What is Social Franchising?

The success of franchising comes from the transfer of knowledge and experience from one successful enterprise to another. With an established business concept, as well as support and training, a franchisee can quickly become successful thanks to the foundation upon which his or her business is built. While with most commercial franchises the goal is to maximize profits, social franchises use the principles of franchising for a social goal.

What is social franchising and how does it differ from commercial franchising?

Social franchises are driven by social goals, rather than profit. While the franchise does make profit, this profit is used to develop its social aims. Social aims can include food security, poverty alleviation, or environmental conservation. According to the European Social Franchising Network (ESFN), a social franchise should be a social enterprise, and  have the four following characteristics:

  1. An organization that replicates a social enterprise business model – the social franchisor.
  2. At least one independent social franchisee that has been replicated by the social franchisor.
  3. A common brand under which the social franchisees operate.
  4. An interchange of knowledge between members.

Social franchises can operate in various ways, but generally a social franchisee pays the social franchisor a fee for their support. Differing from other non-profit charities and foundations, where most of the funding comes from grants and personal donations, social franchises use the sales of their successful business model to create a better world.

For example, Community Renewable Energy (CoRE), a European social franchise, helps communities develop their own renewable energy systems to generate community income and address climate change. The franchise does so through working in partnership with a specific community, where the community is not charged for CoRE’s work, but rather as a stakeholder in the the renewable energy systems, where they take a share of the profits. This share is then used to help the next community. The social franchise essentially supports their members by providing “technical skills, shared services, and replicable models for developing renewable energy systems.”

Are you familiar with any social franchises in your area? Please feel free to comment below!

Interview with DwellGreen’s President, Jim Majirsky

Jim Majirsky wants to save you some green. As the President and CEO of business and home services franchise DwellGreen he just might be able to.

In 2005 John Lamby, who Jim refers to as “an environmental guru” started the process of creating what DwellGreen is today: a resource, a business and a fine-tuned approach for helping homeowners make decisions about the performance of their homes. This covers everything from energy efficiency to retrofitting to identifying government rebates homeowners are able to qualify for.


Majirsky joined DwellGreen a little over a year ago. It took the better part of 2011 for Jim to take DwellGreen, which had become quite a successful business in Florida, and translate it into a growing, national franchise. Now, the company has four franchising territories and plans to begin franchising in Canada within two years. After 17 years of executive franchising experience, Jim is happy to be involved in a company that he really cares about. He loves being around environmental initiatives and believes strongly in their importance. “It is the future,” Majirsky says, “It’s not just greening, its learning what that means.”


DwellGreen, as a business, seeks to do three things: to advise, to consult, and to educate its customers.  The business works a little something like this: homeowners call DwellGreen about making their home a bit greener (in one way or another). A representative from DwellGreen drives (in a Prius, of course) to see the client’s home. The DwellGreen representative assesses the home and advises the homeowner on improvements that should be made. From there, the DwellGreen representative facilitates the greening process. Some homeowners will jump into greening feet first, others will pick specific projects until the entire home is, well, green.


“There’s a cost savings to this that’s good for everyone,” explains Majirsky. “It helps the environment, helps with health issues, and it does have large implications like reducing carbon footprint,” he elaborates. “It improves the quality of our air and our water.”


Of course, it takes someone who’s passionate about the environment and making a difference at the micro and macro levels to be successful as a DwellGreen franchisee. In addition, it takes a skilled communicator with experience in business development, sales, and marketing to pursue potential customers. Environmental and building sciences backgrounds are pluses, too. In fact, a number of current DwellGreen franchisees have environmental science or construction backgrounds.


After the initial interest inquiry is made, the next step, according to Jim, is to familiarize potential franchisees with the business model. From there, serious franchisees receive a full week of training and certification (which includes RESNET and EPI training) as energy auditors, remediation programs for radon, mold, lead, and air quality. “If we’re about anything we’re about servicing our franchisees and supporting them,” says Jim. The DwellGreen business model also includes a full marketing program and support system, so franchisees can focus on bringing in customers and maintaining positive client relationships.

Interested in more information about this franchise? Go to Franchise Clique.com to find out more about this green franchise!