High-Impact Entrepreneurship

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

Endeavor 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 […]

May 27th, 2015 — by admin

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Endeavor Investor Network Convenes Over 120 Entrepreneurs and Investors in NYC

On 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 […]

May 13th, 2015 — by admin

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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

eMerge Americas Event in Miami Spotlights Stories of Endeavor Entrepreneurs

emerge-550x400During the first week of May, eMerge Americas brought a number of global thought leaders to Miami, FL to discuss how technology and innovation are disrupting industries. The conference serves as a platform to connect entrepreneurs, cutting-edge ideas, and industry leaders and investors across North America, Europe, and Latin America. This year’s event featured a number of entrepreneurs in the network as well as a panel hosted by Endeavor Miami

The five day event consisted of a number of networking and tech-focused competitions, workshops and keynotes, including a hackathon, startup showcase, women-focused summit, and more.

Highlights from the Endeavor network during the week include:

– Endeavor Miami Managing Director Laura Maydon joining a panel about game changing women and exploring the ways in which female entrepreneurs and leaders are transforming the landscape of technology.

– Endeavor Entrepreneur Michael McCord, founder of education platform LearnerNation, discussing strategies for motivating the millennial workforce with a particular focus on on-boarding and training young employees.

– An Endeavor panel featuring Endeavor Entrepreneurs Anabel Perez (Miami’s Novopayment), Sebastián Valin Acuña (Chile’s ComparaOnline) and Emiliano Kargieman (Argentina’s Satellogic) moderated by Endeavor Miami Board Co-Chair Adriana Cisneros, which highlighted high-impact entrepreneurship and the power of the Endeavor network.

– An interview with Endeavor Entrepreneur and Globant CEO Martin Migoya, who addressed taking his company public, strategies for scaling up, and the impact of Endeavor globally.


Entrepreneurs during the Endeavor panel at eMerge

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.

Endeavor Holds Inagural Endeavor Investor Summit – Southern Cone in Buenos Aires

Investor network LogoThe Endeavor Investor NetworkEndeavor Argentina and Endeavor Uruguay collaborated on the first Endeavor Investor Summit – Southern Cone event in April, gathering a network of high-impact entrepreneurs and investors from across Latin America. Thirty investors from seventeen funds and six countries attended the day-long event in Buenos Aires.

Kicking off with an investor roundtable and session on raising capital, the event also consisted of speed-networking sessions between entrepreneur companies and equity partners, culminating in a networking cocktail reception. Thirty entrepreneurs from Endeavor’s network across Argentina, Chile, Peru and Uruguay attended in order to meet with investors representing Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, the U.S. and Hong Kong.


The morning began with a panel which examined the regional economy and opportunities for investment across Latin America, with a particular focus on raising capital and empower entrepreneurs. The main activity of the day consisted of a speed-networking session in which 45 one-on-one meetings were held between investors and entrepreneurs. Each investor sat with 11 companies, while each entrepreneur had the chance to speak with nearly 10 funds in sessions lasting around 10 minutes.

The Investor Summits are events organized by Endeavor around the world that seeks to support entrepreneurs in the fundraising stage by providing unparalleled access to global investors. It is hosted five times a year across Latin America, Asia and North America.

Learn more about the Southern Cone event by clicking here. See photos from the event by clicking here.

EIS Southern Cone

Endeavor staff, entrepreneurs and network members at the Investor Summit

Kravis Prize Awards Ceremony Honoring Endeavor Features CEO Linda Rottenberg and Endeavor Entrepreneurs

Kravis-Prize-logoOn April 23, Claremont McKenna College hosted the tenth annual Kravis Prize Award Ceremony, honoring Endeavor and acknowledging the organization’s impact on the state of entrepreneurship worldwide. Endeavor CEO and co-founder Linda Rottenberg shared insights on Endeavor’s work over the past 17 years and select Endeavor Entrepreneurs participated in a panel discussing their entrepreneurial journeys.

Held on the campus of Claremont McKenna College, the ceremony marked the tenth year of the Henry R. Kravis Prize in Nonprofit Leadership, but also celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Kravis Leadership Institute, one of CMC’s eleven research institutes. The Kravis Prize dinner, attended by members of the student body, faculty, staff, and Board of Trustees, along with past Kravis Prize winners, was a celebration of the impact of the Prize, the Leadership Institute and Endeavor.

The night also featured remarks by Claremont McKenna College President Hiram Chodosh and Chair of the Selection Committee Marie-Josee Kravis, who introduced Endeavor as the 2015 recipient. Mrs. Kravis spoke about the evolution of the Kravis Prize and how the award has touched the lives of 700 million people across the globe. Her speech mentioned the importance of empowering communities through healthcare, education, sports, and mentorship.

Linda Rottenberg remarked on the large impact Endeavor has had and on the importance of being recognized by the Kravis Prize. Rottenberg’s speech highlighted the story of Endeavor Entrepreneur Leila Velez, who came to Endeavor with a dream of beginning a haircare business ten years ago. Today, her company Beleza Natural operates 26 salons and employs over 1,000 people. Rottenberg also addressed the importance of entrepreneurship in inspiring economic and social growth, and how Endeavor has managed to find and support over a thousand high-impact entrepreneurs across the 23 markets where it operates.

Endeavor Entrepreneurs Zafer Younis, co-founder of Jordan’s The Online Project, and Alex Torrenegra and Tania Zapata, founders of Colombia’s Bunny Inc., also participated in a session celebrating high-impact entrepreneurship, sharing insights on what it takes to launch a enterprise and the value of collaboration. The session cited examples from Endeavor’s network and the role the organization plays as a catalyzer and curator of a global community of entrepreneurs.

The evening celebration ended with closing remarks by Henry R. Kravis ’67. Mr. Kravis not only spoke about Endeavor, but also about all the previous recipients of the award. He stressed the importance of metrics in measuring the impact the organization has on the community it supports.

Learn more about the event and honor by clicking here.

CMC Kravis Prize Dinner 2015 e_020

Linda Rottenberg with Henry R. Kravis and Marie-Josée Kravis © 2015 Claremont McKenna College. Photo by William Vasta.

Endeavor Entrepreneurs Spotlight Youth Employment at EY Strategic Growth Forum in Rome

ey_logo_detail copyAt EY‘s first pan-Mediterranean Strategic Growth Forum in Rome, nearly 600 business executives, government leaders and entrepreneurs from across the globe came together to discuss the region’s business and investment potential. The two-day event included panel discussions with Endeavor Entrepreneurs Mostafa Abdel Moneim and Emrah Kaya, who highlighted the importance of job creation and youth employment to the region’s economy.

EY, an Endeavor global partner, hosts SGFs annually in key markets around the world. The Mediterranean forum had an inspirational line-up of speakers — from Maria Elena Boschi, Italian Minister of Constitutional Reforms and Relations with Parliament; to Steve Stathis Tzikakis, Senior Vice President and General Manager for SAP South Europe, Middle East & Africa; to José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission.

During the event, keynote speakers, workshops and panels highlighted various challenges and opportunities for the region. Mostafa, CEO of Egypt’s Al Sagheer Group, and Emrah, co-founder of Turkey’s Youtholding, participated in a plenary session that put a spotlight on tackling the region’s high youth unemployment rate, which currently hovers over 30 percent. Leveraging the power of entrepreneurship could be key to creating job opportunities for the region’s youth, which will ultimately be the biggest driver of economic and social growth.

Selected into the network in 2014, Mohamed Abdel Moneem founded Egypt’s Al Sagheer Group to jump-start Egypt’s beauty services industry. Operating beauty services centers in Egypt, Dubai, UAE, Qatar and beyond, the centers provide an expansive offering of treatments for hair and beauty across demographics and ages. Al Sagheer Group also imports beauty products from premium brands like Guarani, Chanel, and Dior and sells directly to customers in its in-salon boutiques and also distributes them to other salons, pharmacies, and specialty boutiques in Egypt.

Selected into the network in 2010, Emrah and his co-founder Aslı Caner have built multiple industry-leading companies and implemented hundreds of customized, creative projects targeted at Turkey’s under-30 demographic – a market that makes up over 50% of the country’s population. Youtholding now oversees various youth-specialized agencies, including The Uniclub (PR and marketing), Egitism (skills training and campus recruiting), and Youth Media (digital marketing and market research). The businesses have catered to multinationals like Unilever, Coca-Cola, and Apple, empowering better brand connections with millennials.

Learn more about EY’s SGFs by clicking here.


The youth employment panel at the Forum

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.

31 Entrepreneurs from 9 Countries Join the Endeavor Network at 58th Selection Panel in Santiago


Santiago, Chile – April 22, 2015 – During the 58th Endeavor International Selection Panel (ISP) , 31 high-impact entrepreneurs representing 18 companies and 9 countries were welcomed into the Endeavor network.

Endeavor now supports 1,082 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from 684 companies across the 23 markets where it operates. This newest group of entrepreneurs was chosen at a panel held from April 20–22 in Santiago, Chile – also the site of Endeavor’s first-ever selection panel in 1998.

The conclusion of an intensive multi-step selection process that is the foundation of Endeavor’s model, the ISP brought together top business and industry leaders from Latin America and all around the world. These panelists spent a day interviewing entrepreneur candidates to learn more about their businesses and identify those with the most potential for high-impact growth. They then deliberated on whether or not the candidates should become part of the Endeavor network and help lead the entrepreneurship movement in their countries.

“With candidates representing industries ranging from education to transportation to e-commerce, this panel really demonstrated the wealth of entrepreneurial talent all around the world,” said Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “Congratulations go to the Endeavor Chile team and board, particularly Board Chair Salvador Said, for bringing together so many promising entrepreneurs and notable business leaders in Santiago this week.”

After their selection into the network, Endeavor Entrepreneurs are given access to world-class services and programs, including introductions to local and international mentors and volunteers from Fortune 500 consulting firms who will help them address key business needs. Since 1997, Endeavor Entrepreneurs have created hundreds of thousands of jobs and built sustainable and transformative growth models in their home countries. In turn, they become crucial role models for future generations of entrepreneurs.

Endeavor will be hosting four more International Selection Panels in 2015. Locations will be in Amman, Jordan; San Francisco Bay Area, CA; Marrakech, Morocco; and Mexico City, Mexico

Brief descriptions of the newly selected entrepreneurs and their companies follow.


Endeavor staff members at Las Majadas Casona de Campo for deliberations


Entrepreneurs: Federico Malek & Alan Kraus
Company: Avenida!

Avenida is a one-stop-shop e-retailer that offers its customers a vast selection of brand-name products at affordable prices, with flexibility in payment and delivery. It has already raised over US$20M in capital from international VCs like Tiger Global and Naspers along with an initial seed funding from Quasar Ventures (founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Santiago Bilinkis). Avenida’s integrated logistics allows it to have a delivery time of 48 hours compared to the typical six days of the local post. Avenida plans to have its own delivery fleet to be the first ecommerce site to offer same day delivery in Argentina—and in doing so, reach 70% of its addressable market within 24 hours.

Entrepreneurs: Linus Spatz, Dan Kaplan & Jorge Villalonga
Company: Inmunova

Nowadays, vaccines combine two types of proteins. One is naturally neutral, while the other comes from the disease. When combined, they generate antibodies, the proteins necessary to fight the target disease. Typically, these neutral proteins are only compatible with certain types of germs – only cancer germs, for example. Inmunova’s patented IMC platform uses a specialized protein that is compatible with any germ, allowing it to serve as the base for numerous vaccines. With two products in the final stages of testing (one to prevent a fatal bovine disease and another to prevent HUS, the leading casue of pediatric kidney failure), Inmunova stands to become a big shot in the the Argentine biotech scene.

Entrepreneur: Ernesto Cambursano
Company: DataFactory

For any media company covering a sports event, displaying the right stats immediately and sleekly is always the goal. But with dozens of games across numerous leagues across every night, collecting, sorting, and presenting sports events cost valuable time and money. DataFactory’s (DF) platform aggregates data from over 30,000 live events each year and displays it in esthetic, customizable visualizations. Already counting ESPN, Yahoo! and Fox Sports as clients, DataFactory plans on developing more product offerings in its unique market.


Entrepreneurs: Cristiano Melles, Luiz Marsaioli & Rafael Valdivia
Company: Sociedade Grand Vivant

Sociedade Grand Vivant is a holding company that is comprised of Pobre Juan restaurants, the traditional Argentine steakhouse chain, and a secondary B2B beef distribution business. Pobre Juan serves high quality Argentine steaks with cutting-edge global recipes, inside restaurants where contemporary Latin American design and top-notch customer service combine to produce an exclusive yet welcoming dining experience. Pobre Juan’s 11 restaurants also maintain a consistent ”hometown” ambiance through live local jazz music, while boasting an expansive wine collection curated by the winner of Brazil’s national sommelier competition. Prime Cater is Pobre Juan’s beef distributor that portions and cuts the beef not only for all of Pobre Juan’s restaurants but also for three direct competitors and 20 other independent restaurants groups. The vertical integration allows Pobre Juan to source the best meat available – from Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil and Australia – portioned to perfection with 15% better margins compared to a traditional beef distribution relationship. The Pobre Juan restaurants have been awarded Best Steakhouse awards and global gastronomic prizes from a number of publications for nine of its locations.

Entrepreneurs: Francisco Salles & Renato Saraiva
Company: CERS

CERS offers online exam prep courses taught by Brazil’s top teachers. Its platform includes prep for the OAB, the Brazilian equivalent of the American Bar exam. It also offers courses for civil servant examinations that are requisite for professionals to enter government-affiliated occupations, and legal career courses that help aspiring lawyers progress in their careers. By virtue of its revenue-sharing model that provides teachers with 30-50% of the income generated from the courses they teach, CERS attracts the highest quality teachers to its platform. These teachers are financially incentivized to promote their own courses on the platform through their robust social networks.


Entrepreneurs: Pablo Guzmán, Jovino Novoa & Sergio Guzmán
Company: Sano Seafood

Sano Seafoods is in tune with its clients’ needs. In order to quickly cook perfect entrees for each customer, restaurant chefs need uniform protein portions that are consistent in shape, size, and thickness. Ensuring this consistency, adds costs such as longer prep time and additional waste to the cooking process. Enter Sano Seafoods, a secondary seafood processor that provides value-added premium seafood products to the retail and foodservice sectors. Sano Seafoods sells uniform fish fillets to the United States and Europe, bellies to Vietnam, collars and tails to Japan, and skin and bones to fish food producers, to give every client what they want, and waste no part of the fish in the process. Sano Seafoods also processes around ten additional types of seafood in order to offer clients a one-stop-shop for all of their seafood needs.

Entrepreneurs: Hernan Restini & Gonzalo Restini
Company: FMA

Inside Chile’s illustrious copper mines, FMA is striking gold. In a US$86 billion global market for mining equipment, most machinery is mass-produced; few manufacturers create products tailored for specific challenges. These challenges arise because of the diversity of terrain and equipment inherent within mines, no two of which are alike. Mines currently rely on manual labor and poor mechanization to accomplish tasks such as changing the tires of giant dump trucks or winding the heavy electric gables of large drillers. Without proper tools, these tasks are not only inefficient but also unsafe for workers. First-Class Mining Attachments (FMA) designs and manufactures semi-customized equipment to address clients’ task-specific needs. From the Andean mountains of Peru to the desert plains of Mauritania, FMA’s clients operate in 25 countries across five continents. The company is on the brink of a major international expansion campaign to conquer the lion’s share of North American and Asian-Pacific markets.


Entrepreneurs: Juan Felipe Arbeláez & Pablo Arbeláez
Company: Vive Agro

Previously, restaurants and caterers sourced produce from farmers markets. Ripe with inefficiencies – a string of middlemen sell to other middlemen before reaching the end user – these markets force farmers to underprice their vegetables and fruits while giving restaurants little transparency over the food they use. It also required restaurants to spend valuable time and resources preparing and storing the vegetables. Vive Agro offers clients washed, cut, and ready-to-use vegetables, helping restaurants reduce their costs substantially. Meanwhile, the farmers who work Vive Agro obtain better prices on their produce and receive agricultural best practice from Vive Agro’s agronomists.


Voting during panel deliberations


Entrepreneurs: Adalberto Flores & Leonardo de la Cerda
Company: Kueski

Accessing affordable capital is a longstanding problem in Mexico as a large portion of the population – the young in particular – do not qualify for a wide range of financial services – like loans, and credit cards – because of low or nonexistent credit scores. In practice, this situation means that people have high-friction alternatives to banks, such as offline pawnshop lenders, who can be slow to deliver funds. Kueski, an online micro-lending platform, applies big data and advanced analytics to approve micro-loans for Mexico’s financially underserved population within 35 minutes of customers placing their request. Fast, transparent, and available 24/7, Kueski is the most convenient lending platform for those who need an immediate loan.

Entrepreneurs: Andres Sucre, Sebastian Gomez & Adrian Cuadros
Company: Reserbus

To purchase a bus ticket in Mexico, 550 million bus passengers a year go to the station or a physical store, wasting hours of their time. At the same time, bus operators lose customer visibility and incur extra costs from maintaining physical sales locations. Reserbus solves these problems by connecting bus operators with customers through an integrated booking platform. Reserbus aggregates over 9,000 routes, and 650 destinations through 26 bus operators.

Entrepreneur: Francisco Cordero
Company: Laudex

Dinero drives diplomas. In Mexico, higher education is reserved for the privileged few, rather than the qualified masses. Only 2% of qualified applicants can afford to attend a private university, in contrast to 60% in countries such as Chile and Brazil. Laudex’s goal is to provide all Mexican students with the financial resources they need to achieve a higher education. A cohort of college-age students equal to the population of Switzerland (seven million) does not attend university in Mexico, largely due to the high cost of enrollment. Laudex continues to build alliances with Mexico’s largest private universities, it will expand its national presence.


Entrepreneur: Nicolas Droguett
Company: SeguroSimple

With SeguroSimple, five minutes could save you a lifetime of paperwork on your car insurance. The process of buying an auto insurance policy is riddled with inefficiencies for consumers: from the tedious nature of meeting with sales representatives, to the time-consuming process of sifting through tall piles of policy information. By moving the insurance industry online, developed countries now boast 50-60% online purchases of policies. Peru, in contrast, still relies entirely on offline brokers. SeguroSimple is Peru’s first digital insurance broker. The company plans to scale its business in Peru, expand regionally, and grow into new product verticals such as health and life insurance.


Entrepreneur: Kirsty Chadwick
Company: The Training Room Online

Corporate training seems more like corporate torture for most employees. The global corporate training industry is notorious for its antiquated reliance on lackluster lectures and never-ending PowerPoint presentations. Existing systems are inefficient with high auxiliary costs like facilitator fees, travel, and lost employee work days, on top of the general cost of content development and upkeep. These systems also lack the multifaceted educational approach needed to effectively train today’s increasingly tech-savvy workforce. Enter The Training Room Online (TTRO), a digital learning design and development company that transforms clients’ employee training content into blended learning resources. TTRO’s strong team uses various design strategies, including animation, mobile, and video, to produce high-quality customized learning solutions that are more convenient, stimulating, and interactive than traditional offline solutions.


Entrepreneur: Philippe Gelis
Company: Kantox

While large businesses receive preferred foreign exchange (FX) rates from banks, most SMEs are stuck paying exorbitant fees in order to do business outside of their home market. Kantox is the first peer-to-peer (P2P) foreign exchange market that connects SMEs and Mid-Caps to each other to offer equitable trade rates. While using Kantox’s platform, the majority of clients save more than 80% than if they used a bank. This is largely because Kantox offers transparency with the live market trade rates and its clear 0.09 -0.29% commission fee, compared to banks’ typical 3.0% fee.

Entrepreneur: Daniel González de Vega
Company: Smartick

Smartick is improving mathematics learning with just one click. Malaga-born learning company Smartick channeled its inner child and ventured to make math learning fun and more effective for children, ages four to fourteen. The company built an online, adaptive platform that teaches mathematics skills. The methodology consists of daily, 15-minute working sessions in mathematics, comprehensive reading, and some cognitive domains (e.g. memory, attention, reasoning, and mental flexibility). Students work on modules that adapt in real-time to the child’s individual level and performance. Since the product launched commercially in 2011, more than 10,000 students from 35+ countries have benefited from Smartick’s highly effective approach to teaching mathematics.

Entrepreneur: Juan de Antonio
Company: Cabify

Hailing a taxi the old way in Spain and Latin America is often inefficient and difficult. Across Latin America in particular, taxis are unreliable and unsafe while black cars are expensive. Meanwhile, drivers face fluctuating salaries, depending on an unpredictable stream of passengers. With Cabify, a mobile app that connects users with drivers, users can book a car in advance, know the journey’s price ahead of time, and enjoy a quality experience. Operating in Spain, Chile, Peru and Mexico, Cabify aims to push the pedal to the metal and expand rapidly in the region over the coming years.


Entrepreneur: Sassan Khatib-Shahidi
Company: German Imaging Technologies (GIT)

GIT is leaving its imprint on businesses in MENA. As a result of the steep cost of print toner, companies save up to 50% per order by purchasing remanufactured products in lieu of Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) cartridges. German Imaging Technologies (GIT) is the market leader in producing remanufactured toner cartridges in MENA and has been the largest supplier in the UAE since 2007. The company sells toners that are 20-30% less expensive than OEM toners, do not compromise on quality, and have a reduced environmental impact. GIT has over 1600 corporate customers in the UAE and exports to 18 countries in the MENA region, an estimated US$1.3 billion toner market. The company is a full-service provider of printing solutions for businesses, offering renting, leasing, and sales of printer equipment as well as maintenance services. In 2011 and 2012 GIT was named one of the top 50 companies in the industry globally and an Arabia 500 Fast Growth Company.

Entrepreneur: Wadih Haddad
Company: The Box

In Dubai, a city built around luxury, extra closet space comes at a premium. Although Dubai is known for its modern skyscrapers, magnificent architectural buildings, opulent hotels, and shopping malls, real estate in the Emirate comes with a whopping price tag. As a result, the majority of residents struggle with space constraints. Until The Box built its first self-storage facility in 2008, there were few options for self or bulk storage. Founded during the heart of the financial crisis, The Box has grown to 25 facilities and 250,000 square feet within the UAE, operates facilities in Lebanon and Qatar, and has partnerships in Canada. The company plans to increase its footprint across multiple cities in MENA through opening new locations, constructing joint venture facilities, and management contracts with competitor companies leading to acquisitions.


Entrepreneurs at Makerspace during Candidates’ Day

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.

Mexico’s salaUno and Chile’s TriCiclos Named Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurs of 2015

schwab foundationThe  Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year Awards is an annual list of the top innovators driving global, regional and industry agendas to improve the state of their communities. The 2015 list of 31 entrepreneurs includes Endeavor Entrepreneurs Javier Okhuysen and Carlos Orellana, co-founders of salaUno, and Gonzalo Muñoz, co-founder of TriCiclos. This honor demonstrates the impact of Endeavor Entrepreneurs in the social sector and the increasing global recognition of entrepreneurs working to transform under-served communities.

Javier Okhuysen and Carlos Orellana founded the Mexico-based salaUno to help prevent avoidable blindness in Mexico through its private vision centers and clinics. Taking advantage of economies of scale, innovative surgical techniques, and a vertically-integrated supply chain, salaUno provides high quality, low-cost cataract surgery and eye care services to low-income Mexicans. Within a year of launching, salaUno successfully opened a clinic in Mexico City and completed more than 2,100 cataract surgeries. Selected into the network in 2012, the entrepreneurs have received a range of mentoring and advisory services through Endeavor, enabling them to grow the business on a national scale.

By providing Clean Points (CPs) – recycling stations where individuals can deposit recyclable consumer materials – and managing waste management logistics efficiently, Chile’s TriCiclos is one of the most reputable post-consumer recycling companies in the region and one of the few capable of tracking and monetizing compliance. CPs – 40-foot metal containers capable of receiving, processing and compacting up to 25 different types of materials – are placed in companies’ parking lots or municipal areas. They are forty times cheaper and 20% more efficient than other recycling platforms in Chile because of the sophisticated pre-processor unit. Notably, TriCiclos is the only company in Latin America that is classified as a “B-Corp” and can certify that over 90% of materials put into its social clean points will actually be recycled. Since his selection in 2014, co-founder and CEO Gonzalo Muñoz has received local mentoring services to help him develop and refine his business model.

Other Endeavor Entrepreneurs who have been honored by the Foundation in past years include Javier Lozano of Mexico’s Clinicas del Azucar, Patrick Struebi of Mexico’s Fairtrasa, Mois Cherem of Mexico’s ENOVA, Felipe Vergara of Colombia’s Lumni, and Bedriye Hülya of Turkey’s B-Fit. View the full list of 2015 Awardees by clicking here.

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