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UNH Develops Global Social Franchise Index

Published Thursday Jan 16, 2020

UNH Develops Global Social Franchise Index

A global social franchising index recently developed by the Rosenberg International Franchise Center (RIFC) at the University of New Hampshire ranks 131 countries according to the impacts social entrepreneurship and social franchising can have on the well-being of their populations. This annual index incorporates metrics that include people’s health conditions, education levels, incomes and population size, as well as the riskiness of operating in that country.

The annual index was developed because the lower the well-being of a country’s people (as measured by the United Nation’s Human Development Index) and the larger the size of the population, the more impactful social entrepreneurship and social franchising can be. 

“The lower the risks of operating in a given country, the more likely these business models can be successful,” says E. Hachemi Aliouche, director of the RIFC. “Risks taken into account in this index include political, economic, legal and regulatory risks, as well as geographic distance and cultural distance.”

The top 10 countries ranked in this first index are all in Africa: Gambia, Liberia, Chad, Lesotho, Mauritania, Swaziland, Niger, Togo, Burkina Faso and Benin. “These are the countries that may benefit most from social entrepreneurship and social franchising,” said Aliouche. 

To get an idea of the gap between wealthy countries such as the United States (the lowest-ranked country in the index) and poor African countries like Gambia, a comparison of some of the key 2019 metrics reveals that the average Gambian lives 17.2 years less than the average American, has 9.7 years less schooling, and earns 37.7 times less. In other words, it takes a Gambian a full year to earn what the average America earns in less than a week and half.

“Social entrepreneurship and social franchising can be powerful ways to efficiently alleviate poverty, improve health, provide educational opportunities and improve other social problems for people at the bottom of the pyramid in the most disadvantaged countries identified in the index,” said Aliouche.

To learn more about the Rosenberg International Franchise Center or to view the full list of rankings, visit

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