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Endeavor Insight Spotlights Scaleup Ecosystems in Bangladesh and Uganda

As part of a series of reports focused on scaleup ecosystems worldwide, Endeavor Insight has analyzed the impact of scaleup companies on the economies of two emerging markets: Bangladesh and Uganda. Entitled “The Critical 5 Percent” (Bangladesh) and “The […]

March 24th, 2015 — by admin

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CNBC Features Endeavor Greece Research on Job Creation; Highlights the Need for Entrepreneurship

CNBC recently featured Endeavor Greece‘s Creating Jobs for Youth in Greece report, bringing focus to the need for  high-quality employment opportunities in the struggling economy.  The piece highlights the sharp decline in young college graduates in the […]

March 1st, 2015 — by admin

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Entrepreneur Connections: Saudi Arabia’s Glowork and OTS Partner on Job Recruitment Service for Women

GloOTSDuring a recent Endeavor KSA event, more than 30 members of the local network convened to discuss the impact of Endeavor in the region. Attendees had the chance to meet casually over the three hour  event, which started off with a private lunch between local board members and Endeavor Entrepreneurs. As a result, two Endeavor KSA Entrepreneurs had the opportunity to form a unique business partnership, demonstrating the power of Endeavor to bring together high-impact founders.

Khalid Alkhudair, founder and CEO of Glowork, has dedicated his business to creating equal opportunities for women by bridging the gap between employers and female jobseekers. For women in the region, the job market is one of the toughest in the world. Having placed more than 20,000 women in jobs in only three years, Glowork is leveraging its brand to launch into other business verticals where women are under-served.

Ahmed Hamdan, founder and CEO of OTS (Optimal Technology Solutions), built a platform that offers digital communication solutions to help businesses communicate and form meaningful relationships with their customers through web and mobile channels. OTS has expertise in effectively reaching consumer audiences throughout MENA, with offices in Saudi Arabia and six other countries in the region, and clients in 20 countries.

Through their partnership, the entrepreneurs are working to create a unique SMS messaging service, a specialty of OTS’, that will offer the region’s female jobseekers the chance to register for an upcoming “A Step Ahead Career Fair” organized by Glowork.

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Ahmed and Khalid making an entrepreneur-to-entrepreneur connection

World Economic Forum Report on Entrepreneurial Ambition Features Insights from Endeavor Entrepreneurs

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A report produced by the World Economic Forum, the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor and Endeavor examines the concept of entrepreneurship in three dimensions: early-stage entrepreneurial activity, growth-oriented entrepreneurship and innovation-based entrepreneurship. The study aims to develop a useful framework for policymakers to understand and support the best entrepreneurs in every region. Case studies and interviews with Endeavor Entrepreneurs from Saudi Arabia to Brazil serves to support the assessment.

It is widely believed that entrepreneurial activity is a critical component to a prosperous society, considering how entrepreneurs create jobs, drive progress and contribute to economic growth. Consequently, many governments and their policymakers aim to increase the number of entrepreneurs in their countries and aid their development. But providing this support is no easy task, as entrepreneurs are not necessarily the same even within a country and often appear in different guises depending on the country in which they are located.

By drawing on two unique data sets – the Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index and Global Entrepreneurship Monitor’s assessment of entrepreneurial activity – the report takes a nuanced stance on the prevalence and types of entrepreneurs globally, and the environments in which they thrive. This look at entrepreneurship aims to provide a deeper understanding of early stage entrepreneurial activity by taking into account that not all entrepreneurs are the same. Specifically, the report highlights early-stage entrepreneurs that are innovative and ambitious about their growth expectations, arguably those with the highest impact on economies.

The report ultimately finds that, in general, early-stage entrepreneurial activity is higher in economies that are less competitive and lower in highly competitive economies. Conversely, the proportion of ambitious and innovative entrepreneurs is more frequently high in more competitive economies. In many highly competitive economies with low rates of business starts, entrepreneurial drive manifests itself through more formalized structures, which dispels any quick conclusions about the quality of entrepreneurial ecosystems based on entrepreneurship rates alone.

Endeavor Entrepreneurs that provided their insights for the report include Rafael Bottós of Welle Tecnologia Laser (Brazil), Maha Arayssi Rifai of Beesline (Lebanon), Daphne Loukas of Out There Media (Greece), Caio Bonatto of TecVerde (Brazil) and Lateefa Alwaalan of Yatooq (Saudi Arabia).

Read the full report and learn more about the findings by clicking here.

Endeavor Lebanon Co-Hosts Global Lebanese Entrepreneurs and Investors Summit in Beirut

Endeavor Lebanon and the Lebanese International Finance Executives (LIFE) held the Global Lebanese Entrepreneurs and Investors Summit, a meeting that brought together over 300 Lebanese investors, business executives and local entrepreneurs. The goal of the Summit was to create a dialogue between Lebanon’s local and global stakeholders and position the country as a prime market for investment. Select Endeavor Entrepreneurs from the local network also attended the event to share their high-impact stories.

Hosted in Beirut, the day-long event showcased the evolution and high-growth potential of Lebanon’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Hundreds of high net-worth, venture capital and growth equity investors attended the Summit from major financial centers including New York, London, Paris, Geneva, Singapore and Dubai. Comprised mainly of Lebanese ex-patriates, the participants explored investment opportunities in businesses built by a young generation of local entrepreneurs in a variety of sectors. Panel discussions throughout the day highlighted the investment potential in the thriving Lebanese technology and design industries, as well as the importance of attracting and retaining human capital.

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A panel discussion during the Summit

“Lebanon boasts a vibrant scene of entrepreneurial talent and SMEs with great potential to grow, but this potential remains capped due to lack of access to capital and international markets. This summit, organized with our partners LIFE, has given birth to an investor network that specifically strengthens that weak link and creates the missing connections,” said Tarek Sadi, Managing Director of Endeavor Lebanon. “Hundreds of people are here today because they truly care to revive the country’s economy and help it grow.”

In his keynote speech, H.E. Mr. Riad Salame, Governor of Lebanon’s Central Bank, announced plans to license a stock exchange that would list SMEs and family-owned businesses and to facilitate exit strategies for Lebanese entrepreneurs. This follows a series of several important initiatives undertaken by bank in the past two years to support local entrepreneurs.

A number of top Lebanese entrepreneurs, including many in the Endeavor network, attended the event – Labib Shalak, Jamil Corbani, Mohamad Arayssi and Nada Debs all shared their success stories, failures and insights on how they attracted capital despite the challenges and risks in the country.

Find out more about the event by clicking here.

Harvard Business Review Features Endeavor Research on Tech Founders

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The Harvard Business Review (HBR) featured research from Endeavor Insight that dispels some popular myths about tech entrepreneurs. Tech founders are often associated with prominent colleges, technical training and youth. Data from Endeavor, however, reveals that these beliefs are often the exceptions, not the rule.

Two of the most successful tech entrepreneurs in history – Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg – promote the stereotypes around tech founders. Both were college dropouts who studied computer science by day, programmed by night, and built large public companies without ever having worked at one. Anecdotes from popular media have only added to the cult of youth. Last year, articles in The New Republic and The New York Times explored the role that young entrepreneurs have played in shaping Silicon Valley.

Over the last year, Endeavor Insight began studying the New York City tech sector, one of the largest in the world, to understand just how closely these myths align with reality. Starting with publicly available data from Crunchbase, AngelList, and LinkedIn – and layered on top of interviews with nearly 700 local tech founders – the data found that none of these stereotypes hold up.

Read the full HBR piece to find out more about Endeavor’s findings by clicking here. Also find mention of Endeavor’s research in the Financial Times.

The Myth of the Tech Whiz Who Quits College to Start a Company

Endeavor’s Linda Rottenberg Highlights the Inclusive Power of Entrepreneurship for WEF 2015

World-Economic-ForumAs part of the World Economic Forum’s annual gathering in Davos, Linda Rottenberg, Endeavor co-founder and CEO, published an article assessing the state of inclusive entrepreneurship worldwide. The article celebrates the role that Endeavor Entrepreneurs like Leila Velez from Beleza Natural and Lateefa Alwaalan from Yatooq have played in transforming economies and creating high-quality jobs in countries like Brazil and Saudi Arabia.

Endeavor’s role, for nearly 20 years, has been to build “an inclusive middle path, making high-impact entrepreneurship the foundation of prosperous societies worldwide,” Rottenberg writes. Endeavor Entrepreneurs like Leila and Lateefa have moved entrepreneurship into the realm of possibility for millions at society’s margins. Rottenberg, writing about the role of these transformative entrepreneurs, also highlights recent research from Endeavor Insight. As part of a study of New York City’s tech entrepreneurs, she discusses the impact that top-performers can have on the growth of local entrepreneurship ecosystems. In New York City, she notes that “top-performing entrepreneurs…[are] more than twice as likely to become top-performers themselves.” These dynamics, in turn have led to the fast growth of women-led companies in New York City, “just 42 in 2003 to 457 in 2013.” Supporting more than 1,000 entrepreneurs worldwide, Endeavor catalyzes a dynamic of reinvestment that can make entrepreneurship, and society at large, more inclusive.

Read Linda’s full piece for WEF by clicking here.

How entrepreneurship boosts inclusive growth – Agenda – The World Economic Forum

January 2015 Newsletter

JanNewsTo view Endeavor’s January 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.

Endeavor Launches Third Southeast Asian Country Affiliate in the Philippines

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Endeavor Philipines Logo no tag (color) web smallManila, Philippines – January 7, 2015 – Endeavor announced that it will expand its presence in Southeast Asia with the launch of Endeavor Philippines, its third country affiliate in the region. The launch is supported and led by some of the country’s top entrepreneurs and business leaders, including seven founding board members and a newly named managing director. According to the World Bank, the Philippine economy remains one of the fastest growing in the region, offering a promising climate for high-impact, high-growth entrepreneurship.

With a population of nearly 100 million spread across more than 7,000 islands, the nation is the seventh most populous in Asia and one of the most diverse. While the Philippine economy has grown at an average of 6% since 2012 according to the World Bank, over 20% of the population still lives in poverty. Supporting high-impact entrepreneurship in the region offers a critical opportunity to fuel economic growth at all levels. With an estimated 99% of Philippine enterprises considered small- or medium-sized businesses, many are facing the crucial scale-up stage that determines whether or not they can grow into impactful businesses that create thousands of jobs. Endeavor research found that just 5% of the country’s total number of firms are considered high-growth (with a minimum of 20% average annual growth), but created 75% of the net new jobs in the country.

The landscape of entrepreneurship in the country continues to show much promise. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor found that nearly half (48%) of all Filipinos have a very positive view of the entrepreneurial opportunities in their country; furthermore, 68% believe they have the capabilities needed to start a business. At the same time, many recognize the barriers to entrepreneurial development in the country, including a lack of access to financial support, government programming and guidance from role models.

This is where Endeavor’s model can make a difference. By providing access to a world-class network of industry leaders, investors and talent, Endeavor’s support can give the best entrepreneurs in the region the chance to turn their ventures into transformational businesses. Endeavor aims to take the magic of networks like Silicon Valley and bring it to regions with great ideas and potential, but not necessarily the resources to help founders take their visions to the next level. Once selected into the network, Endeavor Entrepreneurs are connected with strategic mentors and given access to an array of tools that can catapult them to success. Since its beginning in 1997, Endeavor has selected and supported 1,030 entrepreneurs representing 651 companies in the 22 markets where it operates. In 2013, from Miami to Morocco, these entrepreneurs have generated $6.8 billion in revenue and created 400,000 jobs across Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Southeast Asia.

“It is an exciting time in the history of Endeavor, as we have now helped more than a thousand entrepreneurs realize their dreams,” said Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “The addition of Endeavor Philippines ensures that we will continue to make an impact in one of the most dynamic and exciting regions in the world.”

All Endeavor affiliates are spearheaded by a local board of leading business people, each of whom believes that entrepreneurship can transform economies.  The Endeavor Philippines founding board will be chaired by Eugenio (Gabby) López III, Chairman of ABS-CBN Corporation. He will be joined by Jaime A. Zobel de Ayala, Chairman & CEO of Ayala Corporation; Cezar Consing, President & CEO of the Bank of the Philippines Islands; Anthony T. Huang, President of SSI Group, Inc.; Sheila Lirio Marcelo, Founder, Chairwoman & CEO of Care.com; Edgar Injap Sia II, Chairman of DoubleDragon Properties Corp.; and Julio Sy, Jr., Founder & CEO of TAO Corporation.

“Endeavor has come to the Philippines at just the right time,” said Board Chairman Eugenio (Gabby) Lopez III.  “Sustained economic growth has seen the rise of entrepreneurial activity in the country. We hope to accelerate the development of a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem by helping to unleash the full potential of high-impact entrepreneurs.”

The board has selected Manny Ayala as Managing Director of the office, overseeing the successful launch of Endeavor Philippines. Mr. Ayala was a co-founder of Hatchd Digital, a tech incubator, and a Managing Director of investment bank IRG. He will lead the day-to-day operations of the Endeavor office in Manila and will be involved in screening the first entrepreneur candidates for consideration.

Endeavor Reaches Milestone of A Thousand Entrepreneurs Selected with Spain’s Shot & Shop and Miami’s Kairos

During the 56th International Selection Panel in Miami, FL, Endeavor officially marked the selection of a thousand entrepreneurs since 1997. During an intense day of deliberations by groups of expert panelists, two entrepreneurs simultaneously emerged as the thousandth entrepreneurs to be voted in unanimously during their panels. Spain’s Shot & Shop, founded by Sira Pérez de la Coba, and Miami’s Kairos, founded by Brian Brackeen, had the honor of being the milestone selections. Endeavor has now selected and supported 1,030 entrepreneurs from 651 companies across 22 countries.

Founded in 2012, Kairos’ facial recognition API captures the depths and contours of a 2D facial image through 85 points of interest and renders the image as a 3D model to ensure 99% identification accuracy. Even if people change their appearance – by growing a beard or putting on glasses – Kairos’ software will recognize them. The software’s pricing model allows clients to use it for free (for up to 50,000 identifications), and scale the service to meet their specific use requirements and budget. The system delivers fraud management and work automation solutions to clients through 3D facial recognition, one-to-many identification, anti-spoofing, mood detection, gender analysis, security and compliance, mobile authentication and more. Brian and his team have succeeded in raising over $3 million in funding to support the Miami-based company’s growth.

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Kairos’ Brian Brackeen during the Miami ISP

“The Endeavor story was intriguing to me from the start. The power of the network, the support, the mentorship, the help with accessing capital, are all a dream for any CEO,” Brian explained. “Endeavor pushes you forward, into markets that you did not before imagine. I’ve been an Endeavor Entrepreneur less than a month, and yet, it’s had a huge impact on our business.”

Across an ocean, Sira founded her Madrid-based company Shot & Shop in 2012 with the vision of inventing the first image recognition and retrieval technology able to identify accurate visual matches in real-time without previous image, pattern, or verbal tags. Shot & Shop’s proprietary technology has a host of commercial applications. In its first application, retail brands and digital advertisers are using Shot & Shop to better understand consumer preferences and improve the relevance and efficacy of targeted marketing, which drives online sales. The technology is especially equipped for real-time digital ad bidding, and is the only visual search technology able to make real-time digital ad recommendations based on a publisher’s visual content.

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Shot & Shop’s Sira Pérez de la Coba demonstrating her product

“My experience at the Miami ISP was like a dream: amazing, intense, passionate, unique, exciting, and really rewarding. Meeting so many people with so much talent and global vision was an incredible privilege,” Sira said about her selection. “With Endeavor, I look forward to changing the world as a scientist and Endeavor Entrepreneur, and I look forward to helping future entrepreneurs continue with their legacies.”

Read more about all of the entrepreneurs selected at the 56th Endeavor ISP in Miami by clicking here.

Entrepreneur to Entrepreneur Connections: Egypt’s SASCO Group and OfficeNet Co-Founder Santiago Bilinkis

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Egypt’s SASCO Group, an office supplies chain founded by entrepreneurs Tarek Sryo and Alaa Sryo, recently made an Endeavor connection with Argentine entrepreneur Santiago Bilinkis, co-founder of Officenet. Santiago honed his expertise in the office supply industry by creating the “Staples of Latin America” with fellow entrepreneur Andy Freire. Together, the pair became Endeavor’s first entrepreneurs and  built Officenet into a global success story when it was acquired by Staples in 2005. Santiago’s mentorship connection with SASCO’s founders demonstrate the growing reach and impact of the Endeavor network.

During the introductory mentoring session, which has to the potential to turn into a regular relationship, the SASCO team discussed a recent acquisition developed by Endeavor that has allowed the company to to foster its e-commerce platforms. The team was looking for advice on managing marketing, manufacturing and distribution best practices from a seasoned industry expert like Santiago. Santiago drew from his experience building Officenet until its acquisition, offering insights on everything from revenue streams to B2B and B2C sales. The session proved to be a valuable experience for SASCO’s founders and for Santiago, fostering the global ecosystem of entrepreneurship that forms the foundation of Endeavor’s model.

Since joining the network in 2011, Endeavor has helped SASCO form an advisory board of mentors and arrange connections with other entrepreneurs and investors around the world. One of Egypt’s largest manufacturers of stationery supplies, SASCO is a family business that the Syro brothers envisioned taking to the next level with innovative product lines, distribution channels and e-commerce services. The company now employs over 700 people and reports revenues in the millions, and the brothers have also demonstrated a willingness to give-back by supporting the work of the Endeavor Egypt office.

Deloitte Fast50 Ranks Endeavor Companies from Egypt and South Africa as Fastest-Growing Tech Firms in the Region

fast50Egypt’s TA Telecom and South Africa’s Everlytic were named to Deloitte’s Technology Fast50 list, an annual ranking which highlights technology companies that have achieved the fastest rates of revenue growth in the African region over the past five years. The list is the leading ranking of its kind in the region, putting a focus on innovation in growth markets.

Fast50 Africa is part of an international program run by professional services firm Deloitte. Entrants of the Fast50 are also entered into  the Deloitte Technology Fast500 EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) program. Previous winners have included some of the most dynamic players in all areas of technology, from Internet specialists to biotech, digital media technology to life sciences, computers to semiconductors and software to telecommunications.

Selected by Endeavor in 2011, TA Telecom was founded by entrepreneur Amr Shady 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.

Joining the network in 2009, South Africa’s Everlytic, founded by entrepreneurs Sam Hutchinson and Josh Adler, has evolved from a web-applications developer into a content management system provider for the publishing industry. The company offers world-class products like Preditor CMS, a targeted content platform for magazine publishers, and pMailer Enterprise, an email and SMS marketing and delivery service. Together, these products significantly reduce the cost of print production for customers while exposing new opportunities on web and mobile platforms. Endeavor has helped the team connect with industry experts and business leaders, as well as foster critical relationships through the Endeavor Investor Network.

View a complete list of the Fast50 winners below and by clicking here.

Ranking Company Name Country Growth
1 Interswitch Limited Nigeria 1226%
2 Techno Brain Kenya 621%
3 Everlytic South Africa 606%
4 T.A Telecom Egypt 560%
5 Adapt IT South Africa 295%

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