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Endeavor and Linda Rottenberg Profiled in The Christian Science Monitor

The Christian Science Monitor, a U.S.-based international news publication, recently profiled Endeavor CEO Linda Rottenberg and the story of Endeavor, spotlighting the organization’s journey and its rapidly growing global impact. In particular, the article calls […]

April 16th, 2014 — by admin

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Launch of Endeavor’s UAE Affiliate Featured in Emirates 24/7

Emirates 24/7, a United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) online news outlet, recently profiled the Endeavor affiliate office in Dubai, which was announced in October of 2013. The official launch of the UAE affiliate was marked by […]

January 17th, 2014 — by admin

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Insights on MENA’s e-commerce space [video]: Elie Habib of Riyada Enterprise Development

Reprinted from Wamda. Original article here.

At our June CoE E-Commerce event, Elie Habib, Lebanon Country Manager for Riyada Enterprise Development, discusses the biggest pitfalls for startups looking for investment and what types of startup pitches he likes to see.

He explains that the MENA e-commerce space is filling up very quickly and new startups need to find a truly unique niche to be able to scale.

Some of the major startup pitfalls he has seen include not having a good team; one that is qualified, passionate, and has the capacity to innovate, create, and execute their idea. He explains that startups always underestimate how much money they will need and overestimate how well they will deliver. Habib adds that logistics and distribution are also a major hurdle which many young startups forget to consider accurately.

What he looks for in a startup presentation depends on the amount of the investment, but both an adequate product demonstration and a good handle on financials are key components of any pitch to investors.

Video: Endeavor President Fernando Fabre, on creating role models

Fernando Fabre, president of non-profit Endeavor Global, discusses how the organization creates powerful high-impact role models.

8 core beliefs of extraordinary entrepreneurs

Reprinted from Quicksprout.  See original article here.

By Neil Patel

What does it take to be an extraordinary entrepreneur? You know, an entrepreneur who has a vision for a business, rallies support to build it and then grows it into one of the most innovative companies in the world….what does it take to be an entrepreneur like that?

Well, I may be young but I have been an entrepreneur for over ten years. My first SEO consulting job was in high school where I built and ran a successful agency. And from there I co-founded a few software companies. Luckily for me, I was fortunate to grow up in a family of entrepreneurs, so I’ve heard a lot of great advice about what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur.

And I’ve also seen that all great entrepreneurs hold closely to a core set of beliefs. So what are those beliefs? Here are eight:

Belief #1: Make a decision and go!

This was one of the first lessons I learned when starting my first businessand it was extremely hard to get used to making a decision and then taking action on that decision.

I was so afraid I was making a mistake. Since then I’ve learned that making a mistake is not a bad thing. You actually learn from those mistakes, which helps you make better decisions down the road.

You will struggle with hiring and firing people, project budgets, office space and advertising creative. When you first start off in business you will take days and even weeks to answer these questions.

This core belief actually came back to me when I lost a million dollar client. They were happy with the service I was providing, but they wanted to know what else I was going to do to take their business to the next level. I had a few ideas, but I didn’t make a decision on which idea I was going to act on. Long story short, I took too long to make a decision and I lost a $1.2 million client.
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Financial Times features Endeavor Catalyst

Reprinted from Financial Times. Original article here.

By Vivianne Rodrigues

Donors and non-profit groups focusing on Latin America are increasingly targeting the region’s nascent class of entrepreneurs, harnessing the power of market-based mechanisms to maximise their social impact.

This approach, which brings together private sector companies, government agencies and the non-profit network, is emerging in areas as diverse as agriculture, commerce and information technology.

Washington-based TechnoServe is one of the non-profit groups that has been using charitable funding to provide technical and financial support.

It recently launched a programme, called Impulsa Tu Empresa, or Boost Your Business, aimed at helping enterprises in Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and even Burkina Faso.

Supported by the Argidius Foundation, it is targeting businesses with annual sales of between $500,000 and $2m, particularly those that make products with added value, as well as service businesses located primarily in urban areas.

“We seek to help business models that stimulate long-term economic growth. But one of the difficulties is that, when it comes to Latin America, launching a business in Chile is completely different to launching one in Colombia or Guatemala,” says Bruce McNamer, TechnoServe president and CEO.

Mr McNamer says venture-capital models are being adapted in order to facilitate access to funding. Organisations such as TechnoServe, he says, are well positioned to work as a bridge between a wide range of public private-sector partners and local entrepreneurs.

In one example, the group is working with Cargill in Venezuela and Foco Sustentable, an entrepreneur development group, on a business plan competition to help entrepreneurs in the seven regions where Cargill operates. TechnoServe and its local partners work with the potential entrepreneurs to develop effective business plans and Cargill offers them opportunities to participate in its supply chain.

“There’s a legacy in certain groups in the region of distrust towards large corporations and toward the financial markets,” he says.

“But, having a mission-based institution bringing together corporations and other market-based mechanisms in order to service the poor can bring all parties together.”

The concept of impact investing – which assesses the social and environmental impact of investments – is familiar to Endeavor, the New York-based non-profit group which has perfected its own form of “high impact” entrepreneurship through mentoring and development programmes in emerging markets for more than 15 years.

But the group’s own funding models have also evolved.

Earlier this year, it launched Endeavor Catalyst, a passive co-investment vehicle, that has raised $10m in donations and invested $6m in six initiatives in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and Turkey.

Catalyst considers ventures on the same terms as lead investors would, but it does not take a board seat and it abstains from shareholders’ votes.

When a liquidity event, such as an initial public offering, generates cash returns, 20 per cent is allocated to Endeavor’s growth and sustainability.

The remaining portion replenishes Catalyst, which in turn reinvests in more entrepreneurs.

“Catalyst is an instrument to help us turbocharge our resources,” says Baily Kempner, director of sustainability initiatives at Endeavor Global.

“On one side, it is a vote of confidence in the entrepreneurs, as this passive investment helps them build momentum, while at the same time our other mentoring programmes are helping their companies thrive.

“The donors can see that each dollar goes directly to the entrepreneur and, in time, their money will get back to them in compounded form.”

The system may also be attractive to other non-profit groups, Ms Kempner says, as it may help diminish their dependence on external funding sources, such as donations.

“Many non-profit organisations live hand to mouth based on donations, and that’s a rough way to live,” she says. “If more of them could achieve self-sustainability and raise capital within the very same demographic they are supporting, that would be very exciting.”

The approach is spreading. In Brazil, a survey conducted last year by the Avina Foundation, the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs and Potencia Ventures, with 140 social enterprises, found that more than 60 per cent of them already operated as conventional businesses and did not rely on donations.

Anamaria Schindler in the leadership team for Latin America at Ashoka, says: “We may be on the verge of a change in paradigm, moving further away from a cultural legacy in Latin America that has viewed social welfare and development chiefly as the responsibility of relief organisations rather than private individuals”.

Infographic: What are your chances of angel investment?

Reprinted from Angel Investment Network.  See original article here.

Effective culture is simply clarity amplified

Reprinted from Escape from Cubicle Nation.  See original article here.

Photo credit: Robert Fogarty

Today I am thrilled to share a guest post from my dear friend and mentor John Jantsch, founder of Duct Tape Marketing. John is a marketing consultant, speaker and author.  John has been instrumental in shaping my small business education, but more importantly, he has modeled the type of clarity, integrity and leadership that I strive for in my own life.

The ideas in this post are drawn from his most recent work – The Commitment Engine – Making Work Worth It.  Find out more about it here: www.makingworkworthit.com

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RedInnova: Conference on Innovation, Internet, and Entrepreneurship (NYC: Nov 8-9)

Endeavor is supporting RedInnova – the leading tech conference connecting the Latin American and global startup communities – for its first US-based event in New York City on November 8 and 9. Building on the success of its market-leading events in Sao Paulo, Madrid and Punta del Este, RedInnova is bringing the most promising Latin American startups and entrepreneurs to New York City for this conference. Digital leaders, local entrepreneurs, successful directors and renowned investors will provide the necessary information and tools to understand the local market and help you expand your business.

The event is a must for anyone seeking to join RedInnova’s growing community of Internet entrepreneurs, mentors and investors focusing on the global opportunities emerging in Latin America.

Register for RedInnova New York City here. For further information please contact participa@RedInnova.com.

Forecasting revenues key to successful launch

Reprinted from The Entrepreneurial Mind.  See original article here.

By Dr. Jeff Cornwall, Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at Belmont University

The late, legendary Silicon Valley attorney Craig Johnson used to say, “The leading cause of failure of start-ups is death, and death happens when you run out of money.”

And the leading cause of running out of money in a start-up is poor financial forecasting.

At the core of unrealistic forecasts is the undying optimism of most entrepreneurs.  Their “what could possibly go wrong?” attitude leads to many forecasting disasters.  My father used to say that when he looked at investing in an entrepreneurial venture he would always double the start-up costs and triple the time it takes to get to breakeven.

My rule of thumb is a bit different.  I believe that being overly optimistic leads to entrepreneurs making fatal mistakes in estimating revenues, which is at the heart of most forecasting errors.  So, my approach when reviewing a business is plan is to cut revenue forecasts in half.

Here are the four most common revenue foresting mistakes I see:

1) Assuming an “instant on” button for a new business.  Most business plans I read show significant revenues from the beginning of the business, sometimes even for the very first month that they open their doors.  The reality is that it takes time to build a customer base for any business.  That is why an entrepreneur should have at least six months personal living expenses available to make it through the startup in addition to the money the new business needs.

2) The magic of the hockey stick.  A common pattern in business plans is to show a relatively slow initial start to revenues, and then assume some that unexplained breakthrough will occur that leads to a sudden and dramatic increase in sales.  When you graph this type of revenue forecast it looks just like a hockey stick.  The reality is that such sudden growth is just not that common and usually results from specific actions.

3) Assuming enough sales to make the business model look successful.  In this mistake entrepreneurs forecast their expenses and then they plug in enough revenues to make the business become profitable.  When I press these entrepreneurs, their explanation of revenues is “well, these are the revenues I need to make the business work.”  The truth is that the market will not give you the sales you need, it will only give you the sales you earn through a well-executed business model.

4) The marketing plan tells a different story than revenue forecasts.  The marketing plan should specifically explain what you are going to do to achieve the revenues you forecast.  Why will customers want what you are selling?  Who are these customers?  How are you going to communicate to them about your business?  The marketing plan should explain in words the numbers shown in the revenue forecast.  Most plans just do not make this connection.

To avoid running out of cash before your business model has time to work requires an accurate assessment of how much money you will really need to get the business off the ground. While knowing your costs is important, accurately forecasting your revenues is critical.

It is so sad to see a business model that has real potential fail simply because the entrepreneur was unrealistic about how much money it would take to get to the point of success.

“Focus on growth to get out of the crisis”: a feature on Endeavor Greece

Reprinted from Pappas Post. Original article here.

Haris Makryniotis is a budding entrepreneur’s dream come true in Greece. After spending the past seven years at McKinsey & Company in Athens where he advised senior management of the world’s leading organizations on issues of strategy, organization and operations, Makryniotis is now helping small Greek businesses get their big break.

Not only is he coaching them on ways to weather the current economic crisis, he’s helping them to flourish and grow into companies that can create hundreds (if not thousands) of jobs and generate significant revenue.

A London-trained economist who has also worked in France and the United Kingdom, Makryniotis is the new managing director of Endeavor Greece – the newest affiliate of the worldwide non-profit that supports high-impact entrepreneurs in emerging markets.

Endeavor is the only non-profit of its kind. Its “mentor capitalist” model breaks down economic and cultural barriers to entrepreneurship through strategic advising from a network of world-class business leaders.

Makryniotis is determined to help budding entrepreneurs jumpstart private sector development in Greece.

In a recent interview with CNBC, he said it is now the time for a “total reboot of the economy”.

“It was time to focus on growth to get out of the crisis,” he said. “Now is the time for entrepreneurs to flourish and the time for creativity. We need to create new business models and jobs and have a bottom-up approach rather than top-down theoretical approach.”

The Greek division of the global non-profit organization is the newest group aimed at helping new companies create economic growth, jobs and affluence that will boost local communities.

Already operating in locations such as Latin America, Turkey, Egypt and Jordan, Endeavor says it has helped entrepreneurs create 200,000 jobs and generate over $5 billion in revenues worldwide.

According to Makryniotis, debt-stricken Greece has just as many investment opportunities as any other emerging market.

“Greece meets a number of criteria for successful entrepreneurship – there is a crisis and there is an opportunity,” he said.

More than a quarter of Greeks in the labor force are currently unemployed. Greece is struggling in its fifth year of a deep recession. But that’s not enough to scare away entrepreneurs who are putting their money and faith in Greece’s recovery.

Makryniotis has a lot of work ahead of him. According to Michael Chandris, who chairs Endeavor’s Greek division, Greece’s economic crisis has unleashed a new wave of entrepreneurship. “Thousands of young people are no longer content with accepting a civil service job but are keen to develop their entrepreneurial ideas,” he said in a September 12 press release announcing the new Greek branch of this ambitious non-profit. “Endeavor can become a catalyst to this process and thus have a substantial impact on a society in transition.”

Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg said: “I have always believed that some of the best entrepreneurs emerge in times of chaos. Greece is an extremely resource- and culture-rich country. There are huge opportunities for entrepreneurs, both in traditional industries like food and agriculture and in emerging sectors like biotech. We look forward to working with Greece’s High-Impact Entrepreneurs.”

Top 20 most-watched TED talks of all time

Reprinted from wamda.  See original article here.

By Glen Dalakian

Today we highlight the most popular TED Talks to date, announced by TED in late August.

Whether you think watching TED Talks during the workday is a distraction or an education, how can you not be captivated and mesmerized by such notable talks as Sir Ken Robinson’s dryly humorous discussion about why today’s schools kill creativity? Or brain expert Jill Bolte Taylor’s vivid recollection of experiencing a stroke, conscious and in a state of euphoria as she experienced her own brain shutting down?

As TechCrunch mentioned, notables such as Steve Jobs, Stephen Hawking, and Tony Robbins delve into diverse topics from accepting death and using it as motivation, to why humans do what we do, to exploring questions of the expansive universe. Among other bold and taboo topics, these Top 20 TED Talks blow the lid off our personal limits and urge creativity, limitless potential, and collaborative growth. TED has compiled the most-watched TED Talks since their availability online 6 years ago, including on TED.com, YouTube, iTunes, Hulu, and more.

Check out the list below and let us know which one has the most impact in your life. You’re allowed to say all of them.

  1. Sir Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity (2006): 13,409,417 views
  2. Jill Bolte Taylor‘s stroke of insight (2008): 10,409,851
  3. Pranav Mistry on the thrilling potential of SixthSense (2009): 9,223,263
  4. David Gallo‘s underwater astonishments (2007): 7,879,541
  5. Pattie Maes and Pranav Mistry demo SixthSense (2009): 7,467,580
  6. Tony Robbins asks Why we do what we do (2006): 6,879,488
  7. Simon Sinek on how great leaders inspire action (2010): 6,050,294
  8. Steve Jobs on how to live before you die (2005): 5,444,022
  9. Hans Rosling shows the best stats you’ve ever seen (2006): 4,966,643
  10. Brene Brown talks about the power of vulnerability (2010): 4,763,038
  11. Daniel Pink on the surprising science of motivation (2009): 4,706,241
  12. Arthur Benjamin does mathemagic (2005): 4,658,425
  13. Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing your genius (2009): 4,538,037
  14. Dan Gilbert asks: Why are we happy? (2004): 4,269,082
  15. Stephen Hawking asks big questions about the universe (2008): 4,153,105
  16. Jeff Han demos his breakthrough multi-touchscreen (2006): 3,891,251
  17. Johnny Lee shows Wii Remote hacks for educators (2008): 3,869,417
  18. Keith Barry does brain magic (2004): 3,847,893
  19. Mary Roach 10 things you didn’t know about orgasm (2009): 3,810,630
  20. Vijay Kumar demos robots that fly like birds (2012): 3,535,340

To check out the 2011 list, click here.

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