UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School


International Job Creation: Can We (Micro) Franchise Our Way Out of Poverty?


Three prominent experts will discuss global micro-franchising as an innovative model for alleviating poverty on Feb. 3 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Micro-franchising offers proven business models—and a network of support—to entrepreneurs in developing countries. It creates jobs and eases the burden of having to invent and test a new business. Sometimes called a “business in a box,” a micro-franchise often can launch and achieve results quickly.

Speaking on the panel will be Jason Fairborne, David Lehr and Malini Tolat. UNC Kenan-Flagler professor Lisa Jones Christensen will moderate.

  • Jason Fairborne is a consultant to many organizations interested in establishing micro-franchises. He is the author of MicroFranchising: Creating Wealth at the Bottom of the Pyramid.
  • David Lehr has over 15 years of experience creating social and for-profit businesses. His focus is on sustainable approaches to development that create employment and economic growth, and which leverage cell phones/Internet access to achieve scale.
  • Malini Tolat is with Solutions for the Poorest at the Grameen Foundation. She leads an initiative focused on economic development with emphases on value chain development, micro-franchising and integrated service models.
  • Lisa Jones Christensen researches and teaches entrepreneurship, innovation and change management at UNC Kenan-Flagler. She focuses on microenterprise development including innovations in microfinance, micro-insurance and micro-franchising.

The panel discussion will be held from 5:30-6:45 p.m. in the Nelson Mandela Auditorium of the FedEx Global Education Center. It is free and open to the public. Please RSVP to ciber@unc.edu. After the discussion, a public reception will follow in the FedEx Global Education Center atrium.

The event is co-hosted by five of UNC's Title VI centers, the Institute for the Environment and the Center for Sustainable Enterprise at UNC Kenan-Flagler. Co-sponsors are the Center for International Business Education & Research (UNC CIBER), African Studies Center, Institute for the Environment, Center for European Studies, Center for Slavic, Eurasian and East European Studies, Center for Sustainable Enterprise, Institute for the Study of the Americas and the Carolina Microfinance Initiative.