Become a Franchisee


Social franchise explained

Board Apprentice is a Social Enterprise structured as a Social Franchise.
Franchising has worked for businesses ranging from coffee shops to fast food restaurants and now also for social enterprises. Social franchising is about the replication of a tried and tested concept, in our case the Board Apprentice concept.

Board Apprentice experienced a rapid rise in demand for the concept from many different organisations and companies around the world. To be able to easily replicate the concept globally, we needed a tried and tested way of doing so, whilst protecting the branding and ensuring that our carefully developed processes and procedures were followed.

Social franchising is also defined as a “successful social purpose organisation that enables at least one independent franchisee to deliver their proven model under a franchise agreement.” Social franchising relies on social enterprises systematising the work they do.

We have set up Board Apprentice in a number of different countries and have witnessed how the concept can be easily adapted to any local situation. Board Apprentice can be used to address a range of challenges from helping to improve diversity on boards to acting as an anti corruption and bribery tool and as an aid to train indigenous populations as board members.

What are the benefits of social franchising?

Social franchising is a quicker and lower cost way of scaling up. If we were trying to have wholly-owned growth in, say, 12 different countries, the cost would be vast. Through franchising, BA franchisees can benefit from existing expertise in other locations and leverage off the learning that has already been done.

What does franchising a social enterprise involve?

Board Apprentice looks for partners aligned with our values, who have shown a commitment to understanding our concept and who have identified demand for the concept.

Board Apprentice Founder and Chair, Charlotte Valeur, says: “The business comes to us. We have tried to hold back growth from the beginning because we didn’t have the resources to grow as rapidly as the demand we experienced. We are mainly volunteer-led and building a large central administration didn’t make any sense. Social Franchising was our solution and it is working very well. If for example, we get a call from Japan or Australia about using our concept, we can respond quickly and assist them in setting up a franchisee using the concept locally.”

It costs the expense of a person one day a week to set up and run a group of 20 host boards. This can be covered through donating time or someone sponsoring the cost of hiring a person. The annual franchise fee is covered through apprentice administration fee income. There is no set-up cost.

Board Apprentice gives each franchise the power and tools to take ownership of their local Board Apprentice project. Franchisees need to have the time and/or funding to run for at least a year whilst building up host board participants.
Board Apprentice supports and trains a person or company in setting up anywhere in the world to create a local group of host boards offering board apprentice opportunities.

We provide all necessary legal templates for the boards, apprentices and for potential local corporate members. Franchisees are supplied with a full operations manual with all necessary additional material and procedures.
We also provide online governance best practice training for apprentices.
A locally-run franchise is best placed to find their own funding and volunteer network. The franchisees know where the support is locally and can go to local businesses and government to raise support and/or funds. They also know how to address the local community in a way that works.

Board Apprentice Global develops relationships with a number of regional, supra-national and global businesses who are corporate members and who use the concept as a talent retention and attraction tool. We will coordinate with our franchise holders around the world to place employees from these entities on boards. This will also help the individual franchisees with further funding if necessary.

Summary Board Apprentice franchisee

Our social franchise system will support independent organisations (such as private companies, academic institutions, NGOs or national governments) operating in their area, sector, country or with specific kind of people to take on the delivery of the Board Apprentice concept in their territory.
Empowering and supporting franchisees to take on independent delivery of the Board Apprentice concept will enable us to expand its reach in a sustainable and cost effective manner, whilst ensuring that quality and local leadership remain central to our brand.

Our Social Franchise offer

In exchange for an annual fee, with no start-up fee, our franchise system will offer franchisees

1. A tool to effect a sustainable change to the pool of diversifying, board-ready talent and to engage with all stakeholders

2. Access to clear and effective learning and support packages

3. Access to integrated quality assurance and impact assessment systems

4. Access to an international peer network with learning, influencing and networking opportunities

5. Association with Board Apprentice and the Board Apprentice concept brand and profile

The fee for each franchisee will be agreed with Board Apprentice Global Ltd, and the unit for a franchisee group will be 20 Host Boards educating tomorrow’s board members on an ongoing basis.

A franchisee can operate one or a number of groups subject to agreement from Board Apprentice Global who will assess if the necessary resources are in place. The geographical area for each franchisee and its group(s) will be individually negotiated.

The role of the franchisee

A franchisee will be asked to provide and demonstrate the following

1. Access to potential beneficiaries through networks and contacts (apprentices, host boards and corporate members)

2. Leadership and interest in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion and, ideally, Governance

3. Provide offices (can be home office), human resources and volunteers in the agreed territory

4. Financing for the franchise set up and annual costs (this can be by providing the human rescources or by funding the cost of it)

5. Organisational capacity and capability to deliver effectively and independently

The franchisee will implement the Board Apprentice concept as specified in a franchise agreement, with support (as detailed above) provided by the franchisor, Board Apprentice Global Ltd.

Franchisee profile

A prospective franchisee will typically

1. Be an established organisation or entity

2. Have identified the need to improve the diversity at the top and develop new board members in their territory

3. Be interested, willing and committed to improving diversity at the top and to develop tomorrow’s board members

4. Have existing links with networks of board members and/or boards

Current Board Apprentice franchisees

1. Future Boards Scheme

2. UK1 Investment Trusts

3. Channel Islands

4. BBC region, Cayman/Bermuda

5. Nordics, Sweden, Norway and Denmark

6. SME UK/Denmark

7. London Higher

8. Ireland

If you are from an organisation interested in our franchise offer, please contact us and we will be in touch.