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Josh Littlejohn reveals social franchising plan at 2017 Scottish Franchise Week Business Breakfast

A very successful Scottish Franchise Week (SFW) 2017, sponsored by HSBC and Platinum Wave, was headlined by an emotional and inspiring talk from Josh Littlejohn, co-founder of Social Bite, as he addressed 180 delegates at the annual business breakfast organised by the British Franchise Association.

Josh described his business journey from failing to get a Government economist position to running a highly successful events company that attracted high profile speakers such as former US president Bill Clinton to Scotland. However, his passion is now social enterprise with his chain of Social Bite cafés and new restaurant. These businesses donate all profits to charity, and give employment opportunities to disadvantaged citizens. 2016 saw the launch of The Social Bite Academy; the UK’s first skills and employment academy for the homeless community. Josh spoke about his interest in social franchising, which would enable him to roll out his businesses around the UK and internationally. His latest venture is building a village of low-cost housing for the homeless in Edinburgh which he hopes will become a blueprint for helping to solve the homeless crisis across the UK.

Suzie McCafferty, managing director of SFW sponsors Platinum Wave and chair of the Scottish Franchise Forum, who also spoke at the breakfast, commented, “Yet again Scottish Franchise Week 2017 has been a huge success, with events highlighting the undoubted success and potential of franchising throughout Scotland. Everyone in attendance at the Business Breakfast agreed that Josh’s speech was both emotional and inspiring, and a lesson to all of us in how business can be used to help those who need it most and be a force for positive change. I think Josh’s idea of social franchising is great, and all of us involved in franchising in Scotland will look to assist him in any way we can.”

Scottish Franchise Week has become a much-anticipated annual event which celebrates franchising in Scotland and showcases the impact the sector has on the Scottish economy. Educational events ran across the week, including events for both prospective franchisees and franchisors. These gave interested parties a chance to come along and learn more about the industry, how it works and learn from experts within the industry.

Franchising is an ever-growing industry in Scotland, and the 2015 bfa Natwest Survey showed that the annual turnover of the sector had increased by 14% to £800m, driven by over 2,200 businesses employing more than 32,000 people. There has never been a better time to franchise in the northernmost part of the UK.