High-Impact Entrepreneurship

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Saudi Arabia’s Lateefa Alwaalan, Founder of Yatooq, Named EY Entrepreneur of the Year

ey_logo_detail copyEndeavor Entrepreneur Lateefa Alwaalan, founder of Yatooq, was named the 2015 EY Entrepreneur of the Year in Saudi Arabia, recognizing her potential to build a high-impact business and inspire others. Yatooq’s Arabic coffee blends and products are now sold at over a 100 locations around the world.

Lateefa will join the Entrepreneur Of The Year award winners from over 50 countries at the World Entrepreneur Of The Year event in Monte Carlo in June 2015. She was chosen from a group of 11 finalists from 10 companies by an independent panel of judges at the EOY event, which was held under the patronage of HE Dr. Tawfiq Al Rabiah, Minister of Commerce and Industry. The event was sponsored in part by Endeavor KSA.

The judging process was based on numerous criteria that included entrepreneurial spirit, financial performance, strategic direction, social impact and influence. The program celebrates the success of entrepreneurs who build and lead successful, growing and dynamic businesses. EOY has been running for 28 years by EY in 145 cities across 60 countries. The Awards recognize outstanding entrepreneurs for their vision, innovation, courage, and leadership in building and growing successful businesses.

Selected into the network in 2014, Lateefa founded Yatooq in 2011 with the vision of bringing curated Arabic coffee to the world. Since her selection, she has participated in key network events including the 2015 Endeavor Entrepreneur Retreat. She has also made a number of connections with industry experts and potential investors since joining the network.

Read more about the EOY news by clicking here.

Endeavor Insight Releases Southeast Michigan Scaleup Assessment

endeavor_insightWith the launch of its affiliate in Detroit, Endeavor has doubled down on scaleup entrepreneurs throughout the U.S. As part of this commitment, Endeavor Insight is launching the second in a two-part series of reports focused on the region’s scaleup entrepreneurship ecosystem.
The first report, released in February, identified a region-wide scaleup gap. Between 2007 and 2012, the number of Southeast Michigan scaleups, those firms growing at 20% or more per year, has decline by more than 50%. The correlation between this growing gap and the region’s elevated unemployment rate is more than a coincidence. Instead, these companies are important engines of Southeast Michigan’s economic growth, creating 94 jobs on average between 2009 and 2012. In comparison, startups created just two jobs per company, on average, in that time period.
As part of the second report, Endeavor Insight has explored some of the drivers and barriers to the success of Southeast Michigan’s scaleup firms. To better understand the opportunities for a scaleup-led renaissance, we spoke with over 50 Southeast Michigan scaleup entrepreneurs. What they told us about the strengths and weaknesses of the region was quite surprising.
Four out of five of the Southeast Michigan entrepreneurs we spoke with noted that the region has excellent quality of life and a wealth of potential customers. Over two-thirds have been able to grow their businesses because of great access to talent, both technical (from the region’s world-class universities) and managerial (from its Fortune 500 companies).
On the flip side, several challenges constrain these regional scaleup firms. Over half of Southeast Michigan entrepreneurs lack adequate access to finance. A majority of these entrepreneurs are also missing great mentors who can help take their businesses to the next level. Most of these companies, despite being successful, haven’t generated many employee spinouts–companies started by former employees of a scaleup entrepreneur.
As part of its launch, Endeavor Detroit is working to fill many of these gaps, and is encouraging local leaders to focus on the potential that scaleup companies have for generating lasting growth throughout Southeast Michigan. Read and download the report by clicking here.



Endeavor Investor Network Convenes Over 120 Entrepreneurs and Investors in NYC

Investor network LogoOn May 5th, the Endeavor Investor Network convened growth market leaders in New York City for a day of networking and learning. The invitation-only event gathered over 120 participants including Endeavor Entrepreneurs and leading investors from 22 markets.

The theme of this gathering was “Growth Market Unicorns, Narwhals and other rare Entrepreneurial Creatures: A guide to building million (and billion) dollar companies in markets you might not expect.” The aim of the event was to demonstrate that amazing companies can come from anywhere by showcasing entrepreneurial success stories from emerging markets.

The day started off with an entrepreneur-only session led by seasoned venture investor Scott Booth (Eastern Advisors), who discussed the “10 Things all Entrepreneurs Should Know About the Fundraising Process.”


Endeavor Entrepreneur Martin Migoya leading a session

This was followed by a series of TED-style talks by all-star founders Mark Chang (Jobstreet, Founder & CEO), Martin Migoya (Globant, Co-founder), and Arda Kutsal (Webrazzi, Founder & CEO). All three speakers shared their inspiring stories of building million (and billion) dollar companies in Southeast Asia, Latin America and Turkey, respectively.

“This is our largest Endeavor Investor Network gathering ever,” noted Beth Robertson, the manager of the Investor Network program based in Endeavor’s San Francisco office. “The demand from top-tier venture capital and growth equity firms shows a real interest in these markets from some of the world’s best investors.”

Following lunch at the Bryant Park Grill, over 500 formal speed-networking connections were made during two hours of one-on-one conversations between Endeavor companies and investors. Participating investors included General Atlantic, GE Ventures, Riverwood Capital, The Abraaj Group, Warburg Pincus, Stripes Group, IFC and Bessemer Venture Partners, among others.

During the closing cocktail, attendees heard from three entrepreneurs who are poised to become industry leaders and role models, including Sina Afra (Markafoni, Co-founder), Niki Luhur (Kartuku, Founder & CEO), and Paulo Antunes Veras (99 Taxis, Founder & CEO).

The event was a great success and left participants feeling inspired and optimistic about the tremendous opportunity present in emerging markets.

View the event booklet here for a full agenda and list of participants. To learn more about upcoming Investor Network events, click here.


Investor Network participants

Endeavor Expands to Third U.S. City with Launch in Louisville, KY


Endeavor Louisville Logo no tag (color) web large

Louisville, KY – May 12, 2015 – Endeavor is expanding its U.S. presence with the launch of an office in Louisville, KY that will support high-impact entrepreneurs in the greater Louisville and Southern Indiana region. With the support of key business leaders and entrepreneurs, Endeavor Louisville will help multiply the impact of the region’s most promising companies. As Endeavor’s third expansion in the U.S. following offices in Miami and Detroit, the office will leverage the region’s entrepreneurial spirit to drive job creation, wealth creation, sustained economic growth, and a culture of giving back.

Endeavor is an 18-year-old, nonprofit organization that is leading the global movement to catalyze long-term economic growth by selecting, mentoring, and accelerating the best high-impact entrepreneurs around the world. In 2015, Endeavor was awarded the Henry R. Kravis Prize in Nonprofit Leadership for helping support entrepreneurs whose companies have generated nearly 400,000 jobs in economies around the world. Founded in 1997 by Linda Rottenberg and Peter Kellner, Endeavor has helped over a thousand of these entrepreneurs build more than 600 companies across 23 markets, which have generated combined revenues of nearly $7 billion in 2013.

Endeavor Co-Founder Peter Kellner will serve on the Endeavor Louisville board, which will be chaired by Humana Co-Founder David A. Jones, Sr.

The remaining board members are:
– Ryan Bridgeman, President of RJE LLC
– Henry “Hank” Dudgeon, III, Co-Founder of Rubicon Global
– Sandra Frazier, CEO & Managing Member of Tandem Public Relations
– Dan Jones, Founder and CEO of 21st Century Parks
– Kent Lanum, President and CEO of Paul Ogle Foundation
– John Schnatter, Founder and CEO of Papa John’s International
– Kent Taylor, Founder and CEO of Texas Roadhouse

Endeavor Louisville has received and gratefully acknowledges significant funding from the Paul Ogle Foundation, the James Graham Brown Foundation, the Blue Sky Network, and The Gheens Foundation. Endeavor Louisville will work to identify high-impact entrepreneurs in the region and provide them access to a global network of markets, industry leaders, investors, and talent, helping to expand their ventures into enterprises that can propel the local economy.

Mr. Jackson Andrews, formerly a partner and managing director at Spouting Rock Financial Partners, has been named Managing Director of Endeavor Louisville to oversee its successful launch and to identify promising entrepreneur candidates.

For entrepreneurs interested in learning more about Endeavor in Louisville, please contact louisville@endeavor.org. For more information visit EndeavorLouisville.org and Endeavor.org.


Jackson Andrews
Managing Director, Endeavor Louisville

Joanna Harries
Vice President, U.S. and Canada

Endeavor Announces Partnership with AXA to Provide Support and Mentorship for Entrepreneurs

axa-group_416x416AXA and Endeavor are announcing a strategic partnership to support Endeavor’s network of over a thousand entrepreneurs in growth markets around the world. This partnership will help Endeavor as it continues to select and mentor high-impact entrepreneurs and foster long-term, sustainable growth in emerging and growing economies worldwide.

This strategic partnership covers a broad field of activities:
– AXA will directly sponsor selected networking events hosted by Endeavor,
– AXA will be introduced to scale-up businesses by Endeavor,
– Through the AXA Hearts in Action program, the Group’s executives will volunteer to mentor entrepreneurs from emerging economies.

“I am very pleased to have Endeavor as an exclusive partner to AXA especially since I think our respective missions are highly complementary. AXA exists to protect people against risks and has a responsibility to help build a safer and stronger global society. Endeavor’s mission is to lead high-impact entrepreneurship in emerging and growth economies which protects people from unemployment and directly helps build economies. This partnership will enable both organizations to help each other to achieve these objectives,” said Frédéric Tardy, Chief Marketing and Distribution Officer of the AXA Group.

“I feel this is the start of something special. AXA’s multi-year commitment across different departments to Endeavor will help us achieve our goals together more efficiently. I am very much looking forward to welcoming AXA to the Endeavor network and to bringing the benefits of this partnership with a large global financial services company like AXA to our network members,” added Fernando Fabre, President of Endeavor.

Endeavor has a long history of successfully bringing scale-up entrepreneurs from emerging and growth economies together with interested investors. Through its wide global network, Endeavor companies have raised over $532m of equity capital and have contributed to the creation of over 400,000 high-quality jobs in emerging economies.


AXA CMO Frédéric Tardy and Endeavor President Fernando Fabre

Turkey’s Yemeksepeti Acquired By Delivery Hero for $589 Million; Marks Largest Deal in the Food-Ordering Sector

yemeksepeti_logoTurkey’s Yemeksepeti, a leading Turkish food ordering website founded by Endeavor Entrepreneurs Nevzat Aydın, Melih Ödemiş and Cem Nufusi, has announced that it has been acquired by Delivery Hero in a $589 million deal. This landmark deal marks the largest-ever acquisition in the food-ordering sector and the largest Internet-related deal in Turkey.

This is the first entry into Turkey for Delivery Hero, a billion-dollar takeout food service based in Berlin that continues to scale up its business worldwide. It previously acquired Endeavor Entrepreneur company PedidosYa, a Uruguay-based ordering platform serving Latin America and founded by Endeavor Entrepreneurs Ariel Burschtin, Álvaro García, and Ruben Sosenke. The cash and shares deal made with Yemeksepeti will also see investor General Atlantic becoming a shareholder in Delivery Hero. 

Delivery Hero made headlines earlier this year when Rocket Internet — another Berlin-based e-commerce company — invested $586 million in the company, which then let it to pick up nine smaller food-ordering startups to consolidate its position as an industry leader. Delivery Hero itself has raised $1.3 billion to date.

Selected by Endeavor in 2007, Yemeksepeti’s founders have received strategic guidance from Endeavor mentors as well as introductions to key investors, having attended and participated in a number of Endeavor events around the world. Endeavor Catalyst participated in Yemeksepeti’s 2012 $44 million funding round led by General Atlantic. As of 2015, Nevzat has also joined the board of Endeavor Turkey, becoming the third entrepreneur to do so locally.

As part of the deal, Yemeksepeti’s management team will stay in place.

“We are very proud to have built a company that has changed the way people think and order food in Turkey,” Nevzat said in a statement. “During our 15-year history we have had many approaches from global and local investors however we were waiting for the right time and the right partner. Today, I am delighted to team up with a company whose global ambitions, corporate culture and way of doing business are so aligned with ours. “

Read more about the news in top media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, and Turkey’s Hürriyet Daily News.

Greece’s HotelBrain Receives €3 Million Investment to Support Development and Growth Plans

hotelbrainHotelBrain, the Greek hotel management company founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Panos Paleologos, recently reached an agreement with the investment fund SouthBridge Europe. The Luxembourg-based fund will invest €3 million to support the development of HotelBrain’s expansion and sustainability plans.

Founded in 2009 on the island of Santorini, HotelBrain currently manages over 110 hotels at top tourist destinations across Greece, Lebanon, Cyprus and Turkey. Named the “Leading Hotel Management Company” at the World Travel Awards last year, the company is close to reaching an agreement about managing two more hotels in Serbia. With the backing of a major institutional investor, the management of HotelBrain plans to proceed with the implementation of new development projects to strengthen its presence in international markets.

SouthBridge Europe is an independent investment management firm supporting dynamic companies and offering them growth capital. Founded in 2014, it is backed by prime private and institutional investors such as the European Investment Fund (EIF) and has €40m in committed capital to make long-term investments. This deal represents SouthBridge Europe’s first investment in Greece.

George Mavridis, SouthBridge Europe’s financial advisor announced, “The deal is a testament of the international investment community’s confidence in the company’s potential, and we hope in the process to move to other investments in Greece via HotelBrain.”

Panos added, “HotelBrain’s agreement with an institutional investor of international validity, confirms our belief that tourism is one of the most developed fields of Greek entrepreneurship and can provide know-how which can be exported.”

Selected into the Endeavor network in 2013, HotelBrain aims to contribute to the improvement of the local tourism industry, setting hotel operating and quality standards for the whole region. Though it started by managing its own leased properties, HotelBrain now offers industry expertise and professional management services to luxury boutique hotels, allowing owners to retain full control of their assets while improving guest experience and boosting revenue by 20% on average. Beyond providing consulting services, the company has built an ecosystem of entrepreneurship, creating a community of hospitality insiders and training the next generation of hotel management talent.

Read more about the news by clicking here.


Panos Paleologos speaking to reporters in Athens

Egypt’s Hassab Labs Partners with Morocco’s SAHAM Group to Develop Healthcare Services Across Africa


The Alexandria-based Hassab Diagnostic Labs, co-founded by Endeavor Entrepreneurs Mohamed Azab and Amina Hassab, recently formed a partnership with the SAHAM Group, founded by Endeavor Morocco Board Chairman Moulay Hafid Elalamy. The two companies will leverage the partnership to continue supporting and developing healthcare services across Egypt and Africa.

Saham Sante, a subsidiary of the SAHAM Group, aims to improve the healthcare infrastructure in the region by developing an African healthcare services network in line with international standards. With this objective in mind, the Group formed a strategic partnership with Hassab Labs – Egypt’s leading diagnostic services provider whose mission is to deliver exceptional diagnostic services using top quality standards, state of the art technology and medical expertise.

Established in Casablanca, SAHAM Group’s activities span 24 African and Middle Eastern countries and employ more than 6,000 individuals. This pan-African ambition has translated into a desire to encourage regional partnerships, hence becoming the majority stakeholder of Hassab Labs and contributing to the development of a rapidly growing market. Hassab Labs currently operates 30 Labs in Egypt and, through their partnership with SAHAM, aimd to expand to Morocco and three other countries in the region by the end of 2015. The company’s vision to facilitate access to international healthcare and diagnostic solutions for underserved populations will be propelled through this partnership, positioning Hassab among the top three laboratories in Africa in terms of reach and quality of service.

“SAHAM Group and Hassab Labs share commonalities in their values of integrity, ethics and social responsibility. We are committed to raising the level of Healthcare in our part of the world all while fostering an internal spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Mohamed Azab, CEO of Hassab Labs. “Being a part of the Endeavor Network established immediate trust between the two parties and expedited the conclusion of this deal, we are very happy to partner with the SAHAM Group. Our vision is much bolder now, and are very excited for what the future holds for Hassab Labs.”

Since their selection into the Endeavor network in 2012, the Hassab Labs team has benefited from customized mentorship and advisory services provided by Endeavor’s global network. The mentors have helped the entrepreneurs develop everything from HR models to operational best practices. In return, they have given back locally to Endeavor Egypt and Mohamed now serves on the Board of Endeavor Egypt.

Egypt’s TA Telecom Wins Red Herring Top 100 Europe Award Recognizing Technology Innovation

tatelecomEgypt’s TA Telecom, founded by entrepreneur Amr Shady, was honored with the Red Herring Top 100 Award, which acknowledges startups, scaleups and entrepreneurs that are transforming industries. Competing with hundreds of innovative companies, TA Telecom is the only African-headquartered tech company to be honored this year for its work.

Red Herring is a global media company which unites top technology innovators, venture investors and stakeholders through an innovation magazine, an online daily technology news service, technology newsletters and major events for leaders around the globe. Award winners are selected based on their technological innovation, management strength, market size, investor record, customer acquisition, and financial health. The Red Herring editorial team selects and evaluates companies on 20 main quantitative and qualitative criteria including disruptive impact, market footprint, financial performance, technology innovation, social value, and more.

“This award is a validation of our success, and the judges’ trust in our vision, potential and capabilities,” Amr said. “African companies are carving out their success on the global tech scene.”

Selected by Endeavor in 2011, TA started as a value-added services (VAS) mobile solutions provider that delivers time- and location-specific content to subscribers. With operations across the Middle East and Africa, TA’s services range from demographically-targeted SMS advertising to custom content delivery platforms. Servicing over 10 million subscribers, TA is also working towards international growth with an expansion into South Africa supported by Endeavor. Since joining the network, Amr has been an active promoter of the organization’s work, serving as a mentor and board member for Endeavor Egypt. As a panelist at International Selection Panels, he has also played a key role in selecting new generations of entrepreneurs in the pipeline.

Learn more about the news on TA Telecom’s site by clicking here.

Endeavor Insight Report on Kenya’s “Critical 5 Percent” Highlights the Importance of Scaleup Firms

endeavor_insightEndeavor Insight’s “The Critical 5 Percent” report, released with support from SAP, examines the contributions of scaleup companies towards job creation and economic growth in Kenya. The report is part of a series conducted by Endeavor Insight that focuses on scaleup ecosystems worldwide and their significance in transforming emerging  and growth markets.

Scaleup companies, defined as companies more than three years old with a minimum of 20% average annual growth, are becoming a critical component of economic and social development in Kenya. The report found that Kenya needs to create more than 3.9 million new jobs for young people by 2020. Over 1.5 million people are currently unemployed in Kenya, and over a third of them are young people between the ages of 15 and 24. Kenya’s workforce is projected to grow by 3.4 million people by 2020, due primarily to new young adults entering the job market. High-growth entrepreneurs have the potential to be major job engines in the country. According to the findings, scaleup entrepreneurs represent only five percent of Kenyan firms, but created over 70 percent of the total new jobs.

With the demand for new jobs continuing to climb, high-impact companies are critical to creating an environment for continued growth, addressing the challenge of unemployment by driving innovation, strengthening value chains, and paving the way for long-term expansion. As the largest job creators in emerging economies like Kenya, scaleups need access to the sort of services Endeavor works to provide, promoting the right mix of talent, funding and networks to accelerate high-impact entrepreneurship that can transform the region.

“Despite recent political challenges, Kenya continues to experience strong growth, due to its broad-based economy, strategic location and above all, its youthful population. But without creating more jobs for its young people, Kenya will have challenges living up to its potential,” commented Pfungwa Serima, CEO SAP Africa. “Small businesses can significantly help to reduce youth unemployment in this important market. As this announcement underscores, SAP is committed to finding innovative ways to solve critical social and business issues in Africa and provide today’s young people – and tomorrow’s leaders — with access to the tools they need to succeed in the digital and networked economy.”

Read the full report below and learn more about SAP’s efforts to drive innovation in the region by clicking here. The report also received coverage in national Kenyan newspaper The Standard.

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