Partner Spotlight with MommyMade – Using Expertise to Empower Refugees

Derk Norde

Derk is a co-founder at MovingWorlds.org, a global platform connecting people who want to volunteer their expertise with social impact organizations.

Women of MommyMade

When you hear about the Middle East today, it’s often related to extremism, war and refugees.

However, experiencing the region first-hand will most likely leave you enchanted by the hospitality and richness of its food, architecture and people.

We had a chance to talk to Samer Sfeir, an award-winning Social Entrepreneur from Lebanon and the founder of MommyMade. Here is conversation…

What problem does MommyMade solve?

Mommy Made Flyer in Lebanon“MommyMade is a self-started business born out of the love for food and the urge to help those less fortunate, those who we see in the streets of Beirut every day. As a group of University students, we setup a charity project starting to distribute food to under-privileged families. Although we were soon reaching many people, we also realized that our model was not financially sustainable, being dependent 100% on charity, and not really empowering the people we were trying to help

That’s why, in 2012, we launched MommyMade – a social enterprise providing catering services to local companies. With the profits of our business we feed refugee women, but at the same time we also train them for the hospitality sector. So far, we’ve trained 65 women, employed 38 of them at companies in Lebanon, and prepared a large number of free meals for children suffering from physical or financial challenges.

In addition, we also run a health food consulting service, providing diet food to the more privileged, and with those profits we are able to provide free meals for kids.”

How does MommyMade create social impact?

“We’re a small team of about 10 people, but I’m proud to say that today we are making a difference in the lives of an increasing number of people. Last week, we organized a graduation ceremony for the 53 young woman graduated from our reintegration program in 2015. At the same time we were able to feed over 900 children in our other program, providing over 24,000 meals this year.”

Why did MommyMade choose to host an Experteer?

In kitchen at mommy made“I was intrigued by the concept of Experteering because I knew we needed people with experience to really take our organization to the next level, especially with regard to marketing and strategic partnerships. As engineers, we just don’t have this experience on our team.

The fact that MovingWorlds could connect us with such an expert on a volunteer basis was amazing for us. We had several interns but they normally don’t have the skills we need. We also had business mentors before, which can be great for keeping you accountable, but mentors are not operational and generally have very limited availability.”

How did the Experteer add value to MommyMade?

“MovingWorlds recommended we get in touch with Ali Schmidt Fellner – a young professional with extensive Marketing and Project Management experience. It turned out that Ali was a great match – within a month she joined us in Lebanon, and it turned out the value she added was beyond our expectations.

After providing her with a nice place to stay close to the office, we introduced her to the whole team and all the different aspects of our organization, and made sure she felt comfortable. Ali blended in very fast and become friends with everyone!

We needed somebody not only to support but to lead our communication piece, helping us reposition our brand & marketing strategy. She first analyzed all our materials and then provided some very practical recommendations, categorized our customers in different groups, and customized our messaging for each of them.

In addition, Ali analyzed our business processes and recommended we started using a professional CRM. We knew about Salesforce but didn’t use it because, for us, it’s really a big expense. However, Ali talked to their foundation and then managed to get us 10 Salesforce licenses for free, and in addition designed a whole process for it. This has proven invaluable to us on so many levels already!”

Any other thoughts about Experteering?

Experteering in Middle East“MommyMade is doing very well, and we’re looking to connect with more Experteers in the future to help us grow our organization. The one thing I would change next time is hosting the Experteer a little longer, e.g. for 2-4 months, so the experteer has more time to deeply understand our processes and immerse in our team.

I would advise other organizations looking to onboard an Experteer to think through what exact type of expertise you are looking for, and really pay attention to finding the right match. This will greatly help you to optimize the time you have together. Besides that, it’s really important to make the Experteer feel welcome. Most of our team really connected with Ali very well, and they are still in touch today. It has been an unforgettable experience for all of us!

If I wouldn’t be busy building my company right now, I would sign up to become an Experteer today!

 


 

For more about Ali’s side of the story, you can read about and watch her Experteering Story here.

Watch a short video about MommyMade here.

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