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Feedback Labs LabStorm
Affiliate Open Gov Hubs: Scaling Up a Worldwide Social Franchise

In 2019, the Open Gov Hub formalized our Global Affiliate Hubs program to offer dedicated and structured support, to nurture existing hubs and help bring new ones to life. Today, we are supporting 13 different affiliate hubs across 12 countries and 5 continents, and this program is at a critical juncture. In order to make it sustainable over the longer-term, we plan to develop it as a social franchise model.

Social franchising is a way for social enterprises to scale up by replicating a proven model - both a proven business model and a proven social impact model. This presents a number of exciting opportunities, but many challenges too - especially related to financing and establishing strong feedback loops with affiliate hubs (who currently receive support for free, but who we plan to charge a fee in the future). We look forward to fresh ideas and perspectives to help us take the next step to scale up our impact globally.

Discussion questions:

1. How should we design and close feedback loops with affiliate hubs differently when they become paying franchisees, compared to now when they receive support for free?

2. How can we decide when is the right time to introduce a franchise fee and start to charge our partners for our services? We want to pilot the franchise fee model before implementing it with all partners, but how might we do that ethically (charge some people for the same service but not others)? And how might we choose which partners to pilot with?

3. A defining aspect of a traditional business franchise model is having strict quality control - to ensure consistency across all franchise locations. How can we ensure a consistent, high-quality standard at all global affiliate hubs, without imposing too narrow a top-down vision or quashing local innovation/adaptation?

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