entrepreneurs in Egypt come up against a variety of challenges:
registering a company, finding legal help, renting an office, and
perhaps hunting for s designer, programmer, community manager,
video photographer, producer or advertising experts.
Those struggling to set up can now turn to Connectors, a business consultancy that officially launched last month after operating since 2012.
The company work to help startups register, assess their product market fit, and devise a marketing strategy. The biggest challenge for most startups, says Founding Partner Sherif Artisan, is that the Egyptian market is currently experiencing a lot of uncertainty when it comes to investment.
This results in projects that spend a lot of money at the founding phase, whether for designing websites, programming or marketing, or other sectors, but end up wasting seed capital as they lack expertise and the ability to choose good service providers. “We intitally offer consultancy for free, which saves startups money, effort and time”, said Artisan.
It's not 100% free, however; startups receive access to Connectors' services and databases for free, but must pay a commission should they close a deal with a client they met through the consultancy. Connectors then takes a commission rate of 10% from the agreement signed between the business owner and the client, although the rate is negotiable and might go down to 5% or climb up to 15% depending on the deal value or whether the deal is exclusive.
In its first month, Connectors has facilitated four deals thus far, and has received over 60 requests from clients to connect with some of the over 400 companies that have signed up to join their database. Most of these startups are requesting marketing services and human resources, the founders reveal, although many also request help with kitchen equipment, food and nutrition consultancy, mobile applications and website development, and investment and legal consultancies.
One of the consultancy's strengths it that is boasts expertise is the food and beverage sector; it's already helped a few restaurants such as Tamara Bistro, Mori Sushi and Mint, to create advertising and marketing strategies, content, food menus, kitchen design and tools, as well as open other branches and franchises.
Even a couple of companies in Switzerland and Cyprus have flocked to Connectors in hopes of entering the Egyptian market, says Artisan. While they consider the Yellow Pages their only indirect competitor, it's clear by their initial surge of business that Egypt needs more like them.