Issa brothers earn award for community work

Mohsin and Zuber Issa, the co-founders of the EG Group, have been recognised for 'building a better working world' and will go onto represent the UK at the International EY Awards.

Moshin and Zuber Issa EY Awards

The co-CEOs were the overall winners at the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards in addition to topping their individual category, which recognised the positive impact they are making to communities both locally and globally.

The Blackburn-based brothers started their business in 2001 with a single petrol forecourt in Bury, that they ran themselves. Today, they operate around 4,500 sites across eight different markets - UK, France, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, Germany and the US - and employ over 20,000 people.

EG Group is one of the European leaders in forecourt convenience retailing and has recently entered the US market.

The business was built on the ‘customer’s want’ to access convenience from a single location, to buy fuel, groceries and ‘food on the go’. They disrupted the traditional forecourt model, by offering customers: all grades of fuel at all pumps; an improved retail experience by partnering with leading brands; and transformed sites so they offered well-lit parking, clean washroom facilities, and even free wi-fi.

Joanna Santinon, partner and EY Entrepreneur Of The Year leader, UK, said: “From operating one forecourt themselves, Mohsin and Zuber have grown EG Group into a distinctive and successful global business that has placed the customer at the heart of its strategy.

“Disrupting the traditional model, they have transformed the consumer experience in a competitive forecourt retail sector, investing whilst others were exiting the market. The business has experienced huge growth in 17 years and there is potential for further expansion internationally into new geographies.”

Whilst running the business, Mohsin and Zuber set up the ISSA Foundation, which supports individuals, communities and organisations, both domestically and internationally, with activities that promote education, health and addresses poverty.

Over the years they have funded projects locally, including the purchase of an MRI scanner for Blackburn Royal Hospital, supporting two nursing roles at East Lancashire Hospice, and founding the Blackburn Youth Zone, which aims to change the prospects offered to young people in the area.

They have also supported medical camps in Kenya, food programmes in India, Malawi and Sierra Leone, water wells, and pre and post-natal care at clinics in African Countries.

Victoria Price, partner and EY Entrepreneur Of The Year leader in the North, said: “EG Group promotes a real sense of purpose and social responsibility among its workforce, encouraging its employees to get involved with fundraising and community work. Mohsin and Zuber have invested over £7m to reduce the impact of the environmental and carbon footprint - including installing solar panels, LED lighting and electric charging points at sites.” Mohsin and Zuber Issa will now represent the UK at EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year in Monaco next year.