By providing a specialized quality management training to fledgling and bankrupt businesses, in the short-term, the company helps these businesses become profitable and viable firms. Many families whose livelihood and well-being depends on these jobs are affected by the quality education of the company (SDGs 1, 3). In addition, the company serves the society by providing decent work and economic growth in the long-term (SDG 8). It also promotes partnerships (SDG 17) through developing a network (club) of the past and existing clients (to help them disseminate knowledge and share experiences), holding periodical meetings with the club members, coaching and mentoring programs, providing consultation services to industries, and collaborating with business partners.
The innovation of the company is providing a quality applied education to the owners of fledgling and bankrupt businesses. Though the owners of such businesses typically do not have a proper educational background (most of them do not even have a high-school diploma), the two-year management training offered by the company enables them to effectively run their businesses and prosper.
What makes the company’s business model unique, is the role it plays in bridging the gap between universities and businesses. This is important because, while universities do provide a formal business education, they however, do not provide the “know-how” of running a business. Therefore, SDScenter has designed a professional curriculum to equip businessmen with the appropriate skills and knowledge required to manage a business in a most professional manner.
After the completion of the training, clients become members of a club named Elite Managers. They gather periodically for sharing experiences and disseminating knowledge. Such social settings (called “funny management”) include 3-day educational camps and inspirational music. The company has also initiated coaching and mentoring programs as well as audio-visual instructional materials titled Accompanying Professor which help managers get on-the-go training in their offices or cars.
The company provides its innovative service guarantee; meaning that businesses have the right to claim their payments at any time throughout the course, if not finding it beneficial to their prosperity. Among the last 3000 businesses receiving the two-year training course of the company, no business has claimed its payment.
“Being aware of the gap between our educational system and industry, I was curious and determined for so long to solve this structural problem.”, said the company’s leader.
Ten years ago, as a faculty member (and a husband), the leader was on a mission to buy some lettuce for home to make salad for his guests. “I noticed how the seller prepared a couple of fresh lettuces by cutting and throwing out the withered leaves of the lettuces which seemed non-consumable first. Driving back home, I thought perhaps the same should be done with the syllabi of our undergraduate and graduate programs. I believed there were many courses that could be deleted from the syllabi without having an adverse effect on the quality of the programs.”
Starting the next day, he strives to delete unnecessary courses from the syllabuses of undergraduate, master’s and PhD programs of management, consulting with other faculty members. “The result was not satisfactory first. But, I worked with a group for a year until we finally found an acceptable version of contents through trial-and-error.” He emphasizes: “We intended to make initially our educational system more effective. But, the more we went forward, the more we ended up with social values.”
“Now, we offer our clients the most complex managerial techniques in a simple language. We help fledgling and bankrupt businesses to recover. We create value by educating businesses. We help create (save) jobs by our quality education. This has been, is, and will be inspiring!”
The company’s leader: “When someone says we have transformed their business and life by our quality education and organizational culture, I feel it is the most exciting part of our business.”
The company helps uneducated businessmen change their viewpoint from traditional management to leadership for excellence. They are taught effective managerial concepts and techniques such as branding, marketing, advertising, sales, customer relationship management, organizational chart design, human resources management, recruitment and interview principles, and performance evaluation. The instruction is complemented by coaching and mentoring programs; learning is achieved by doing which makes the difference. The course materials are succinct; meticulously selected and designed for uneducated learners. The company’s leader emphasizes: “Having the third paradigm of education in mind, I believe we have created an entrepreneurship university. Social marketing is the core of our business model. We think businesses are the drivers of societies. And if, as the first wagon, businesses start moving, other wagons will follow.”
Many success stories are posted on the company’s website. The clients emphasize passionately how they are affected by the quality of the applied management training. For example, one restaurant owner says: “Despite spending lots of money each year on advertisement, we were not successful to attract customers. SDScenter taught us how, without advertisements, we could increase our sales and net profit. Now, I say with confidence that we have spent nothing for advertisements this year.”
Founded in 2009, the company has been profitable non-stop for nine years. According to the company’s leader, their innovative quality management training still creates a significant part of the company’s profit. In fact, the lion’s share of the profit comes from the core of their business: management consulting and training. The company also earns some profit from sponsoring.
Wealth Maker Mondays is one of the most recent initiatives of the company which, quoting the company’s leader, pivots around a central idea: “Professionals exchange money for experience; they do not buy it by their lives!” The initiative is a half-a-day workshop series for highly competitive industries and usually provides new clients to the company. The leader emphasizes their art in education: “We avoid using too much technical jargon. We talk to our prospective clients simply in their own language.”
The leader also explains the key to their success in consultation services: “We believe that in the private sector there is no time and resource to waste. Therefore, to respect our clients and differentiate our own services, we always allocate our best experts and specialists to provide diagnosis services agile and purposeful.”
In the short-term, the company helps businesses become profitable and viable firms. Saving businesses means saving the jobs of employees. Many families whose livelihood and well-being depends on these jobs are affected by the company’s quality education (SDGs 1, 3). Indeed, the company serves the society by providing decent work and economic growth in the long-term (SDG 8). Also, it promotes partnership (SDG 17) through developing a network (club) of the past and existing clients (to help them disseminate knowledge and share experiences), holding periodical meetings with the club members, coaching and mentoring programs, providing consultation services to industries, and collaborating with business partners.
The company’s leader asserts: “We motivate our clients toward excellence and, in this way, shape a chain of benefits in society. To help communities and alleviate poverty, we promote businesses to prosper and create wealth. We respect the self-esteem of individuals and do not believe in charities.”
The company’s recent initiative (Accompanying Professor) has been promising as well. Many businessmen in the capital have shown enthusiasm to use these audio-visual packages. The leader says: “This successful experience has motivated us to plan to provide the service across the country. Our audio-visual products in the long-term help energy saving, cost reduction and risk mitigation. Also, they help mitigate air pollution.” Although the company’s focus is on solving societal issues, it also positively affects the environment by developing innovative products like the audio-visual packages, the by-products of which reduce travel demand, thus saving energy and reducing pollutants (SDG 13).
Afshin Golestan, CEO
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Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran
Business Website: www.SDScenter.org
Year Founded: 2009
Number of Employees: 11-50
SDScenter is a social entrepreneurship business located at Tehran, the capital of Iran. The innovation of this company is providing a specialized quality management training to fledgling and bankrupt businesses whose owners typically do not have a proper educational background. While the company makes profit and is self-sustaining, it creates value for the society and environment by empowering businesses as drivers of communities. The company’s vision for 2025 is to grow and be a family of 10,000 wealthy brothers and sisters who continuously learn the most effective ways to create value for themselves and their society in a sustainable way.