Entrepreneurship Ecosystems

Emerging markets have emerged: How 13 entrepreneurs grew as fast as the Inc. 500

CLICK HERE to read the full Endeavor Insight report, “Emerging Market Entrepreneurs Have Emerged: A look at the fastest growing entrepreneurs in Endeavor’s portfolio”

The annual Inc. 500 list is the aspirational goal of many up- and-coming entrepreneurs. It’s a sign that one’s company, one’s idea, is growing and scaling so rapidly that it qualifies for an elite crowd: the top 500 fastest-scaling privately held U.S. companies over the last three years. This is an impressive enough feat in the U.S. ecosystem, let alone in emerging markets. But this year, 13 Endeavor Entrepreneurs would have made the cut. These innovators, hailing from Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, Egypt, and Turkey, grew their companies at or above 762% between 2008-2011 time frame and attained a minimum revenue of $100,000. Assuming this same 2012 threshold held true, over 90 Endeavor Entrepreneurs would have made the list historically. In fact, Endeavor Entrepreneurs who made the list actually created on average 177% more jobs than their U.S. counterparts.  

So, how did a group of entrepreneurs from countries with nascent business climates, replete with basic obstacles to growth, keep up with and in many cases outperform the most exciting and promising companies of the U.S.?  As Endeavor Entrepreneur Ernesto Vidal, founder and CEO of Ingenia Muebles might aver, “When you start out, all factors are against you, which somehow makes you develop an attitude to fight against these challenging circumstances.”  How did these all-star high-impact entrepreneurs fight?

From in-depth interviews with over 15 entrepreneurs (those who made the list and those who nearly made the list), five key themes emerged as crucial to achieving such growth. These themes include:  thinking big to grow big; viewing people as assets and empowering them with flexibility and responsibility; having large company experience so as to better handle growth; focusing on growth in the core business; and treating customers as central to all operations.

To learn more about these entrepreneurs, the companies they lead, and their tips for business success, check out the detailed report.  Or, to read tips from Endeavor’s fastest growing entrepreneurs check out their biggest pieces of advice: here, here, herehere, and here.

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