Wessex is currently running three social enterprises that address issues for those living on less than $2/day: Petal, educating communities and providing women with sanitary napkins; Roots, building hygienic toilet facilities that turn waste into fertilizer; and Right Light, which rents solar lamps to communities without adequate infrastructure. Their business-in-a-box approach deploys these offerings through a microfranchise model, creating entrepreneurship opportunities for communities and individuals. Wessex’s “Million Million Million” plan seeks to provide 1 million school children with safe, hygienic toilets, 1 million girls with affordable, hygienic sanitary towels, and 1 million people with access to affordable, safe lighting in five years. By collaborating with entities in the private, public, and social sector, Wessex Social Enterprises aids in international development by empowering impoverished people to meet their own needs in sustainable ways. Learn more...
Adam Boxer – London, United Kingdom
Wessex Social Ventures
Adam, from London, UK, has a passion for frugal innovation, innovation that changes lives.
While studying at the University of Southampton, Adam spent most of his time developing projects in India and East Africa. Solutions to grassroots challenges like sanitation and roofing; working with the likes of IIMA, India’s top management University. This work led Adam to found a social business incubator at the University. One of his creations, JuaMaji, may be the first sustainable solution to the global water crisis, already recognized by Unilever among others.
When Adam graduated with a 1st class Masters in Aerospace Engineering, he turned his back on the corporate and engineering routes, co-founding Wessex Social Ventures C.I.C. (WSV), an impact accelerator and social franchisor. With WSV’s Million, Million, Million Plan; to set up micro-franchises that will provide 1 million women and girls with reusable sanitary towels, 1 million school children with improved toilets and 1 million people with sustainable lighting, in 5 years. Adam, alongside his co-founder Bradley Heslop, is starting to revolutionize the way aid is provided.
Adam is also the Founder of the Royal Society of Arts’ International Development Network; leading debates, fostering ideas and facilitating collaboration by hundreds of fellows.
Adam by himself offers an unnerving talent to tackle almost any problem and the passion and work ethic to make it happen. But, combine him with his co-founder Bradley and you have a something truly special, a perfectly balanced partnership that is truly to be reckoned with!
Marla Rosner, IFA Social Sector Task Force
Marla Rosner is the Senior Training and Employee Development Consultant for Michael H. Seid & Associates, LLC (MSA), a domestic and international franchise advisory firm. She has excelled as a training professional for over twenty years.
During her 16-year tenure with Supercuts, an international hair care franchisor, Marla helped build the system from 75 locations to over 1,100 salons. As Vice President of Training and Development Marla led a team of professional trainers, instructional designers, and vendors to produce management and technical curriculum aimed at increased sales, productivity, employee retention and business profitability. During her tenure with Supercuts, Marla trained over 75% of all franchisees, resulting in the company's most aggressive expansion over a twenty-year period. Marla was also a franchisee of the Supercuts system.
She has developed employee and trainer certification programs, as well as management tools for performance appraisal programs and employee retention. Her specialty in interpersonal skills training has enabled Marla to help companies successfully develop first-time managers who are often challenged in supervising store-level employees. As a seasoned public speaker, Marla facilitates programs for franchise and manager conventions, seminars and events. Marla has created and is an instructor of CFE-accredited classes for the International Franchise Association Education Foundation.
Andrew T. Seid, Consultant. MSA Worldwide
Andrew is a consultant for MSA Worldwide, a domestic and international franchise advisory firm. While an experienced litigator and a transactional lawyer in franchising, Franchising has been part of his life-long experience starting when he attended his first International Franchise Association convention at the age of ten.
Andrew earned his BA in business from Franklin & Marshall and his JD from Villanova University School of Law. Starting in high school and continuing through college and law school, Andrew has worked with MSA clients in the design of franchise systems, competitive research, mergers and acquisitions, and franchise sales. He interned at the IFA working closely with many of the leading figures in franchising, as well as gaining experience as an intern with several well-known franchise law firms. His academic background in labor and employment law and his legal foundation in franchising, when coupled with his business and consulting experience, brings a unique dynamic our clients can rely upon.
While as a consultant Andrew is no longer practicing law, he is a member of the bar in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Connecticut and practiced as a litigator until he joined MSA as a consultant. MSA does not provide any legal advice or services for our clients as we are not a law firm; however, Andrew remains active and continues his participation at ABA and IFA legal symposiums. This gives him the capacity to review the legal documents prepared by our client’s outside lawyers from a perspective that provides significant benefits to our clients.
In addition to his other client services at MSA, Andrew works on MSA’s emerging franchisor sales incubator team, which assists clients in both developing their pipeline of potential franchisees and also trains franchisors how to internalize the Franchise Sales Process.
Andrew is in the process of completing the requirements for earning his Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) accreditation from the IFA Education Foundation. He has also authored several articles on franchising.
- International Franchise Association
- American Bar Association
- Pennsylvania Bar Association
- Philadelphia Bar Association
Social Sector Franchising Innovations Roundtable - October 2017
WSV identified several critical issues, as follows:
- the need to streamline the sales process
- the need to create access to funding and additional support for NGOs that buy into WSV’s model
- the need to formalize some processes and gain clarity on potential future directions that WSV might take.
Major challenge - The length of the sales cycle from initial conversation with master franchisor, to deployment of WSV’s model. Currently somewhere around 18-24 months. The aim is to get it down to 6-12 months.
- The challenge is a result of NGOs having to:
- Explain (in some cases) a complete mind shift from traditional philanthropy-based model to a for-profit model.
- Get approval from different levels, including trustees, who WSV does not normally have contact with.
- Completing the feasibility assessments on the ground.
- Find funding through traditional donors or grants (biggest problem).
- Major ideas:
- Bring some of the activities listed above from linear order, to happening in parallel.
- Improve funding support for NGOs, including building a donor pool who know about our work and are prepared to fund the NGOs we work with.
- Create list of potential funders
- Discuss ideas with some funders and understand what they would need us to prove, perform, provide.
- Pilot system with one or two NGOs and funders
- Confirm pilot by November 2018
- ‘Lobbying in a box’ for operational staff of NGOs to use for their trustees.
- Requires more NGOs in network and detailed conversations about issues faced with decision makers and trustees at different levels.
- Future: build a revolving fund for NGOs.
- Business in a box - using the ‘Business in a box’ as a consultancy tool:
- Does it align with our current mission.
- Definitely something for the future.
- Because of Marla’s expertise something we can look at in the mentoring.
- Microfinance financial instrument - interesting due to the diversified nature of the Master Franchisee, Franchisee network:
- The aim is it would enable third party investment into a pool of microfinance loans and enable a return if desired. The loan pools can be categorized in many ways including; new units, existing units, franchise specific, country specific, or a combination of each category. The financial instrument would be made lower risk by spreading across different geographies, enterprise ages, and because a large portion of the loans will be funded by grants and donors on a non-return basis – meaning investors wanting a return can still get one from donor funded loans, even if some enterprises they funded directly failed; same scenario also allows for faster returns, before directly funded loans are repaid.