The Bain-Endeavor SA relationship and #BainOYW

Endeavor SA

What is the background?

Endeavor is a global non-profit that catalyses long-term economic growth by selecting, mentoring and accelerating the best high-impact entrepreneurs around the world.  By providing access to first-class support, coaching, networking and investing opportunities, Endeavor helps create jobs and propel economies.

Our similar results-first culture and passion to make a difference resulted in a strategic multi-year relationship between Bain and Endeavor.  The partnership started with Endeavor Global in New York and rapidly spread to Endeavor affiliates across the developing world; besides South Africa, so far we have worked together on the ground in Mexico, Turkey, Chile and now Brazil.  In addition there are Bainies on externship with various Endeavor offices and entrepreneurs around the world.

What did we do?

Bain South Africa has just finished an exciting three month case, working alongside the Endeavor South Africa team in both Johannesburg and Cape Town.  We built upon the work of our colleagues around the world whilst also addressing the particular issues that Endeavor SA faced.  We helped rollout the globally defined Endeavor Entrepreneur selection and mentoring processes and developed a long-term sustainability plan building upon Endeavor’s core strengths.  As a result they now have an increasing number of high-quality entrepreneurs being selected, much more effective mentoring and support processes and a clear focus on the essential fundraising efforts that all non-profits must excel at.

Why does it matter so much?

Personally I found this an amazing opportunity to combine my passion for social impact with the skills and tools that Bain has taught me – all towards making a difference in my home country.  Helping Endeavor SA has a direct impact on South Africa as a whole by creating jobs and driving economic growth.  In particular, Endeavor SA’s unique Excelerator Entrepreneur programme really focuses economic development where it is needed the most, on emerging sectors of the market where entrepreneurs often don’t have the contacts, knowledge or even belief to realise their potential.

A good example of the sort of impact Endeavor can have is seen in Masana Hygiene Services.  In the two years after being selected as an Endeavor Entrepreneur, Masana increased their revenue and employees by 2.5-3 times and are now offering university bursaries to some of their employees’ children.  Without Endeavor facilitating professional accounting advice, helping Masana win a SAB Foundation funding grant and developing staff skills, it is unlikely they would have seen such growth.  And that growth was substantial – translating into more jobs, more revenue and better opportunities for Masana’s employees and their families.

We hope the results of our partnership will show continued and enhanced growth in the local economy – and I will be happy to know that I played at least some small part in it.

What’s next?

Bain & Company and Endeavor South Africa are co-hosting a breakout session at this year’s One Young World Conference on the topic of: The Importance of Fostering High-Impact Entrepreneurs. The conference starts this week in Johannesburg.  To hear more about this session or the experience of the Bain Delegates at the global summit (including one from my office!), follow #BainOYW on Twitter from October 2-5 or check back on our blog for new posts after the conference.

-Rob, Consultant, South Africa

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