Samer Sfeir, CEO and Co-founder of recruiting agency Proabled and Hum’N Go snacks, shares on this 1 on1 how the value propositions of his businesses were envisioned, propelled by a vocation for social responsibility, a focus on the public’s needs and constant innovation. He also stresses on how his decision to scale in the region will enable sustained growth and allow a much wider impact.

Value proposition

Proabled is a specialized recruiting and training enterprise for employing people with disabilities. This specialization was our added value. We were able to blend tech with knowledge and good content on how to further inclusion of people with disabilities using our connections with HR departments. We blend the best in the NGO sector, where we understand the candidates, and the best in the recruitment agencies and training agencies, which know how to deal with the corporate sector.

Regarding Hum’N Go, we saw the power of hummus. It became the new worldwide used dip because it’s healthy, tasty, etc. So, we blended hummus with a snack on the go.

Continuous innovation

If you just stop at one point and say “this is my innovation. I’m going to stop here,” other people are going to surpass you and become the leaders, and you are going to become a follower. But if you are always thinking “how can I improve?”, “how can I add more innovation?”, you will be always in the leadership positions.

Prototyping

It starts very intuitively. There is a need and there is a solution, but then you need to really check: “is this really solving the problem?” Plus, there are other people doing it. Then, you always need to listen. If you are not listening, you are going to be stubborn, and there is a difference between being stubborn and being perseverant. Being stubborn means “I stick to my idea, even if it fails miserably. I’m not ready to evolve.” If I’m perseverant, I’m always listening, and I evolve my idea.

Business Model

Regarding Hum’N Go, it’s direct sales. For Proabled, it’s fees in return for training and recruitment.

Going digital

It is not the future, it’s the present. If we don’t go digital, we are behind.

Interesting funding options

There is a model that I love called “venture philanthropy”: They give you money in return of impact, and then it’s year by year. The pros are that they actually invest in your core and not only in some activities. Also, you design how the funding is going to be.

Things to consider before scaling

One thing is to always look at your costs. You cannot spend a lot of money in scaling while you don’t have the resources, because you are going to crash. 

On the other hand, with the digital approach that you can have, costs can go down while you scale. It can happen using online tools, digital systems where you avoid to have a lot of burden.

Benefits of scaling internationally

(Not escalating) is like if you find the cure for something, but you only use it in your village, while the whole country needs something like that.

The topic of disabilities is not a local or regional challenge, it’s a worldwide challenge. If we are able to work more into inclusion, we can make a great impact in the region.

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