faculty that will result in published case studies.
  • Field Level Research and Support Through a Community of Practice
    We contribute to the development of the SSF ecosystem through research on successful models, barriers to investment capital access, impact measurement, a taxonomy and comparison to other social enterprise replication models.
  • Strategic Partnerships
    We work with the commercial franchise industry, private philanthropy, impact investors and INGOs, other academic institutions, and social enterprise networks to create an enabling environment for socially oriented entrepreneurs working to build a social franchise industry.


Fiona Wilson Ashoka U Big Talk Video

While social entrepreneurship has been growing in popularity around the world, there are relatively few examples replicated for large-scale impact. Fiona Wilson, Executive Director of the Center for Social Innovation & Enterprise, dives into method to scale social entrepreneurship projects in a way that has potential to help humanity tackle some of the worlds grandest challenges.