Original Ernst & Young press release posted here.
CR Fellows return from seven-week skills-based volunteering program
More than 60 Endeavor Entrepreneurs in Latin America have benefited from the volunteer efforts of Ernst & Young’s Americas Corporate Responsibility (CR) Fellows since 2006. The 2012 class of Fellows has just returned from their seven-week assignments where they leveraged their workplace skills to meet the specific business needs of entrepreneurs at no charge to the businesses. Since the program was formed, CR Fellows have contributed nearly 27,000 hours working with promising entrepreneurs in emerging markets in an effort to create scalable, sustainable economic value.
“Ernst & Young is recognized as a best-in-class learning organization because of the experiences that our people have both within the firm and the broader marketplace,” said Deborah Holmes, Americas Director of Corporate Responsibility for the Ernst & Young organization. “The CR Fellows program — along with our other signature programs, College MAP and Earthwatch Ambassadors — provide engaging, hands-on experiences for our employees that help them grow as inclusive leaders while using their professional skills to strengthen our communities.”
This long-running program benefited entrepreneurs in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Chile this year by engaging Ernst & Young’s top-performing talent in projects that addressed business issues like cash flow management, human resources strategy, financial process definition and sales and marketing. In turn, the CR Fellows gained a more global mindset through this short, sharp global mobility experience where they lived and worked in an unfamiliar culture. CR Fellows return to the workplace with stronger values of diversity and inclusion and an expanded global mindset.
Fellow Brendan Maher explained: “During my Fellows experience, the language barrier was always a challenge. When I was conducting a meeting in English, I often had to slow down to make sure everyone understood my message. I’ve tried to apply this lesson since returning to my team at Ernst & Young. Most of my current client-related work is related to over-the-counter derivatives reform stemming from the Dodd-Frank Act, which can be very difficult for new team members to grasp. When discussing a new concept, I often pause and ask them to explain the key impacts to demonstrate their understanding.”
Since 2006, Ernst & Young has collaborated with Endeavor, a not-for-profit organization that identifies and supports high-impact entrepreneurs in emerging economies, to match the CR Fellows with their host company. And just last year, the firm announced a three-year, multi-million dollar sponsorship with Endeavor that includes support for International Selection Panels, executive-level mentors and connections, Global events sponsorship and the launch of a new financial course designed expressly for Endeavor Entrepreneurs.
“Endeavor and CR Fellows work with entrepreneurs to help these businesses become ‘high-impact’ –- expanding employment, generating wealth and inspiring others to innovate,” said Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “In fact, Endeavor’s high-impact entrepreneurs grow jobs 5.4 times faster than comparable companies and grow revenue 2.4 times faster than comparable companies.”
The 2012 Fellows supported 12 distinct entrepreneurs with the following projects:
ClearSale, a provider of fraud risk management outsourcing solutions that focus on e-commerce and telesales environments, was assisted by an Assurance manager from Fort Worth on a financial processes project.
B2, an agency that serves as a marketing platform for brands and advertisers to access Brazil’s burgeoning youth market, received assistance from a Cleveland-based Advisory senior manager with a Human Resources leadership development project.
Pixel Labs, a developer of interactive cosmetic technology solutions for point of sale and online channels, received help with cash flow management and projection from an Atlanta-based Transaction Advisory Services manager.
Tuyo, a company that buys and re-sells secondhand consumer electronics in stores, developed a same-store strategy and key initiatives with the support of an Americas Markets associate director from Secaucus, NJ.
BlueMessaging, a business that offers organizations a user-friendly and scalable digital messaging platform based on artificial intelligence, was assisted by a Financial Services Office senior manager from New York on financial processes.
Enova, a social enterprise specializing in technology-based educational services, worked with an Advisory senior manager from McLean, VA, to identify organizational improvement opportunities spanning people, process and technology.
Integro, a company that creates Human Resources loyalty programs, received assistance with financial reporting from a Tel Aviv-based Assurance manager.
Conexia, a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) information technology company, was helped with their financial planning process by a Transaction Advisory Services manager from New York.
Onapsis, a software development firm that performs automated SAP security assessments, was assisted by a Charlotte, NC-based Financial Services Office senior manager on various financial processes.
Goodpeople, an action sports community network that has a retail and online presence, was supported by an Assurance manager from Kitchener, Ontario, with their financials and forecasting.
Prey, a developer of an open-source, multi-platform software that helps people track and recover lost or stolen computers, tablets and mobile phones, prepared to raise capital and expand market share with the support of a Louisville, KY-based Advisory manager.
Buscalibre, an e-commerce bookstore, received assistance with brand and marketing strategy from a marketing associate director from Los Angeles.
Ernst & Young’s CR Fellows program is an extension of the organization’s global commitment to entrepreneurship, which includes the annual Strategic Growth Forum, an event that gathers more than 2,000 of the nation’s top CEOs, entrepreneurs, advisors, investors and other senior business leaders to share their experience on innovation, transactions, growth and what’s shaping the future of the global economy. This event also hosts the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® awards program, recognizing entrepreneurs for their vision, innovation, courage and leadership in building and growing successful businesses.
In addition to the Americas CR Fellows, Strategic Growth Forum and Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® awards, the firm demonstrates support for the next generation of entrepreneurs with additional programs:
- The Ernst & Young Entrepreneurial Winning Women program, launched in 2008, helps outstanding women entrepreneurs accelerate the growth of their businesses by identifying and connecting them with the advisors, resources, and insights they need to scale up and become market leaders.
- The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Alumni-Youth Entrepreneurship Fund, created in collaboration with the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), provides scholarships for NFTE students while supporting NFTE in its mission of helping underserved youth pursue educational opportunities, start their own businesses and succeed in life. In addition to the fund, Ernst & Young LLP professionals provide leadership on each of NFTE’s Regional Advisory Boards across the US and demonstrate extensive volunteerism in NFTE programs.
- Ernst & Young LLP awarded an in-kind donation of $1 million worth of professional services to Kiva.org, the world’s first person-to-person micro-lending website that has helped fund nearly 845,000 entrepreneurs in developing markets. Ernst & Young LLP professionals from the Advisory and Assurance service lines contribute their time to Kiva.org in support of projects designed to help Kiva evaluate financial data and improve its controls.
To learn more about the Americas CR Fellows program, please click here.