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

Social franchises – businesses with a charitable purpose – develop and market cheap, innovative products that solve a social problem. Here are five examples.

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The HealthStore Foundation, Kenya
In 2000, Scott Hillstrom and Eva Ombaka set up a network of microfarmacies and microclinics to combat a host of treatable diseases accounting for 70 to 90 percent of all childhood deaths in Kenya. These franchised Child and Family Wellness Shops provide both essential drugs to treat infectious diseases and basic medical services, allowing them to reach more than 2.5 million Kenyans by turning nurses into entrepreneurs.

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KeBAL food carts, Indonesia
A new food cart franchise is battling malnutrition in Jakarta, Indonesia. Mercy Corps teamed up with Dutch nutrition company DSM and Rabobank to develop street food that kids would enjoy while providing missing nutrients, supplied as an added mix by DSM. Initially piloted in 2009, the social franchise is working toward financial sustainability while exposing DSM to the massive base-of-the-pyramid market in Jakarta.

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Husk Power Systems, India
Husk Power has been quietly leading a green revolution in India with its biomass-powered microgrids, which have already served over 200,000 customers. Backed by Acumen Fund, the group hopes to reach 5 million people over the next five years, providing a credible solution to India’s vast power needs. The key to its success? Developing a cheap generator that local franchisees can use to power a miniature grid for their village. To provide a cheap source of fuel, the generator runs on biomass waste that abounds on Indian farms.

Read more here.

This article originally appeared at Global Envision, a blog published by Mercy Corps.

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