Microfranchising is not just about investing in business concepts. It is about investing in people.
What's New on the Microfranchise Wiki
Want to learn all about Microfranchising? Jason Faribourne and BYU's Department of Economic Self Reliance has just published the Microfranchise Toolkit. In this how-to book you can learn everything you need to know to systemize and replicate a microfranchise business. For more information click here.
Featured Franchise: SCOJO
Scojo Foundation sells eyeglasses to the poor in developing countries through the use of vision advisors (Microfranchisees). Scojo foundation began its operations in El Salvador and has expanded to India and Guatemala. They foresee new operations in Nicaragua, Honduras, Mexico, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan within the next three years.
Scojo Foundation has set three primary goals:
- Increase the number of people with access to reading glasses.
- Create jobs for local entrepreneurs.
- Facilitate access to comprehensive eyecare.
Scojo’s basic business model is to provide women with low-cost eyeglasses and train them on how to conduct basic eye exams and how to sell the product. They operate as a franchisor and the women as franchisees. This type of a Microfranchise is similar to a traditional franchise model.
About the Microfranchise Wiki
The Microfranchise wiki was designed as a gathering space for all those interested in, and associated with, the concept of Microfranchising. For practitioners with existing Microfranchises it can be a showcase for your business model, ideas and projects. It is a place to interact with other practitioners, to learn from each other's business models and to discover best practices. For those who have a business and are interested in developing a microfranchise model for what you already do, this can be a place to do initial study and research and where you will find direction from those already operating successful Microfranchises. And for those who may be just beginning to develop their business idea, you will find this site can teach, inspire, direct, and answer questions.
You can use this site to read and research, enter into discussions on the message board and to showcase your business and/or projects. To add your business to our list of Microfranchises, or to request more information, click here.
What is Microfranchising?
Microfranchising is an economic development tool currently being researched and tested at the BYU Center for Economic Self-Reliance. The impetus behind the idea is to provide sound business opportunities and services to the poor by introducing scaled-down business concepts found in successful franchise organizations. Faculty and students at the BYU Marriott School have been involved in researching and participating in microcredit, microfinance, and microenterprise development activities for over ten years. Our perspectives on MicroFranchising are often seen through that lens.
We broadly define Microfranchises as small businesses that can easily be replicated by following proven marketing and operational concepts. The overall objective of Microfranchising is to promote economic development by developing sound business models that can be replicated by entrepreneurs at the base of the pyramid; therefore, the start-up costs of Microfranchises will be minimal. The key principle is replication, replicating success to scale.
It is well known that there is a lack of employment opportunities in developing countries leaving nearly one half of the world’s population (3 billion people) living in acute poverty (living on less than two dollars a day). Therefore, many people have no choice but to start microenterprises in order to survive. The International Labor Organization’s 2002 report indicates that 72 percent of Sub-Saharan Africa’s population operates within the informal sector, eking out a hand-to-mouth survival. In Latin America 51 percent operate within the informal economy, and 65 percent in Asia. Furthermore, many of the small businesses operated by people in developing countries fail or exist on subsistence levels, leaving hundreds of millions in poverty. MicroFranchising is a new tool designed specifically to assist these entrepreneurs to become more successful and reach economic self-reliance, through the provision of successful business models with the necessary initial and on-going training needed to succeed.