2017-2018 Social Sector Franchise Accelerator Protégés and Mentors

Protégé Companies

Apps and Girls 

With the mission of providing young women with equal economic and social opportunity, Apps and Girls is small social enterprise dedicated to providing coding training, entrepreneurship coaching, and mentorship to school-age girls in Tanzania. Through coding clubs within their own schools, young Tanzanian girls get to learn app development, web programming, game development, and robotics—technology skills that are traditionally offered in a male-centric setting. Apps and Girls provides the knowledge, tools, and self-esteem needed for young women to become competitive in the fast-moving technology sector. By combining current transferrable skills with coaching, internships, events, and incubators, Apps and Girls provides a unique offering to help young women grow into successful technology entrepreneurs. Learn more...

Wessex Social Enterprises

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...

Livelihood Basix

Livelihood Basix provides solutions for smallholder farmers, women, and youth living in sub-Saharan Africa by addressing issues of agriculture development, financial inclusion, and vocational skills. Basix provides a suite of programs that assist the poor, including deploying technological improvements to agricultural problems, coordinating networks for greater bargaining/purchasing power, increasing access to credit, reducing financial transaction costs, and providing skills-based training for employability. Through these programs, Basix helps to modernize production, decrease costs, and increase yields for farmers in Tanzania. By applying technological solutions and training, struggling farmers are empowered to build their livelihood in sustainable ways. Learn more...

Supply Hope /Mercado Fresco

Supply Hope, a non-profit organizations works through Mercado Fresco and network of more than eighty micro-franchises that increases access to nutritious, affordable, high-quality food while empowering women through the creation of in-home grocery stores in Nicaragua. Supply Hope coordinates sourcing and distribution, and provides business acumen, customer service, and food handling training to help break the cycle of poverty. With a lack of quality nutritious and inexpensive food options, Mercado Fresco brings a needed offering to the low-income communities in Managua, the capital city of Nicaragua. Simultaneously, mothers and grandmothers are provided the opportunity to gain a financial independence while still caring for their families, by running the Mercado Fresco grocery stores out of their homes. Learn more...

Pollinate Energy

Pollinate Energy  brings highly affordable, quality products such as cook stoves, solar lamps, fans, and water filters to the urban slums of India through a micro-franchise model. Pollinate uses door-to-door salespeople, or “Pollinators” to increase access to needed products, knowledge, social justice, and financial opportunity. Products are intended to drastically improve the lives of the poorest people in India, and are offered at radically affordable prices and with available short-term repayment plans. Pollinators benefit from intensive training and support, gain transferrable skills, and achieve financial independence with opportunities to advance within the organization. Learn more...

Protégé and Mentor Biographies 

Image of CarolyneProtégé: Carolyne Ekyarisiima – Tanzania
Apps and Girls

Contact: ekyarisiimac@gmail.com
Website: www.appsandgirls.com

As founder of Apps and Girls, Carolyne began teaching coding to school-age girls out of her living room in 2013. Already this endeavor has grown to 21 “coding clubs”, where girls are empowered by harnessing the power of technology, entrepreneurship, and mentorship.

Carolyne, a Mandela Washington Fellow, holds a Bachelors in Computer Science and a Masters in Information Systems, and has worked as a lecturer at Kampala International University. A driven and passionate woman, Carolyne is dedicated to bridging the gender gap and creating opportunities for young women to become technological entrepreneurs. Carolyne is a Tigo and Reach for Change Digital Changemaker, and was awarded a certificate of achievement in 2014 for her great efforts in improving children’s lives through innovation & digital technology at the Hackathon Prototype Change 2014 in Sweden. Carolyne is a mentor and judge at First Global Robotics competition 2017 and serves as a mentor at the Africa Entrepreneurship Award. 


Image of LoriMentor: Lori Kiser Block, The Decide Group

Lori Kiser-Block, CFE is a franchise industry executive known for her extensive knowledge and experience in franchise development. She is a dynamic entrepreneur with 30+ years of development experience in franchise management, corporate travel management with the largest travel franchisor, family business operations and dynamics, and B-to-B sales with proven success and demonstrated creativity.

Lori is highly experienced in executing franchise business growth and development strategies, analyzing industry and competitor performance, and maximizing business earnings. Her skills encompass exceptional communication, interpersonal relationships, executive management, organizational administration, customer service, and problem solving and leadership skills. She thrives in both independent and collaborative work environments. And as a former franchisee and franchisor, Lori has a great understanding and appreciation for the focus, determination and hard work required to be successful at growing a business.

Starting as a young woman in a family 7-Eleven business, Lori learned the value of creating lasting relationships with valued customers. Her career in franchising continued by selling franchises for Carlson Wagonlit Travel, part of the Carlson Companies, owner of Radisson Hotels, TGI Fridays and many other national and global brands. In early 2003, Lori joined the premier franchise consulting group, FranChoice, Inc., and helped build the consultant training program while the company more than doubled in size. In November 2006, she was named President of FranChoice and led the charge to create and maintain a high standard for sales production amongst the consultants. While at FranChoice, Lori was also instrumental in creating programs that provided support to local charities and to deployed personnel in the armed services.

From 2010 to January 2015, Lori was the President of Rapid Refill Franchise System. Rapid Refill was a 100-unit retail franchise system that sold remanufactured ink and toner in both the B-to-B and B-to-C markets. She was responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations including contract negotiations, business planning, corporate operations, retail sales, marketing and team management. While at Rapid Refill, Lori developed and executed a highly creative and successful exit strategy that provided an exceptional financial return for both franchisor and franchisee.

Lori carries an abundance of energy and pairs this with a highly inquisitive and straightforward approach. She is a sought-after mentor and coach, and she has written for, been quoted by, and often interviewed by numerous franchise publications. Lori is a regular speaker at franchise industry events and appeared on MSNBC on a segment regarding franchise issues.

Lori now shares her experience through The Decide Group, a consultancy which helps emerging franchisors build strong systems based on solid unit economics and smart development strategies.  

Image of SanjayProtégé: Sanjay Behuria—Ithaca, NY
Livelihood BASIX

Contact: behuria.sanjay@gmail.com
Website: http://www.livelihoodbasix.org

Sanjay Behuria is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Livelihood BASIX Inc., applying his years of experience in executive positions for the international banking sector to helping improve the lives of underserved people and communities across the world.

Sanjay is a successful consultant and business coach, and Senior Professional Fellow at the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprises, Johnson School of Management, Cornell University. 


image of jasonMentor: Jason Phillips, CertaPro Painters Ltd.

Jason Phillips has twenty years of sales and operations management experience with single business unit and divisional responsibility.  His career began in high-tech sales then transitioned into commercial franchising with CertaPro Painters Ltd., North America's largest painting contractor.  He spent eight years with CHEP (Formerly IFCO Systems) as General Manager and Commercial Director.  Mr. Phillips recently returned to CertaPro Painters Ltd. to develop and lead a national strategic account management program for their Commercial Services Division.  Prior to his career in business, Mr. Phillips spent his first two post-graduate years as a Peace Corps volunteer in southern Bolivia doing development work in rural sanitation.  He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Communications and Management from The University of Portland.  Mr. Phillips resides in Vancouver, WA with his wife and two children.  He enjoys reading history and classic fiction, vacationing with his family, and time on the river.

Image of BethProtégé: Beth Meadows—Chicago, Illinois
Mercado Fresco

Contact: bmeadows@supplyhope.org
Website: http://www.supplyhope.org/mercado-fresco/

As a child, Beth ran multi-location lemonade stand operations, and today, she puts her knowledge of scalable and successful business to work by creating Mercado Fresco, a microfranchise network that increases access to healthy food and provides economic opportunity for women and families in Nicaragua.

Beth is a proven entrepreneur, having started and sold many businesses across 25 years. Her most successful endeavors include a renowned travel agency franchise that she sold to American Express. However, she has taken to heart the fact that the opportunities granted her are not shared in the developing world—and believes that in many cases, an intervention is needed to break the cycle of poverty. As Founder and CEO of Mercado Fresco, Beth helps to provide be that intervention for families in Nicaragua, applying her lifetime of marketing, sales, and distribution knowledge to help women set up and run their own businesses.



Image of FerenzMentor: Ferenz Feher, Business Architect, Feher & Feher Consultancy

Ferenz Feher is a business architect whose vision of development is based on making the dreams of Mexican entrepreneurs a reality. For 13 years he has been in charge of the Feher & Feher Consultancy, the only one in the professional human services business for SMEs, family businesses, government agencies, franchise and corporate developments, all of which are nationally and internationally represented. Feher & Feher is also recognized by the Ministry of Economy, through the National Entrepreneur Institute as one of the best Accelerators authorized to contribute with Mexican entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs interested in developing business models and/or accelerating companies.

He has experience in the development of more than 750 Franchises; the Food and Beverage brand represents more than 30% of its customers, among which are: Sushi Itto, La Mansión, Fonda Argentina, El Fongoncito, Fisher's, La Cervecería de Barrio, Quiznos, Kepacrepa, Tortas la Castellana, BlattSalatHouse, Chazz, to mention a few. His trajectory as lecturer covers more than ten years of teaching in the Program of Certification for Executives in Franquicias of the Universidad Anáhuac del Norte, where he functions as professor of the Module Technical Assistance and Quality in the Services. He was Professor of the subject of Franchises in the TEC of Monterrey, as well as the Center of Higher Studies San Ángel (CESSA). He has also participated as a lecturer in practically all the universities of the country, in matters of:

• Franchises: ABC of Franchising, Own Business Vs. Franchises, Development of Franchise Models, Technical Assistance in Franchise and Business Models, Effective Supervision in Franchise Networks, etc.

• Business and Business: The change in your company, Choosing the best growth model for your business, How to institutionalize my company?, Second and third generation family businesses, Marketing, etc.

• Motivation: Do you have a dream?, Franchises and young people, Mountain and Entrepreneurs, Teaming with ..., Social Franchises for Mexico, Change that we dream, etc.

Mr. Feher has been recognized with an Honorable Mention by the Technological Institute and Technological Studies of Monterrey, with a diploma in International Commerce from the Universidad Pontificia de Comillas in Spain, as well as an AD-2 Diploma in Senior Management from the Pan American Institute of Business Management IPADE). He also holds a Master in Franchise from the H. Wayne Wizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship in Miami, Florida and is the first Mexican certified by the American Institute of Certified FranchiseExecutive (ICFE).

Image of GregMentor: Greg Starbird, Starbird Consulting
Greg Starbird founded Starbird Consulting in May 2016, as a vehicle through which he and hand-picked specialists catalyze others to use innovative business models and technologies to distribute life-enhancing goods and services to broad populations. Starbird Consulting combines analytic rigor and real-world operational experience, deploying flexible tools representing over a decade of experience in multiple countries. 

Greg is a pioneer and leader in the distribution of healthcare in emerging economies. He has deep, long-term involvement in multi-unit and franchised healthcare enterprises since 2005.

Mr. Starbird assumed progressive responsibility at The HealthStore Foundation® from 2005-2016, including serving as its CEO from 2011-2016. Under Mr. Starbird’s tenure, the CFW network in Kenya served over 5,000,000 people. As CEO, he drove down the costs of operating its CFW network in Kenya by 60%, while meeting sales targets. The HealthStore Foundation and its CFW network have won numerous awards and have received funding from philanthropists, foundations, and corporations such as ExxonMobil Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, UNICEF, P&G FutureWorks, and the US Government. Mr. Starbird remains a member of HealthStore’s board of directors.

In addition to his work in Kenya (60 medical clinics), Mr. Starbird has played key roles in the launch of healthcare businesses in Ghana (2005-2006), Rwanda (2007-2011), and the DR Congo (2012-2014).  The Ghanaian and Rwandan networks (now 17 and 90 medical clinics, respectively) have received large-scale corporate funding and have signed Public-Private Partnerships with their respective countries’ Ministries of Health. The DR Congo initiative was launched with the blessing of the head of the US Agency for International Development. A fourth healthcare enterprise which Mr. Starbird advised very loosely (in Guatemala) was acquired by a local pharmaceutical company.

A customized instance of Starbird Consulting’s sensitivity analysis tool was selected and used in an Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs training of impact investors in Mexico City in January 2017.

Among other affiliations, Mr. Starbird serves on:

  • The International Franchise Association’s Social Sector Franchising Task Force
  • The Social Sector Franchising Initiative at the Center for Social Innovation & Enterprise, University of New Hampshire
  • The Board of Directors of Zagaya, an anti-malaria organization that is the offshoot of Amyris, a public American company (NASDAQ: AMRS) whose technology is being used to produce tens of millions of doses of malaria medicine (ACTs) per year.
  • Prior to his work in Africa, Mr. Starbird helped distribute high-quality private education in public elementary schools in Los Angeles.

Mr. Starbird attended Cornell University and the University of California at Santa Barbara (B.A.), as well as Fuller Theological Seminary (M.Div.).

Image of MadhaviProtégé: Madhavi Kulkarni – Bangalore, India
Pollinate Energy

Contact: madhavi.k@pollinateenergy.org
Website: pollinateenergy.org

Madhavi Kulkarni studied a Bachelor of Science with a major in Computer Science, but quickly pivoted to Human Resources through her first job out of college. Over her career of 7+ years, Madhavi has worked in Accenture, a US based communications firm Brocade, a health startup Pixel, and now social enterprise Pollinate Energy. Throughout her career she has held various roles across the HR portfolio ranging from staff development, engagement, training, recruitment and importantly – making people happy. Her background in computer sciences has led her to develop a uniquely analytical approach to improving employee satisfaction in an organization, and she prides herself on proving, through data, that her initiatives have great impact across teams.

Madhavi has always been intrigued by culture in the workplace, and is passionate about improving culture, systems and operations to ensure that her employees are motivated and excited by their work. She believes that employees are the backbone of an organization. The happier they are, the better they perform, and the more impact the organization can have. Her role at Pollinate Energy empowers her to do this, to the end goal of delivering more life-changing products (like solar lanterns) to families living in poverty across India.

In Madhavi’s current role, she has also been tasked with helping Pollinate scale its operation through further franchising across India. With this project comes the ultimate challenge – ensuring that an organization of 50 can grow efficiently to an organization of 200 and more. Madhavi is thrilled to be a part of the UNH franchising program, to learn how best to scale Pollinate’s impact through its people as it grows.


Image of PeterMentor: Peter D. Holt, CEO, The Joint

Peter D. Holt has been active in the franchise community managing franchise systems in both domestic and international markets for over 30 years.  Most recently was appointed Chief Executive Officer of The Joint, www.thejoint.com, the largest franchised network of Chiropractic clinics in the world with over 350 clinics system wide.  The Joint is a publicly traded company on NASDAQ (JYNT) based in Scottsdale, AZ.

Previously, he was President and Chief Executive Officer for Tasti D-Lite, LLC a Brentwood, Tennessee based company.  While at Tasti D Lite he transformed the NYC, based licensed outlets into a complete business format franchise system.  Additionally, he led the acquisition of Planet Smoothie by Tasti D Lite in 2011 and its integration into the Tasti D Lite business. In June 2015, the company was acquired by Kahala Brands.

Mr. Holt worked seven years for Mail Boxes Etc., the last three years as Executive Vice President, Franchise Sales and Development.  MBE (now The UPS Store) is the world’s largest franchisor of retail centers specializing in shipping, business and communications services.  During his tenure, the franchise system grew to over 4,000 retail locations, including some 1,300 MBE stores operating in 34 countries. 

From 1990 to 1996, Mr. Holt was Vice President of International for I Can’t Believe It’s Yogurt and Java Coast Fine Coffees, affiliates of The Brice Group.  Headquartered in Dallas, ICBIY was a franchise system of over 1,000 frozen yogurt outlets operating in 35 countries.

Mr. Holt began his career in franchising at the International Franchise Association, the oldest and largest trade association in the world serving the interests of businesses that franchise.

Mr. Holt earned a Master of Arts degree from the University of London, and completed his Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Washington, where he graduated cum laude.  He has written and lectured extensively on the subject of franchising.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors of PASMO, the Guatemalan affiliate of the Washington DC based NGO, PSI, which provides health care services in developing nations through franchising.  He served on the IFA Board of Directors from 2013 to 2015 and as Chairman of the International Affairs Network (IAN) of the IFA from 1998 to 2007.  Additionally, he served as Chairman of the Global Marketing Group (GLOMAK) which advises IFA on all its international franchise activities from 1998 to 2007. Peter serves on the Advisory Board of the Social Sector Franchise Initiative, a project of the Center for Social Innovation and Enterprise at the University of New Hampshire.

Image of AdamAdam Boxer – London, United Kingdom
Wessex Social Ventures

Contact: adam.boxer@wessexsocialventures.com
Website: http://wessexsocialventures.com/

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!


Image of MarlaMentor: 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.

Image of AndrewMentor: 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.

Professional Affiliations:

  • International Franchise Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Philadelphia Bar Association