The 2015 Social & Community Investment Awards: Bain & Company


Firm: Bain & Company
Type of Work: Pro Bono
Client: Endeavor

Founded in 1997, Endeavor, a global nonprofit that works with entrepreneurs to scale up their companies—and thus creating jobs, revenues and role models—has helped more than 1,000 entrepreneurs build over 600 companies generating some $7 billion in revenue. Bain & Company’s relationship with Endeavor has been instrumental in helping to shape corporate social responsibility.

The partnership is global in scope and multi-dimensional in nature, says Vikki Tam, Partner and Head of Bain’s Economic Development Practice. Since Bain began its engagement with Endeavor in 2011, 15 case teams across seven global offices have worked on pro-bono projects addressing the nonprofit’s most critical strategic and operational issues.

More than 30 Bain partners have acted as mentors to Endeavor entrepreneurs, selection panelists, case leaders and country expansion advisors; over 20 consultants have participated in externships with Endeavor’s country affiliates, Insight group and entrepreneurs.

Bain estimates it has invested about $13 million of consulting support in Endeavor between 2011 and 2014. Just four years ago, Endeavor was at an inflection point, trying to grow from charming to important, according to Fernando Fabre, President of Endeavor. At the time, Endeavor had been operating for a decade, opening about one office each year, but it lacked a clear growth strategy and a repeatable model to achieve its aggressive expansion goals, says Fabre.

“Bain came to us at the perfect time, we were really at an inflexion point and because of Bain, we’ve been able to triple in size and impact,” says Fabre. “Initially, I was a little concerned about getting a consulting firm involved because I thought I’d end up with a thousand different tasks and I didn’t want that. I had enough work to do. Bain helped us address how we become one organization.”

Bain’s approach to working with the nonprofit sector combines the best of its private-sector expertise and results-driven approaches with deep empathy for and commitment to the organization’s mission. The firm set out to “turbo-charge Endeavor on a global scale, developing a new organization-wide strategy and working directly with local teams to implement it in affiliate countries,” Tam says.

This provided Endeavor with strategic clarity. Bain also helped codify a repeatable model to accelerate Endeavor’s growth and impact, including: a consistent set of metrics to measure impact; standardized selection criteria to identify which entrepreneurs to admit to the support program; and a value creation methodology, similar to a CEO’s 100-day planning process, to help entrepreneurs scale up their companies.

Finally, Bain helped Endeavor develop a competency framework, KPIs, and onboarding and training materials to train and develop talent consistently across every Endeavor office, Tam says.

“Bain’s aspiration in social impact is to apply our talent to deliver transformative impact to address some of the world’s most pressing issues, and one of those pressing issues is economic development so our work with Endeavor is important because they are a nonprofit that’s a true innovator, a game-changer that’s pioneering the high-impact entrepreneurship movement,” Tam says.

Bain’s time, energy and efforts are paying off—earlier this year, Endeavor accomplished the goal it set in 2011, reaching a total of 25 offices worldwide, and Endeavor also was honored with the 10th Annual Henry R. Kravis Prize in Nonprofit Leadership “ the Nobel Prize for nonprofits“ for its global impact.

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