High-Impact Entrepreneurship

Endeavor Middle East affiliates featured in the Stanford Social Innovation Review

A feature article on Endeavor’s impact in Egypt and Jordan was published in the current issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR). SSIR is a Stanford University magazine and website written to inform and inspire social change. The award-winning Review spans the public, private, and nonprofit sectors in tackling a diverse range of global challenges.

In this article by Jamil Wyne entitled “Investing in Arab Entrepreneurs”, the success of Endeavor’s model is demonstrated through the stories of several inspiring entrepreneurs in the emerging market of the Arab world.

Investing in Arab Entrepreneurs

Endeavor’s expansion to Egypt and Jordan is helping to create thousands of jobs.

By Jamil Wyne | Winter 2013

” In 2011, Amin Amin was stuck: His primary investor threatened to take over his company, Change Agent for Arab   Development and Education Reform (CADER). The CADER model was unique, providing professional training to teachers to improve educational capacity in the Arab world. It had also turned a profit, nearly doubling its revenues annually between 2005 and 2011. CADER provided a financially sustainable solution for the region’s educational challenges, but this could not prevent Amin from losing the institution he had built from the ground up. He had two options: relinquish control for a fraction of the company’s valuation or purchase it for a price beyond its value.

In need of sound legal counsel and strategic guidance as well as moral support, Amin turned to the Jordanian arm of Endeavor, a nonprofit that identifies and supports high-impact entrepreneurs around the world. In 2009, Amin had become one of the first Jordanians to be selected as an Endeavor Entrepreneur. Throughout the dilemma with his investor, Endeavor provided him with pro bono consulting and legal advice, guiding him to a resolution. Although Amin left CADER, he assumed a new position as CEO of ASK for Human Capacity Building, a company that designs tailor-made training programs to improve the region’s education system and labor market—and where Amin continues to receive Endeavor support.

Endeavor operates similarly to a venture capital firm, but takes no equity in its entrepreneurs’ companies. Instead, it pairs its entrepreneurs with top-notch business development services, a practice that New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman termed the “mentor capitalist” model. The nonprofit—which was founded in 1997 by Americans Linda Rottenberg and Peter Kellner and has offices in 14 developing countries, with headquarters in New York City—selects, mentors, and accelerates those rare individuals who can grow an innovative idea into a globally competitive enterprise.”

Reprinted from the Stanford Social Innovation Review. Read the full article here.

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