Youth entrepreneurship network The Entourage has acquired fellow advisory service MBE Education, claiming that the move will help boost fast growth start-ups in Australia.
The Entourage, which offers education and advisory courses to entrepreneurs aged under 35, will continue as a separate brand following the purchase, as will MBE Education, which specialises in corporate finance education, regardless of age.
Jack Delosa, executive director at The Entourage, will be the controlling shareholder of the new entity. He was previously a minority shareholder in MBE Education.
Serial entrepreneur Dominic Carosa and Stuart Cook, CEO of Mexican food chain Zambreros, will be minority shareholders in the new venture.
Reuben Buchanan, an entrepreneur and StartupSmart blogger, was previously the owner of MBE Education. The value of the deal hasn’t been disclosed.
Delosa says that the deal will allow the business to help more ventures increase the pace of their growth.
“We have had overwhelming results in helping under-35s, but to be a market leader, we realised that we needed to educate the over-35s too,” he says.
“For me, it comes back to the research that shows us that entrepreneurs aren’t satisfied with the level of education across Australia.”
“We want to deliver that value and allow a lot of people to have the opportunity to grow by raising capital, buying a business or selling.”
“The board members of MBE Group are all investors, and nine times out of 10, the companies that come to us looking to raise capital aren’t prepared with their proposition, documents or exit strategy.”
“There is money out there, but the number one barrier to investment is the lack of access to suitable deals. Small businesses aren’t good at pitching themselves and we want to help them be investor-ready.”
Delosa says that The Entourage and MBE Education will add a more formal investor network within the next year.
Until then, the new venture offers expertise to growing businesses for three months, at $5,000 a month.
Delosa says that 10,000 businesses a year will be clients of the combined company. These clients were recently surveyed on entrepreneurial education, with 90% saying that university doesn’t provide proper preparation for the business world and half saying that mentors are the most important sources of business information.
Program participants usually have a turnover between $500,000 and $5 million, with four to 20 members of staff.