The need to create high quality, stable jobs in London is undeniable. 2.25 million people experience poverty in London and in-work poverty is increasing. At the same time, the franchising sector in the UK has experienced strong growth, 621,000 people are employed in a franchise in the UK – a 70% increase in the last 10 years.
Our research set out to assess the potential of franchises to provide quality employment for low-income groups in London. Here are some of our findings:
There is great excitement around the idea of harnessing franchising principles to address the need for quality jobs in London.
Any employability programme focused on commercial franchises would face operational challenges.
An alternative approach, applying the principles of franchising to mission led businesses, has the potential to achieve significant impact.
If you would like to discuss our findings or have any questions about the research, please get in touch with Joe at firstname.lastname@example.org
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“The World Economic Forum is now in its 47th year. It’s famous for its annual summit in Davos attended by luminaries in multiple industries. But It is also known for selecting and bringing together a yearly community of over 800 Young Global Leaders (YGL)—enterprising and socially-minded men and women, all under the age of 40…”
“The six British YGLs are a mix of known names and rising stars, among them celebrated former England and Manchester United football player, Rio Ferdinand, founder of the Rio Ferdinand Foundation and Presenter BT Group Plc. Ferdinand was selected in acknowledgement of his work in tackling youth unemployment by building skills, cooperation and opportunities for disadvantaged communities. Other names include Dan Berelowitz, CEO and founder of Spring Impact, an entrepreneur whose not-for-profit is pioneering ‘social franchising’—helping high potential social ventures replicate their social impact to scale…”
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New Solutions for the NHS?
The NHS is under constant pressure to find solutions that have the potential to improve health care outcomes or deliver cost savings at scale. This has become even more apparent to me over the past few months as I’ve explored scaling up in the UK health care sector more closely. Spring Impact has been travelling across the country to meet with project teams that have been supported by the Health Foundation.
We’ve seen inspirational clinicians and managers who go above and beyond every day, to invest in improvement and innovation solutions to boost health care outcomes. The landscape of possible solutions is diverse, ranging from delivering multi-disciplinary support to advanced symptom Parkinson’s patients, to preventing prescribing errors in GP practices. But too often these solutions exist as isolated pockets of excellence and are infrequently implemented at wider scale locally or nationally.
As we explored the specific challenges of replication within the UK health care sector we found that a popular way to ‘scale up’ an approach or intervention to improve patient care is through sharing best practice. SPRING IMPACT calls this activity ‘dissemination’. It can work excellently for particular solutions or contexts, for example clinical networks – where clinicians share best practice and ideas for making small scale changes to practice. But for other approaches and interventions, particularly those that are more complex, dissemination alone can be insufficient.
To begin to understand why dissemination only works for some solutions or contexts, we listened and we learned through available literature and interviews with people working in the health care sector. We heard time and again about the challenges associated with dissemination – that more support was needed to create behaviour change, or that there was a lack of clarity about the approach or intervention being scaled up.
We believe more structured ways of replication such as social franchising or licensing have particular potential to help scale solutions across the NHS. Social franchising is based upon the commercial franchising model where companies, such as the Body Shop, use franchises to expand. Our chief executive Dan Berelowitz spent time with The Body Shop, McDonald’s and some great social enterprises, understanding what makes replication and franchising work. In this model a proven business model is ‘boxed’ up and passed on to others to replicate with appropriate support. Social franchising follows the same principle, allowing an organisation to package what works and provide support to others to adopt it, with a focus on replicating impact. This retains the essence and fidelity of the core elements of the approach, while remaining flexible and open to adaptation to the local context.
It is this model that we recommended to NSPCC for scaling their Baby Steps programme, with the charity transitioning from being the direct provider of the service, to acting as a franchisor overseeing implementation by local mainstream organisations such as Children’s Centres and also by midwifery teams. We believe this model enables NSPCC to ensure fidelity to the evidence-based model, whilst enabling local ownership.
Can this Model be Translated to a Primary Care Setting?
One of the project teams we met with to explore these replication models was the team responsible for IRIS (Identification & Referral to Improve Safety), a general practice-based domestic violence training, support and referral programme for primary care staff. Since beginning the research trial in 2007 to becoming a commissionable model in 2010, IRIS has been commissioned across the UK, leading to increased identification and referrals for victims of domestic violence. Having successfully scaled to date by responding to requests for their service, the IRIS project team is now at a point in their scale journey where the team wants to be more proactive in its replication approach.
We worked with the IRIS team to discuss what they felt was working well with their current network and any areas for improvement. Together we considered the type of relationship the central IRIS team need with those delivering IRIS locally, so they are able to be effective and achieve the desired level of impact. This included exploring what they considered to be the core requirements for delivering the IRIS programme at local sites and how they can best quality assure and support local teams.
The team is now working to convert their current replication system to a social franchise, developing the details of their required relationship with teams delivering the IRIS programme and the legal agreements which will form the basis of these relationships. Ultimately, the team hopes this more structured approach to replication will allow them to effectively support teams in new areas to adopt the IRIS model. The IRIS social enterprise was incorporated in February 2017.
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This research aims to encourage people in the social sector to learn from commercial franchising, and to help them significantly increase their impact by adopting an appropriate replication strategy. The findings aim to encourage social organisations to consider replication as a viable approach both to scaling sustainably and to increasing their social impact. The research offers new frameworks that make social franchising more accessible to the busy CEO.
*In 2017 The International Centre for Social Franchising (ICSF) became Spring Impact. This report was created under our old branding and name.