2016 Social Sector Franchise Innovations Roundtable

The Social Sector Franchise Innovations Roundtable (SSFIR) is an invitation only conference convening a diverse cross section of social sector franchise entrepreneurs, commercial franchise experts, social impact donors and investors, scholars, and students. The goal of the Roundtable is to identify barriers to growth and define actions that can build the social sector franchising ecosystem among diverse contexts, customers, financing, and donor/investor relationships.

Roundtable 2016 Highlights:

  • A commercial and social franchise expert panel mapped out common interests to build bridges between commercial practices and social sector goals.
  • Impact investors and donors explored how to move projects from pilot to investment-ready and discuss risk factors and design weaknesses, which may impede participation of social oriented investors in the social franchise sector.
  • A health panel discussed the role of health franchises in delivering high quality and essential care to people in the developing world.
  • Three social sector franchise cases, each at a different stage of maturity and complexity, the subjects of a day-long Accelerator process that resulted in action plans to be implemented over several months. These social sector franchises will receive ongoing support and report back progress and challenges to the Roundtable website.

For detailed agenda, click here.

Tuesday, September 27

  • 9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.            
    Review of the Roundtable Agenda and Welcome 

  • 9:15 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.          

    Opening Keynote Address and Q & A, Ella Gudwin, President of VisionSpring

    Dr. Gudwin is President of VisionSpring, an international social enterprise creating access to affordable eyewear in emerging and frontier markets. She heads up global operations that are accelerating the uptake of eyeglasses among consumers who earn less than $4 per day as a means to improve income earning potential, academic achievement, and quality of life.  More video clips here.
  • 10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.        
    Brief Introductions of participants - names, organizational affiliations

  • 10:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.        
    Coffee/Tea Break

  • 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.        
    Panel and Discussion - Financing Social Sector Franchising: Risks, Innovation, and Breakthroughs


  • Michael Swack, Center for Impact Finance/UNH (Moderator)
  • Randy Welsch, Co-founder and Investor of Jibu
  • Ambassador John Simon, TOTAL Impact Capital 
  • Marguerite Farrell, Private Sector Health Team Leader, GH/PRH/SDI, USAID
  • 12:00 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.           

  • 12:45 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.            
    Social Sector Franchising from a Health Impact Perspective 


  • Julie McBride, Franchise Advisor, DKT International (moderator)
  • Annelies Dekker, Deputy Director Quality, PharmAccess
  • Anna Gerrard, Head of Social Franchising, Population Services International
  • Ian Vickers, CEO, Global Partners in Hope.
  • 1:45 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.            
    Living Case Study (LCS) Accelerator Social Sector Franchiser Presentations – Part One (first two cases)
  • 3:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.            
    Coffee/Tea Break

  • 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.            
    Living Case Study Accelerator Social Sector Franchiser Presentations - Part Two (Case Three)

  • 4:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.            
    Developing the Social Sector Franchise Ecosystem: Where Are We Going and Are We Ready? 


  • Kim Wilson, Tufts University (Moderator)
  • Deborah Burand, NYU
  • Dr. Ella Gudwin, President VisionSpring
  • Josh Merin, IFA
  • Kim Alter, Virtue Ventures
  • 5:45 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.            
    Pre-dinner Break

  • 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.            
    Evening Keynote and Dinner* – Dr. Aristotle Alip

Dr. Alip is the founder of CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institutions, the largest microfinance and microinsurance organization in Southeast Asia. CARD is the sponsor of Hapinoy, a leading women-owned chain of convenience stores in the Philippines.More video clips here.


Wednesday, September 28 

  • 8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.            

  • 8:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.            
    Introduction of the Social Sector Franchise Accelerator Process

  • 8:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.            
    Accelerator Solutions Prototyping with Working Lunch* (buffet available from 12:00pm – 12:45pm)

On the second day the roundtable, participants will be break into three groups, one for each LCS franchiser, to work through a solutions iteration accelerator process that will have as its end result an action plan for moving the franchise forward. The action plan will identity possible strategies for solving key constraints, attracting financing, resolving management dilemmas, etc. The action plan will guide the mentoring relationship between the IFA mentor and the LCS franchiser.

  • 1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.            
    Each team will have 15 minutes to report back on the solutions iteration accelerator process and the action plan created.

  • 1:45 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.              
    Next Steps and Wrap-Up

*Meals included in conference registration

For more information, and to request an invitation to the Roundtable, please email/call the SSFI Director, William Maddocks at william.maddocks@unh.edu / 508-574-3285 (mobile)