Headquartered in Dubai, Abraaj Capital is a leading private equity manager investing in high growth markets. Since November 2010, when Endeavor announced a strategic partnership with Abraaj during the landmark Celebration of Entrepreneurship event, the firm has been one of Endeavor’s primary partners.
Largely as a result of Abraaj’s active support and involvement, Endeavor continues to expand operations throughout the Middle East, Africa and Asia. In 2011, Endeavor launched in Lebanon and Indonesia. In coming months, Endeavor is set to launch in Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, Endeavor expansion teams are actively scoping prospects in additional countries in MENA (e.g., Morocco, United Arab Emirates) and South East Asia (e.g., Malaysia, Singapore). To facilitate this expansion, Endeavor Global also maintains local support offices in these regions, working out of Abraaj facilities in Dubai and Singapore.
In addition to facilitating expansion efforts, Abraaj support has enabled Endeavor Global to scale its core operations of selecting and supporting High-Impact Entrepreneurs. Abraaj’s involvement is particularly on display this week at Endeavor’s International Selection Panel in Dubai (March 27-29). Abraaj Founder and Group CEO Arif Naqvi is serving as one of the judges on the Panel and will personally host the delegates at an opening night reception. “I can’t thank Arif and his team enough for the warm welcome they are providing our global organization in Dubai,” says Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “Abraaj continues to be an indispensable partner for Endeavor in the MENASA region.”
The International Selection Panel is the culmination of a rigorous multi-step Search & Selection process where top local and international business leaders interview and offer guidance to entrepreneur candidates. Post-selection, Endeavor provides entrepreneurs with customized services provided by local and international business leaders who volunteer as mentors.
In addition to providing support for these operations, Abraaj has helped strengthen Endeavor’s network of mentors in the region. Since the second half of 2011, various Endeavor Entrepreneurs from Turkey, Egypt, and Lebanon have also been directly mentored by Senior Partners and Principals at Abraaj, receiving guidance in areas ranging from fundraising to regional growth strategies. “Abraaj mentors have been particularly valuable to our business,” says Endeavor Entrepreneur Marc Dfouni from Eastline Marketing, a Lebanon-based digital marketing agency. “For instance, they have helped us strategize when and how to seek outside investment, and even how to structure our fundraising pitch.”
Plans are underway to expand the program, connecting even more Abraaj mentors with Endeavor Entrepreneurs. As a result of Abraaj’s recent acquisition of Aureos Capital, which operates in Asia, Africa and Latin America, Abraaj executives plan to provide mentorship and support to Endeavor Entrepreneurs in those markets.
Among other programs, Abraaj has also been a leading sponsor of events such as the June 2011 Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit, where 450 people (including 170 Endeavor Entrepreneurs) gathered in San Francisco to network and learn from 90 expert speakers, and the 2011 Endeavor Gala in New York City, where Mr. Naqvi spoke about the entrepreneurial landscape of the Middle East and introduced Gala honoree and Abraaj board member Fadi Ghandour. A board member of Endeavor Global, Mr. Naqvi is a founding supporter of Endeavor Catalyst, a program that co-invests in Endeavor Entrepreneurs’ professional fundraising rounds.
The time is now for High-Impact Entrepreneurship in the region. Endeavor and Abraaj are proud to be working together to make it happen.