Posted by: bevmeldrum | September 14, 2007

Fridays Are Different – Ben & Jerry’s Partner Shops

It was only going to be a matter of time before Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream got mentioned here on For More Than Profit. Between Phish Food and Chunky Monkey Ben & Jerry’s have, in my opinion, the greatest selection of ice-cream flavours ever. I am also the only person I know who has read the book on the history of Ben & Jerry’s.

Ben & Jerry’s get mentioned a lot in my social enterprise courses. I use them to describe the difference between a standard franchise and social franchising and they appear as a question in the ‘Is This A Social Enterprise? Quiz. The answer, in case you are wondering is no, they aren’t a social enterprise but their Partner Shops are.

Ben & Jerry’s Partner Shops are similar to their standard franchises – if you went in one it would look and feel like a normal Ben & Jerry’s shop. The difference is that they are run by charities that work with disadvantaged young people. Unlike a standard franchise that has to pay a percentage of the profits back to the franchisor, with Partner Shops all of the profits go back to the charity. The young people also gain employment skills as they learn how to work in the shops.

What a great idea – surely the opportunity is there for more franchisors to use this model as part of their own corporate responsibility programmes.

Find out more about Partner Shops here.

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