High-Impact Entrepreneurship

2011 Summit closing address by Linda Rottenberg and Fernando Fabre [Video, Transcript]

Endeavor is pleased to make public the following transcript and video from a presentation at the 2011 Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit in San Francisco. The event, which assembled over 450 entrepreneurs and global business leaders, featured dozens of entrepreneurship-related presentations by top CEOs and industry experts.

Overview: Endeavor CEO Linda Rottenberg and President Fernando Fabre concluded the Summit with their ideas, goals and dreams for Endeavor and the Endeavor Entrepreneurs who make it all possible.

Full transcript:

Fernando Fabre (President, Endeavor Global)

We want to talk about what we define as the Endeavor Experience. Four months ago I joined Endeavor Global, after serving as the Managing Director of Endeavor Mexico. A lot of people have asked, “What do you do in your position?” Let me tell you what I’ve been doing. It’s something I really believe in.

First off, we’ve been in operation for almost 14 years. We have operations—meaning full-time, hired staff—in over 30 offices in 15 countries around the world. We have 200 staff members, we’re supporting over 600 entrepreneurs from about 400 companies, with revenues of over $4 billion and 150,000 jobs. With the magic of compounding, in the next five years we’re going to double that so we’re going to have 60 offices in 25 or 26 countries actually around the world, we’re going to have another 400 Endeavor Entrepreneur firms within the next five years, with revenues of $12 or $13 billion, and 400,000 jobs. I can tell you that that is going to happen. With certainty that’s going to happen because it has happened in the last 14 years. It’s going to happen because we have the most outstanding team of Managing Directors (MD).

We have an extraordinary team here in the U.S. In the US alone we have 34 staff members—including Dave Geary (Partnerships), David Wachtel (Marketing & Communications), and Larry Brooks (Finance). Make no mistake: in the next five years, we’re going to double the impact we’ve made in the last 14 years. It’s going to happen.

But beyond that, what we’ve been saying over the last year is, “Let’s look at Endeavor differently. What is the promise, the value proposition that we’re making to Endeavor Entrepreneurs? What’s the ‘Endeavor Experience’ we’re offering them from the first time a staff member or MD talks to or recruits them to Endeavor, the moment they’re in the selection process and receiving services? We are making a promise of certain standardized elements, including access to a network of the smartest, brightest business minds in the world. Right now we’re working harder on developing a standardized platform for providing this access.

The way I see it is that I have 600 bosses (Endeavor Entrepreneurs). As Endeavor Entrepreneurs from Mexico can tell you, I work for and admire no one more than Entrepreneurs.

I think the reason that Linda Rottenberg and I get along is that we both have very thick skin and we actually like to push the envelope a little bit; we like to play on the edge. In spite of the New York weather (!), it’s been an extraordinary four months.

Linda Rottenberg (Co-Founder and CEO, Endeavor Global)

I want to add one comment about Fernando and then tell you what I’m doing, since he jokes that while I’m CEO I have no job anymore. Fernando did extraordinary things in Mexico and I think that of everything he did, the creation of local advisory boards has really become the basis of the local “Endeavor Experience.” And Fernando, we’re already becoming more data-oriented as an organization. And now, we’re more in touch not only with the MDs, with whom we have a wonderful relationship — and he’s one of them, which is really helpful — but with all the boards around the world

Fernando has gotten a lot of people on board with “Endeavor 2.0.” And we’re purposely calling it Endeavor 2.0 so there’s room for Endeavor 3.0 and 4.0. But for right now it’s back to the basics and the core is High-Impact Entrepreneurs. And since I’m out of the day-to-day operations, I also get to focus more time directly on Entrepreneurs. Nothing gives me more pleasure. It’s why I do what I do. It’s you. That’s part of my commitment: to personally spend more time with you.

Here’s the other thing I’m going to be focusing on with Baily Blair who’s joining us after graduating from HBS. I stalked Baily for years and finally got her to join me on the Endeavor sustainability team. Because I remember four years ago at the Summit I said, “I spend my days hoping that I can inch each of you, with your big dreams, a little bit closer to those dreams.” What I asked in return was that you all can help me inch a little closer to my dream. And when I said that, it’s still the same dream. Beyond Endeavor becoming the leader of the high-impact entrepreneurship movement and proving high-impact entrepreneurship is the best force for sustainable economic development, I’ve always had a secondary mission, which is to create a scalable, sustainable, successful non-profit organization of the world class talent that is of, by, and for entrepreneurs. Scalable, sustainable, self-sustaining; world class talent of by and for entrepreneurs.

And when I look at that journey from four years ago to today, we’re halfway there. Many of you [Endeavor Entrepreneurs] have joined the boards of your local offices or will in the coming years. Many of you have joined the entrepreneur give back program. And we’re having some very creative ideas about ways that we can use mission driven, pro-entrepreneur, market-driven solutions to truly be one of the only organizations in the world that can be sustained largely by the people that it supports. That’s an exciting thing. We’re on a journey together. I’m so excited to do it in a way that helps you all scale, but I’ve said my commitment to you is that Endeavor will always be focused on you. We’re a learning organization; you can always come to us when we’re not owning up to that promise. But in return, we fail if we’re not an organization of, for and by entrepreneurs. So I want to thank you for where we were four years ago and for where we are today. And four years from now, I hope we can declare the journey finished. We still have other things to do, but I want to be fully self-sustaining. I think we can get there. We have new ideas. But I couldn’t be more excited about this new challenge. So thank you, Endeavor Entrepreneurs. You really are the heart and soul of this organization.


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