European Social Franchising Conference 2011

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Photos of the conference:

Article by Keith Richardson on social franchising:

Best of the Guardian Professional online Q&A:'

We all want to find better and quicker ways to grow social co-operatives and social enterprises. We need to find ways of capitalising on the opportunities presented by, for example, the need to create employment and to decarbonise our society.

Social franchising has been touted about Europe as a new way of achieving this to the benefit of our society and the employment of disadvantaged people.

Today there are over 60 European social franchises employing more than 13,000 people, over 60% of them being economically disadvantaged. So evidence is growing that it works.

The first free European Social Franchising Network (ESFN) conference - which will take place in London on 18th October 2011 - will look at the impact of social franchising across Europe.

 Download conference programme

The event will share best practice and look at

  • financing the growth of social franchising
  • the advantage of turning a social enterprise or social cooperative into a social franchise
  • maintaining quality across a social franchise
  • indentifying a good social franchise opportunity

Leading exponents of social franchising will be sharing what they have learnt with policy-makers from the European Commission, governments and agencies across Europe.

The conference is a part of the work programme of the Better Future for Social Economy (BFSE) learning network ( The network is coordinated by European Social Fund (ESF) Managing Authorities and is ESF-funded.

Speaking at the conference include some of the leading lights of social franchising and key decision-makers. They include:

  • Nick Hard MP, UK Minister for Civil Society
  • Jürgen Blondeel, KOMOSIE who manage De Kringwinkel and Energy Savers social franchises
  • Guy Turnbull, CASA (franchising the Sunderland Home Care Associates model)
  • Alastair Wilson, School for Social Entrepreneurs
  • Robin Murray, Fellow of the Young Foundation and founder of the £90 million Fairtrade enterprise, Twin
  • Ewa Sadowska, Barka Foundation
  • Renate Goergen, Le Mat Italy
  • Elisabeth Mattsson , Le Mat Europe
  • Toby Johnson, Better Future for Social Economy
  • Pernilla Svebo Lindgren, Villa Vagenut
  • Sven Bartilsson, Coompanion
  • Michael Berriman, Commonwheels
  • Keith Richardson, Community Renewable Energy
  • Sven Huysmans, FIETSenWERK
  • Peter Tyson, Director of the Roddick Foundation and former franchise manager for the Body Shop
  • Representatives of Directorate-Generals Employment and Markt, European Commission (EC)
  • Emmanuel Vallens, Policy Co-ordinator, Directorate General Internal Market and Services, EC

The conference is organised by European Social Franchising Network (ESFN), a European Economic Interest Group set up by and for social franchisors.

For more information please see the attached programme or go to

Places will be limited, so please book on line at