High-Impact Entrepreneurship

Linda Rottenberg discusses emerging market entrepreneurship in interview with The Street

In an interview with The Street at last week’s New York Forum of business leaders and thinkers, Endeavor CEO Linda Rottenberg highlights the role of entrepreneurs in Emerging Markets. Read more about the panel entitled America, The Ordinary?, on which Rottenberg spoke.

Please click HERE to view the interview.

Interview transcription of Linda’s comments:

Endeavor operates in emerging markets around the world, so we have operations in Latin America, the Middle East, South Africa. We’re about to launch in Indonesia, looking at Poland. So we’re looking broadly at the Emerging Markets, and I think we’re seeing a few different types of innovations emerging.

One is what I call emerging markets parallels – or some people call them the Emerging Market Copycats. We have a company in Argentina that created the e-bay of Latin America, MercadoLibre and was able to take it public on the NASDAQ. We have, a friend of mine Fadi Ghandour, who created the FedEx of the Middle East created Aramex—took he that public on the NASDAQ.

What’s interesting is those companies—those entrepreneurs—are becoming the angel investors and the mentors for the next generation. So for example, in actually both Latin America and the Middle East, we’re seeing a lot of gamers and we’re seeing actually a company called Globant that’s doing all of the back end content provision for Disney, Electronic Arts. So you’re seeing content and gaming started from these countries but actually supplying U.S. companies.

The other thing is we’re seeing about 50 percent of the high-impact entrepreneurs that Endeavor supports coming not in high tech sectors, not in consumer internet. They’re looking at retail and consumer goods and making stuff. They’re starting in retail and consumer goods or supply chain companies, but they’re the engines of growth, and not only that: they’re looking not only nationally but internationally—a new phenomenon that I was talking about on stage in the New York Forum was the idea of E to E: Emerging Market to Emerging Market.

So I think that when we look at the next wave of innovations, I think of course Americans will still have LinkedIn and Facebook and Zinga, and we are not going anywhere. But I think we’ve got to be global from the start looking at these companies. It’s no longer this statement I heard in Silicon Valley: “It’s Florence in the Age of the Renaissance. Why would we look anywhere else?!” We have to look internationally from the beginning, and I think we are going to find some Emerging Market innovations that we then adapt back here.

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