The International Centre for Social Franchising (ICSF) has bold ambitions. Not only do we support our clients to scale their social impact, we are also working to change the way the sector approaches scale, so that more social innovations scale up globally.

Over the last six years, ICSF has had the opportunity to work with a whole host of organisations taking groundbreaking approaches to scaling social impact. We believe in the importance of sharing the lessons learnt by organisations like these, so that others too can embark on a successful scale journey.


Proven examples 

Baby Steps
One such example is our work with the UK’s leading child abuse prevention charity NSPCC, with whom we developed a social franchising model to scale the impact of Baby Steps, a perinatal education programme that supports parents in need of extra support to care for their new-borns and reduce the stress associated with the arrival of a baby.



ICSF’s recommendation that we adopt a social franchising model was spot on to ensure we strike a balance between programme fidelity and timely scale. Any other model would have either compromised scaleability, or undermined positive outcomes for families.
— Karen Bateson, Implementation Manager, Baby Steps

In a first for the UK social sector, NSPCC now leads the way in helping partner organisations to implement their evidence-based programmes, including Baby Steps, with the establishment of a Scale-up Unit.

The unit provides details of each of their tried and tested programmes that are available for partners to adopt, along with the associated costs, and the support and training available to them from NSPCC.

This approach, based on the principles of social franchising, allows NSPCC to scale the impact of their programmes through partners in the public and voluntary sectors, without themselves having to invest further resources; an approach, we believe, many in the social sector will follow in the years to come.


Diva sites
We also are working with reproductive rights organisation Marie Stopes Zambia to pilot an innovative way of scaling up the delivery of adolescent sexual reproductive services through the public sector.

This project moves away from traditional approaches of capacity building by working in partnership with the Zambian Ministry of Health from the outset to develop a replicable model for success.

There is already considerable excitement around the project and we are keen to gather valuable insight from this innovative approach.


Valuable Lessons
Each of these stories contain valuable lessons for the sector. As we look towards our rebrand in November, and the pursuit of our new organisational strategy, ICSF looks forward to sharing these lessons so that, together, we can build a deeper understanding of the ingredients for successful scale and replication.

Martha Paren,
UK Director 
ICSF – International Centre for Social Franchising