Business Development Talk with Assaf Luxembourg

Skyline view from Liberty State Park (Gautam Krishnan/Unsplash)

Assaf Luxembourg is a Business Development Advisor for Plus972, a creative agency from NYC that also works with local brands in Israel. Assaf works with businesses, startups and entrepreneurs by helping them to grow and develop, and is also known as a “start-up nation ambassador” for Israel, working with audiences all over the world. Additionally, he helps young professionals, especially international individuals moving into Israel, with entrepreneurial thinking for career development.

Assaf is also involved in a COVID-19 recovery initiative started by Plus972, called Plus972Cares. Assaf spearheads the initiative alongside Plus972’s founder & CEO, Reuben Ben-Yehuda.

What is Plus972Cares?

Plus972Cares is an initiative to aid businesses in recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, by uniting trusted industry professionals across complementary fields who are offering support to nonprofits, small businesses, and corporations around the world. Our partners are offering complimentary or discounted consultations and services across a variety of verticals including: business development, marketing, real estate, data management, public relations, crisis management, cyber security, and financial planning, among others.

Assaf Luxembourg (Courtesy)

How did you think of the idea?

Reuben Ben-Yehuda, founder and CEO Of Plus972, started this initiative. Back when the  COVID-19 crisis started, we launched a response policy, offering help to businesses and brands facing crisis-management dilemmas. Then, while many others also launched impressive and inspiring response campaigns, we realized a large majority of the difficulty businesses will face will be after we start getting back to normal (or, a “new” normal).

As a result, we decided to develop an initiative focusing on recovery, rather than response. Together with the understanding that many of Plus972 friends and colleagues are experts in their field, and are usually beyond reach to many people, we decided to unite partners and create a group of experts offering to help the business community in recovery.

Who can get help?  

Plus972Cares is available to any business, non-profit, or other kind of organization that has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and to those seeking advice and help with reestablishing growth.

Who is helping?

The partners who are featured on the website and are offering help are a selected group of professionals we curated to offer a full spectrum of critical business expertise in arenas such as business development, marketing, real estate, data management, etc. Current initiative partners and available services include Emerson Rigby (Ido Aharoni), UpSpring PR  (Tiffany Rafii), Livian & Co. (Michael Livian), Ferrari Group (Manuel Miraglia), Interfor International (Don Aviv), BZH Capital (Edoardo Levy), Zar Property NY (David Zar), and more.

Are you looking for more experts to provide advice?  What kind of expertise are you looking for?  

While our group remains selective and curated, we always encourage others who are willing to offer help to apply to be a Plus972Cares partner. Business leaders who are interested in getting involved by providing their services can apply easily using our website, here. We understand that many industry professionals are interested in helping others, but do not have a structured COVID-19 program in place. If we can help provide this venue for them, then we are happy to do that.

What has happened so far?

We launched this initiative recently, and have already received quite a bit of traction from many founders, entrepreneurs, and small-business owners in need of assistance. We received requests from companies in Israel, but also from the United States, Mexico, and European countries. We also received many requests from business professionals to join as partners and offer their expertise, which is heart-warming to see. 

As a small business owner myself, I came to learn that the one thing that unites all leaders, executives, founders, entrepreneurs, and freelancers is the constant struggle with the unknown, patience and sometimes, loneliness. These are often the experiences that prompt us to reach out for help from other professionals. Seeing so many other business owners willing to put time and effort into helping others like themselves is inspiring for us to see as the leaders of the Plus972Cares initiative.

Is there a question that I did not ask that you would like to answer?  

I would love to further discuss WHY we are doing this. First, because we care and understand that businesses need, and will need in the near future, assistance with recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, not just an early and quick response. Also, we believe in Karma – that helping others today, while asking for nothing in return is likely to benefit all involved parties in the long run. We do not know when, from who, and how – but we believe in this cycle. 

In addition, it is in times like these we should remember to be thankful for what we have. So, this is our way of giving back and doing good. We know that many may assume that reaching out to our partners and getting their assistance is beyond reach. With Plus972Cares, we want those who are seeking help to have easy access to the business professionals, our partners, who are offering aid.

About the Author
Sherman holds an MBA from The Kedge Business School, a Grande Ecole de Commerce et de management in France, which included time as an executive exchange scholar at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China. He has a BA from The University of California, San Diego, San Diego, and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University.
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