For the last few years SSE London has run a social franchising course, in partnership with the International Centre for Social Franchising (ICSF). This year, the course begins in February and we have broadened the scope to cover all forms of replication:
We caught up with a participant from last year, Kieron Tilley of We Walk The Line, to talk about his experience on the course. We Walk The Line is a social enterprise which aims to train disadvantaged individuals to become baristas, and teaches them the skills that they require to establish their own business.
Before the course, what did you know about social franchising?
We knew a bit about franchising and social businesses but not a great deal on social franchising and how the economic model works, its pros and cons and examples within the UK.
Why did the social franchising course appeal to you?
It’s an area in which we wanted to know more about – we knew that the social enterprise sector was growing and we wanted to learn more about the nuts and bolts about social franchising. In particular we wanted to understand if it was a structure that we could use to support our development of a new employment model.
What doubts did you have about coming on the course?
I think we were unsure if social franchising was the right model for us and whether the course would be relevant in the long term.
What were the key things that you took from the course?
We took away from the course a deeper understanding of what is involved in social franchising, along with great contacts and an inspiration to put our learning into practice.
What difference did the social franchising course make to the way you work at We Walk the Line? What impact has this had?
We are looking at how social franchising can work for us in the long term – and are currently exploring possibilities of working with funders on the development of an innovative employment programme aimed at supporting the young and disadvantaged into self-employment via a social franchise model.
How did the social franchising course at SSE differ to courses at other organisations that you had been on?
Content aside, the course was delivered by guest speakers who had first-hand experience of the franchise industry and what was involved in making their business plans work. The group of participants were all at different stages of organisational development, which was useful.
Replication and Social Franchising is a 6 day course which begins in February. This year we have a limited number of places available at £750 (£700 for SSE students and Fellows), a saving of £500. Payment plans are available. To register your interest and to receive more information, please visit our website.