Gerson Lehrman Group (GLG), the world’s largest membership for professional learning and expertise, has partnered with Endeavor to offer select entrepreneurs in need of business advisement the opportunity to consult with its experts. Endeavor is a 15-year old non-profit that provides mentoring support and expert advice to over 500 “high-impact” companies in 19 countries around the world. While Endeavor has its own volunteer network of over 1,000 professionals around the world who are committed to mentorship, the partnership with GLG has enabled Endeavor to enhance its offering through access to GLG’s network of over 375,000 subject matter and functional experts.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Endeavor on these high-impact projects,” said Jen Field, Director of Social Impact at GLG. “Our mission and goals with respect to social entrepreneurship are most often in just the right alignment.”
“This partnership with GLG has allowed Endeavor to expand its range of high-impact services,” echoed David Wachtel, Endeavor’s SVP of Marketing, Communications and Partnerships. “These entrepreneurs were able to get additional advice tailored to their industries.”
Since 2012, GLG has supported Endeavor Entrepreneurs seeking expertise and insights related to specific areas of their businesses, from supply chain efficiencies to global expansion efforts. One country where the partnership is proving very valuable is Egypt. Endeavor has been operating in Egypt since 2008 but stepped up its operations after the events of the Arab Spring. Entrepreneurship is critical to Egypt’s economic future and, despite the current uncertainty, Endeavor has uncovered a number of promising companies with strong potential. Endeavor turned to GLG for help identifying qualified experts that could offer custom insights to Endeavor businesses to enable them to grow and prosper amidst the challenging economic and political environment.
One of a few select companies in Egypt providing full-service catering, El Matbakh evolved to focus exclusively on the corporate sector, where founders Tarek Khaddaj and Hiba Jammal saw a chance to offer personalized, turn-key food operations to the business class. After their selection as Endeavor Entrepreneurs in 2010, Khaddaj and Jammal have seen steady growth in their industry and were in search of areas for expansion and operational improvement. Earlier this year, Endeavor and GLG partnered to connect Khaddaj and Jammal with the CEO of a supply chain management consulting company and former Sodexo executive to discuss El Matbakh’s current and future needs. The entrepreneurs sought counseling on methods of streamlining transportation, purchasing and vendor processes, as well as general advice on the global food service industry landscape and how they would be able to compete.
The GLG expert provided the El Matbakh team with a global perspective on their field along with objective feedback on their business and growth strategies that would allow them to adjust their long-term goals and diversify their client base going forward. “The insight was very helpful, and we are trying to apply some of the advice to our business model,” Khaddaj expressed in reference to their work with GLG.
The Bakery Shop (TBS)
Founded in 2008, Tarek El Nazer, Sameh El Sadat, and Basel Mashhour started TBS after recognizing an opportunity to offer fresh-baked European-style bread products to Egyptians in search of a more high-end bakery service. Serving a full range of items from baguettes to pastries, TBS operates independent retail stores as well as a B2B service for restaurants and sale stalls in supermarket chains. TBS has experienced rapid growth since its founding and, after selection as Endeavor Entrepreneurs in 2011, began developing expansion plans to open more locations and bring products to other regions. Earlier this year, Endeavor and GLG connected TBS with a former director of bakeries at Kuwait Food Company with extensive experience in the regional food and manufacturing industries. Seeking insight and advice on their business model as well as recommendations on broadening their product line, TBS worked with the GLG expert to clarify its goals and understand the best short- and long-term strategies for improving its offerings and expanding globally. More recently, GLG connected TBS with the owner of a food and bakery industry consulting firm and independent consultant to fast food chain Pret-A-Manger. The consultant worked with TBS on methods for managing increased production demand and offered best practices for the establishment of a central production facility.
The sessions with GLG experts provided TBS’ entrepreneurs with customized advice to help streamline their business approach and customer base, as well as identify opportunities for product diversification, overhead reduction and supply chain improvement. With plans in progress to bring their brand to a wider audience, TBS’ founders acquired a more in-depth understanding of their strengths and areas for progress through access to GLG’s experts.
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