MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Jason Fairbourne of Brigham Young University Advocates Use of Microfranchising in Conjunction with Microfinance

An article was recently published by US Newspaper The Salt Lake Tribune about microfranchising, a concept that aims to construct business models that can be easily replicated by “microbusinessmen”.

According to the article, the concept was pioneered by Jason Fairbourne, a faculty member at the United States’ Brigham Young University, who argues that people from low-income groups “are doing a business out of necessity, in order to feed their family, not because they are entrepreneurial and have the next big idea.” He added that “it’s a bit presumptuous to give someone financing and assume they will be successful.” Microfranchising attempts to address this problem by giving the would-be entrepreneurs a ready-made business plan and other support.

For a more detailed explanation of the concept and its application, please refer to the following document produced by the Acumen Fund, a non-profit venture fund:

About the Acumen Fund:
Founded in 2001 with seed capital from the Rockefeller Foundation, Cisco Systems Foundation and individual philanthropists, the Acumen Fund is a non profit venture fund based in New York City. It advocates the use of entrepreneurial approaches to tackle poverty and focuses on early stage debt or equity investments in enterprises that provide low -income customers with access to healthcare, water, housing, alternative energy or agricultural inputs. The average commitments reported range from USD 300,000 to USD 2.5 million with an expected payback timeframe of five to seven years.

By Trevor Kwong, Research Assistant

Sources and Additional Resources:
[1] Source Article: The Salt Lake Tribune: BYU scholar promotes ‘microfranchises’ in emerging economies:

[2] MicroCapital Universe: The Acumen Fund:

[3] Brigham Young University: Ballard Center for Economic Self- Reliance: What is Microfranchising?

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