High-Impact Entrepreneurship

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42 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from 12 Countries Join the Endeavor Network at the 55th International Selection Panel in Istanbul

Istanbul, Turkey – October 24, 2014 – At the 55th Endeavor International Selection Panel (ISP), 42 high-impact entrepreneurs leading 23 companies from 12 countries were welcomed into the Endeavor network. Endeavor now supports 990 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from 629 companies across 21 countries. […]

October 24th, 2014 — by admin

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Linda Rottenberg Appears in Top Media Outlets to Discuss “Crazy Is A Compliment” and Share Stories of Endeavor Entrepreneurs

Endeavor CEO and co-founder Linda Rottenberg’s first book “Crazy Is A Compliment: The Power of Zigging When Everyone Else Zags” was released in October, bottling 17 years of insights and anecdotes from her work with nearly a thousand […]

October 16th, 2014 — by admin

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World Economic Forum Report on High-Impact Entrepreneurs Highlights Endeavor’s Role and Research

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The World Economic Forum recently released a new report titled “The Bold Ones – High-Impact Entrepreneurs Who Transform Industries” that takes an in-depth look at the power of high-impact entrepreneurs and their role in transforming economies. Drawing from surveys of over 600 entrepreneurs in EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year program as well as research from Endeavor Insight, the report seeks to better understand how successful companies accelerate access to new markets and become scalable businesses that create high-value jobs.

In particular, the report found that the over 600 companies in the sample (1/10,000th of the total number of U.S. companies) have created over 160,000 jobs in just the last two years (nearly 1/20th of the total U.S. economy). These ventures have outperformed comparable financial indices by a substantial margin and have created significant wealth for owners, employees, and customers. In addition, the report features insights from Endeavor CEO and co-founder Linda Rottenberg, who is recognized as an early pioneer of the high-impact entrepreneurship movement.

Read and download the full report by clicking here.

Endeavor Uruguay Gala Brings Together 750+ Network Members and Regional Influencers

EndeavorUruguayEndeavor Uruguay‘s annual Gala brought together more than 750 of the local network’s top stakeholders, including entrepreneurs, business leaders, investors, policy makers and more. With over 100 local and international companies represented,  the event also received coverage in a number of national media outlets, positioning itself as one of the top networking and entrepreneurship-focused gatherings in the country.

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The Gala attracted some of Uruguay’s most influential government and policy officials, including Vice President Danilo Astori, US Ambassador Julissa Reynoso, Presidential Candidate Pedro Bordaberry, and Minister of Industry, Energy and Mining Roberto Kreimerman. The night of networking and discussion also included an interview with Endeavor Argentina Board Member Gustavo Grobocopatel, one of Latin America’s top business leaders and president of agro-industrial giant Grupo Los Grobo. In addition, an Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year Award sponsored by EY was awarded to entrepreneurs Álvaro García, Ruben Sosenke and Ariel Burschtin, founders of Uruguay-based food delivery platform PedidosYa.

Watch a summary video of the event below or by clicking here.

September 2014 Newsletter

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To view Endeavor’s September newsletter, a recap of all the top news stories from the previous month, please CLICK HERE.

Reminder: To receive our monthly newsletters by email, please enter your email address in the sign-up box at the bottom of our homepage.

2014 PiLA Field Report: Exploring New Horizons with Endeavor Argentina

Every summer, top graduate and undergraduate students in the engineering, business and computer science fields spend a summer working with an Endeavor and Endeavor Entrepreneurs to assist in technical work assignments. These students are driven by interests in bridging technology and society through innovation, design, and entrepreneurship. Following is a post from Wade Prospere, a PiLA participant who spent the summer working with the Endeavor Argentina office. 

After graduating from Cornell University in 2010 and working as a Financial Analyst for Merrill Lynch for three years, I joined Endeavor Argentina in 2013 as a Princeton in Latin America fellow. I was drawn to Endeavor’s commitment to entrepreneurship as the key to sustained economic growth in emerging markets, and I wanted the opportunity to personally contribute to Endeavor’s impact. Working for Endeavor served as an incredible opportunity to learn—both from inspiring entrepreneurs and mentors, and from an amazingly talented global team.

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Wade and the Endeavor Argentina team

Upon arriving in Buenos Aires in June of 2013, I joined Endeavor Argentina’s 8-person Search and Selection team. The Search and Selection team is responsible for driving Endeavor’s selection process, which involves: screening entrepreneurs, conducting candidate interviews, facilitating entrepreneur/mentor interaction, writing comprehensive company profiles, and preparing entrepreneur presentations for national and international panels. The most rewarding aspect of my Search and Selection role was personally meeting and working with Argentina’s most remarkable entrepreneurs. I worked with businesses in industries ranging from technology to healthcare to real estate. Each project gave me insight into the issues and challenges Argentina’s entrepreneurs face, and the opportunities that can arise from Endeavor’s powerful set of resources.

At the heart of Endeavor’s model is an unrivaled network of seasoned business leaders. These mentors help entrepreneurs unleash their potential by providing guidance, strategic advice, and inspiration. My greatest learning experiences from working at Endeavor Argentina came from business strategy meetings between entrepreneurs and mentors. Absorbing market-specific advice from mentors helped me frame candidate enterprises and address how Endeavor’s resources could help catalyze their businesses. Despite operating in a default-ridden country, Argentina’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is extremely robust, and it’s obvious to me that Endeavor has played an instrumental role in promoting entrepreneurship as a tool for development throughout the country.

On a personal level, working at Endeavor has been the most enriching experience of my life to date. Living in a foreign country and interacting daily with high-impact entrepreneurs provided a truly unique learning experience. Endeavor Argentina’s network and local staff could not have been more impressive. It was inspiring to see such a diverse group of leaders collaborating to use entrepreneurship as a building block to strengthen the economy. This perspective, along with the relationships I formed working at Endeavor, will forever affect the way I evaluate impact.

Endeavor’s model gains its power from its vast global network, which serves to select, mentor, and accelerate the best high-impact entrepreneurs from around the world. As Endeavor’s network grows, the resources available to entrepreneurs and mentors become more robust, and Endeavor’s ability to impact development becomes more profound.

Social Media Highlights from the 2014 Harvard and Stanford Leadership Programs

Participating Endeavor Entrepreneurs at the 2014 Harvard and Stanford programs shared their experiences on Twitter during the week of classes, highlighting everything from networking sessions to lectures from leading university faculty. See below for excerpts from the digital conversation.

90+ Endeavor Entrepreneurs Participate in Week-Long Leadership Programs at Harvard and Stanford

In August, Endeavor partnered with Harvard Business School and Stanford University to organize a week of programming focused on leadership and management training for a select group of high-impact Endeavor Entrepreneurs. During the two programs, the entrepreneurs stayed on campus to engage in several days of guest lectures and discussion groups custom-designed by university faculty. The participants were given access to the world-class resources and expertise of each leading institution while also networking and sharing insights with their fellow entrepreneurs.

HBSHarvard’s “Scaling Entrepreneurial Ventures” Program took an in-depth approach to helping participating entrepreneurs identify opportunities for innovation and growth in their own businesses. Entrepreneurs from 13 Endeavor countries took courses with top HBS professors on topics ranging from sales and marketing to valuation and financing. The participants were also given assignments that called on them to evaluate their own ventures and integrate key learnings from the program. In addition, a pitch competition was organized to give the entrepreneurs a chance to collaborate and present their ideas to faculty and to one another.

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Stanford_logo-1Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, the leadership program at Stanford University drew from the best of Stanford GSB’s world-class faculty and network to help Endeavor Entrepreneurs learn to build leading companies in a competitive global marketplace. Participants from 11 Endeavor countries had the chance to develop core competencies that could help them transform their companies, manage ongoing growth and improve corporate culture. In addition, the program focused on helping the entrepreneurs identify opportunities and challenges to scale, using a discussion group format to address specific business challenges. The Stanford campus and the surrounding environment of Silicon Valley also provided an extraordinary setting with access to the area’s leading tech hubs. 

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eMBA 2014 Field Report: Making A Transition With Colombia’s Refinancia

Each summer Endeavor sends a number of incoming and second-year MBA students, recruited from top schools, to work on-site with Endeavor Entrepreneurs on projects ranging from strategic planning to market expansion. The program is supported by a generous grant from Barclays. Following is a post from Keisuke Arimoto, a member of ESADE’s MBA Class of 2015, who spent the summer working with Endeavor Entrepreneurs at Colombia’s Refinancia

Before meeting Refinancia, I have always been interested in cultures of Latin America as I have been travelling frequently there and learning Spanish almost every time I had vacation. One day, I have come to think “what if I could connect my hobby with professional experience?” with hopes that being a Japanese speaking English, Spanish, and Japanese with international business experiences would be provide a niche! This question as well as a motivation to become an entrepreneur in the future took me to an MBA in Barcelona after 7 years in the financial industry, and found an answer at Refinancia realizing my sueño (dream.)

Why Colombia?

When I had my “garden leave,” after resigning from my previous work, before the MBA, I went to Colombia to spend 40 days, travelling around the country after following recommendations of backpackers I had met in previous years. It was easy for me to make a decision to come back for a different reason, a work experience, given the warmness and sincerity of people as well as amazing touristic attractions including a beautiful city of Cartagena in the Caribbean coast.

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Keisuke with the team at Refinancia

What kind company is Refinancia?

It is a solution provider in the area of consumer finance with two main businesses, NPL and merchant payment guarantee services. The company was establish in 2005 by an MBA graduate from Harvard Business School, Kenneth Mendiwelson, and has been enjoying a tremendous growth to have over 900 employees in Colombia and Peru. Given its success to capture the growing niche market, Refinancia has been recently acquired by NASDAQ listed US based specialty financing company, Encore Capital Group, mirroring an entrepreneurial success story we would learn in our MBA classroom. Hence, Refinancia is in an extremely interesting stage where it is transitioning from an entrepreneurial company to a corporate entity to incorporate established know-hows and structure from the parent company.

The traditional and original business is an NPL (non-performing loan) business in which Refinancia becomes an investor of a consumer NPL portfolio by purchasing it from banks. In this transaction, banks benefit from removing bad assets from its balance sheet for an income from the sales while the borrowers benefit from gaining opportunity to improve their credit score by having the second chance of repayment, instead of being recorded as an insolvent borrower. As the consumption and loan growth have been growing rapidly along with the economic growth, Refinancia has been the leader in providing such financial solutions in Colombia and Peru.

The merchant guarantee business is a relatively new business yet fully leveraging Refinancia´s core capabilities nurtured in its NPL operation, providing point-of-sales solutions to consumers while Refinancia guaranteeing payment by the consumers.

As Refinancia has been rapidly establishing its foot print in financial industry, it has been attracting many talents from other large banks and financial service companies. Hearing the opinions of those who recently joined Refinancia from other banks, it is quite interesting that Refinancia has size meaningful enough to attract large businesses and talents yet maintains an innovative and entrepreneurial environment where countless new projects have been in discussion and being launched to fuel further growth.

In terms of people, they are very friendly and approachable from young people to senior management including the founder as I had expected from my previous travel experiences. I also go out to share personal time with colleagues of Refinancia outside of work including playing football. The quality of people working here are very high with high disciplines and inspirations to work in an entrepreneurial and challenging environment.

What is my project?

The company has many projects in discussion before hitting the market. My project is to create a model by which the company prioritizes initiatives, and prioritize the current initiatives. Having a means to prioritize initiatives has been becoming ever more critical as there have been needs to select initiatives with large market potential with sustainable profitable growth out of many initiatives on the table. This is especially a case as Refinancia, after the acquisition by Encore, has been in a turning point from an entrepreneurial stage to a corporate stage so that the use of its capital needs to be logically explained to the parent company.

The project has been requiring many skills learned in the MBA and the previous work experiences. First, financial analysis including accounting and valuation analysis are a must as all the projects need to be put in economic figures for comparisons. Second, communication skills and sales (which include Spanish!) are essential as my job cannot be done without any help of commercial team and financial team of Refinancia. Also, it is important to logically explain the top managements about the model so I would say a presentation skill is also a key to apply.

Overall impression

In many aspects including the entrepreneurial environment (despite of the recent acquisition), the stage where the company is in, the business, the people, the project, and the Latin American business experience, I have been very satisfied with the internship. Supported by the many, I am committed to complete and deliver the presentation in a few weeks and keep on enjoying the charm Colombia!

 

2014 PiLA Field Report: A Summer Immersion with Endeavor Chile

Every summer, top undergraduate students in the engineering and computer science departments spend a summer working with an Endeavor and Endeavor Entrepreneurs to assist in technical work assignments. These students are driven by interests in bridging technology and society through innovation, design, and entrepreneurship. Following is a post from Matt Doup, a PiLA participant who spent the summer working with the Endeavor Chile office. 

There’s a common expression in Spanish: “tírate a la piscina”, roughly translating to “throw yourself in the deep end”. In many ways, that phrase perfectly sums up my experience at Endeavor Chile. Working in a second language is challenging. Working in a second language with the country’s top entrepreneurs and leading business professionals while analyzing hundreds of business models is something entirely different. That prospect is doubly intimidating when, on day one, one can barely understand a word spoken at the weekly office breakfast, only to discover that Chileans don’t, in fact, speak Spanish (I don’t know how I had overlooked that minor detail). They speak Chilean: a hyper-fast , sing-song-y dialect punctuated by pseudo-English words like “cachai” (you catch?), or “po” (no meaning whatsoever, yet added onto the end of most sentences).

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Matt with the Endeavor Chile network members

I nonetheless thought the task of identifying what Endeavor calls “High-Impact Entrepreneurs” would be somewhat straightforward.  Chile, on paper, is an entrepreneurial mega-hub. Not only have open markets and business-friendly tax policies* resulted in a flowering of disruptive home-grown start-ups, but innovative government initiatives like Start-Up Chile, a program that provides entrepreneurs from around the world with US$40K to bootstrap their companies in Santiago, have begun to attract gloabl talent, resulting in an environment that many are referring to (perhaps optimistically) as Chilecon Valley. The reality that I found, however, is that “culture” tends to lag behind policy in Chile: the country is characterized by pervasive social conservatism, fear of risk-taking (entrepreneurs often operate 5-6 businesses simultaneously to hedge their bets should one fail), and, like much of Latin America, rampant classism. Couple these social norms with two major structural factors— the lack of quality public education, and vulture, rather than venture, capitalists, and the future of entrepreneurship in Chile looks far less rosy.

Enter Endeavor.  Endeavor holds a critical place in the Chilean ecosystem— one that is helping to break down psychological barriers through storytelling: the brother-sister duo who turned a healthy home-made cookie recipe into the country’s leading on-the-go snacks brand; the three friends who saw an opportunity to beat out McDonald’s at the local level, developing a franchise spanning five brands and with operations in Chile and Brazil; two brothers who identified inefficiencies in shipping and maritime logistics in the Patagonia, becoming the first company in the region to provide these services;two sisters who were able to take their father’s  clothing store and turn it into the premier children’s clothing brand in Chile.  I witnessed first-hand how these narratives collectively served to inspire Chilean entrepreneurs to action: both in taking more risks and dreaming bigger.

Some of the highlights from my year as a PiLA at Endeavor Chile included: attempting (and failing) to institute a Monday-morning breakfast burrito tradition; working with aspiring high school-aged entrepreneurs at a three-day youth camp in Chilean wine country; hiking the infamous “W” in Torres del Paine National Park in the Chilean Patagonia; serving as the “office elf”, dancing while handing out presents at the office holiday party (I will never quite get used to 90-degree Decembers); gorging on “empanadas de pino” at our office party to celebrate Sept. 18 (Chilean Independence Day); losing and subsequently having to replace my passport; bicycle wine tours and Puerta Cerradas in Mendoza; being known permanently as “Max” at Starbucks Chile; developing an unhealthy obsession for “palta” (creamy Chilean avocados); being made fun of to no end by coworkers for my love of said palta.

When not voraciously consuming palta, traveling, or perfecting my elf-dancing routine, I focused on carrying out the Endeavor mission, working with almost every type of company under the sun: stevia production, baby E-commerce, mining technology, cell phone cases, a sushi restaurant, even wastewater management using earthworms! Because of the small size of the office, I was fortunate be given the opportunity to take the reigns on a number of aspects of the Search & Selection process, the culmination of which was opportunity to lead the preparation of two companies for the International Selection Panel in Florianopolis, Brazil. Overall, it was tremendously rewarding to have played a significant role in Endeavor’s selection of nine entrepreneurs across five companies during my year in Chile! I’ve gotten very close with a lot of the Endeavor Chile staff, as well as a number of the entrepreneurs that I worked with. And I’m proud to say that I only let one “cachai” slip during my entire year there.

eMBA 2014 Field Report: Exploring A New Landscape with Greece’s Daily Secret

Each summer Endeavor sends a number of incoming and second-year MBA students, recruited from top schools, to work on-site with Endeavor Entrepreneurs on projects ranging from strategic planning to market expansion. The program is supported by a generous grant from Barclays. Following is a post from Chafic Mourad, a member of Harvard Business School’s MBA Class of 2015, who spent the summer working with Endeavor Entrepreneurs at Greece’s Daily Secret

eMBA_webWorking as a strategy consultant before joining Business school, I wanted to undergo a different experience during my summer internship. I was searching for a business role in a start-up where I can learn from the daily challenges entrepreneurs face. I also wanted the start-up to be small enough so I can effectively contribute to the growth of the company.

Daily Secret is a subscription newsletter service delivering curated secrets and gems in cities around the globe to its subscribers. The secrets cover food, art, travel, entertainment and fashion industries. I was interested in joining Daily Secret for two main reasons: First, it’s a small firm with an international span and huge growth potential. Second, I found the company’s product very appealing given that I have always enjoyed discovering and shortlisting restaurants, bars and venues whether in my hometown Beirut or in other international cities.

The company has two offices, one in New York and the other in Athens. It was undergoing important changes in its organizational structure.  Most members in the US office, which I joined, were new to the company and the new CEO had taken the lead few weeks before my arrival. The energy level was high and there was a definite momentum to reach the new short and long term goals set by the CEO.

I was mainly involved in business development. During the internship, I developed a plan to define the different products which can be offered to partners or ad buyers, structure the selection process of these partners and generate a target list of potential clients. Witnessing the closing of some deals with partners suggested in the plan was the most rewarding part of the internship. I was also able to contribute on the product front as Daily Secret was expanding into new markets.

Looking back, my internship at Daily Secret was definitely a great learning experience. I was fully responsible of my deliverables, set my own milestones and led the work and development of the plan with limited resources and in a very dynamic environment. I had the opportunity to learn from the other members of the team, most of them having previously worked in other start-ups. Helping them in their daily tasks was truly beneficial. Going forward, I will be returning to campus in less than a month, bringing back my entrepreneurial experience to share with my classmates and build on during the next recruiting cycle.

Endeavor Convenes Managing Directors from 20 Countries for Leadership Retreat

During the  54th Endeavor International Selection Panel in New York, Endeavor convened managing directors from all 20 of its affiliate offices for an annual MD Retreat. The aim of the program was to foster collaboration among Endeavor’s growing global network of offices and to provide essential leadership and communications training that will keep Endeavor at the cutting edge of high-impact entrepreneurship.

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Collaborating in a workshop at the Bain offices

The week-long retreat consisted of a series of workshops and teamwork exercises focused on promoting innovative and creative processes among Endeavor staff around the world. In particular, representatives from the Drucker Institute led a series of sessions on leadership and management techniques. Representatives from Bain & Company, an Endeavor sponsor, held workshops focused on talent retention and development while also offering to host most of the week’s events at their New York City offices. Ultimately, as Endeavor works to expand to 25 countries by 2015, the retreat allowed MDs from every region to better align on the organization’s core goals, operations and brand.  

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Participating in team building exercises

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