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Changing the world, McDonald's style: 5 great social franchises

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(Read caption) Packaging for Plumpy'nut, a high-energy peanut paste, is seen on the production line at the Nutriset factory in Malaunay, France. Plumpy'nut has provided a huge leap in the fight against hunger in the developing world because infants can eat the sweet-smelling paste – with all the nutritional value of milk formula – at home rather than in a hospital.

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Social franchising is a big deal, recently called the future of social enterprise and even "the solution for U.K. unemployment."

While these claims might be a bit overstated, social franchising works. The best examples come from sectors as diverse as nutrition and sustainable energy, but they all share common threads:

There’s usually an existing market failure, a simple business model that can be used over and over again, a partnership between transnational and local NGOs, and – ultimately – a cheap, innovative product or process that does what the market didn’t.

 

Global Envision has covered a number of franchises in the past. Here’s how our five favorites work:

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