High-Impact Entrepreneurship

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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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South Africa’s Silulo Ulutho Technologies Honored by Junior Chamber International for Entrepreneurial Accomplishment

South African entrepreneur Luvuyo Rani, who co-founded Silulo Ulutho Technologies with his brother Lonwabo Rani, was honored by Junior Chamber International (JCI) as a top “Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World”  in the business, economic and entrepreneurial accomplishment sector. […]

November 28th, 2014 — by admin

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Endeavor Chile company ComparaOnline.com signs strategic alliance with Buscapé Group

Endeavor Chile company ComparaOnline.com, Latin America’s main comparison site for financial products and insurance, recently signed a strategic alliance with Buscapé, founded by Endeavor Brazil Board Member Romero Rodrigues. ComparaOnline.com will acquire Buscape’s financial and insurance oriented brand, Corta Contas.com.br.

Since its launch in 1999, Buscapé has emerged as Brazil’s E-Commerce leader, connecting customers to the products and services of retail companies, financial market and advertising agencies, distributors, and consumer good providers. Under this agreement, Buscapé will join the ComparaOnline board of directors. The companies expect a complete human resource and product merge by the end of the year.

“We’re very excited with this association. ComparaOnline.com is the best operator in this segment in the region, and has been adding a great amount of value to its customers through the efficiencies it generates,” said Romero Rodrigues, CEO and founder of the Buscapé Group.

This alliance is the latest in a string of achievements for ComparaOnline.com. Sebastián Valin Acuña founded the company in 2009 and was selected as an Endeavor Entrepreneur in 2012. That same year, ComparaOnline.com received funding from Kaszek Ventures, a leading LatAm Venture Capital firm founded by two MercadoLibre alums: co-founder & Endeavor Argentina Entrepreneur Hernán Kazah and former CFO & Endeavor Global Board Member Nicolás Szekasy. Today, ComparaOnline.com employs over 90 people and is empowering customers to make informed decisions about insurance products and rates. Valin Acuña hopes to one day take the company public on the NASDAQ.

“We are convinced that together both companies will offer the best service in the industry to both end users as well as insurance or financial companies,” he said. “Buscapé’s decision to form an alliance with us after an in depth market analysis confirms the leading position ComparaOnline has in Latin America.”

Endeavor to Launch a New Country Affiliate in Morocco Focused on High-Impact Entrepreneurship

To read the Business Wire press release on Endeavor’s launch in Morocco, please click here.

Endeavor announced today that it will launch a new affiliate office in Morocco, expanding its efforts to select and service high-impact entrepreneurs across the Middle East.

The affiliate is being launched with the support of the United States Agency for International Development in Morocco, which has provided a grant to launch Endeavor Morocco through its Morocco Economic Competitiveness (MEC) program with the aim of advancing youth entrepreneurship. Additional support for the launch has come from the Citi Foundation EMEA.

This will be Endeavor’s sixth affiliate in the Middle East, North Africa (MENA) region, following successful launches over the past six years in Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. Endeavor has already selected 131 entrepreneurs representing 73 companies in the MENA region and provides these entrepreneurs a range of services including mentoring, access to key networks and introductions to sources of smart capital.

All Endeavor affiliates are spearheaded by a local board of leading business people who share the organization’s vision for screening and selecting entrepreneurs and then providing them guidance to scale their businesses.

The Endeavor Morocco founding board will be chaired by Moulay Hafid Elalamy, President, SAHAM Group. Moulay Hafid Elalamy will be joined on the board by Hicham Berrada, Co-President, Palmeraie Holding; Mohamed El Mandjra, CEO, Meditel; Said Ibrahimi, CEO, Casablanca Finance City; Majid Iraqui, CEO, Jlec; Alami Lazraq, CEO, Alliances; Walter Siouffi, CEO, Citibank Maghreb and Mostafa Terrab, CEO and Chairman, OCP Group.

The board will be joined by an Advisory council of Moroccan business executives including Khalil Azzouzi, General Manager, DAYAM Fund; Ismail Douiri, Director General, Attijariwafa; William Fellows, Advisor, SME and Entrepreneurship Development; Amine Guennoun, General Manager, Residences Dar Saada; Anas Guennoun, Director General, Abraaj Capital Morocco; Khalil Jai Hokimi, Advisor to the CEO, OCP; Mamoun Marrakchi, Founder and CEO, Offset Polyplast and Brahim Slaoui, Director General, Mafoder.

The board nominated Amine Hazzaz to serve as the first Managing Director, overseeing the successful launch of Endeavor Morocco. Mr. Hazzaz has an extensive background in corporate strategy and business development in start-ups and multinationals in Morocco, North America and Japan. His first responsibilities include selecting, mentoring, and catalyzing the first Endeavor Entrepreneur candidates in Morocco in order to magnify their influence throughout the country.

“Morocco is at a critical stage of its economic development and Endeavor will be a big contributor,” said board chair Moulay Hafid Elalamy. “Entrepreneurship will be an increasingly important way to meet young Moroccans’ aspirations for jobs and opportunities.”

“Through our work with high-impact entrepreneurs in the MENA region, we hope to inspire a culture of entrepreneurship, leading to innovation as well as job and wealth generation,” said Endeavor Co-founder & CEO Linda Rottenberg. “We’re very excited by the enormous opportunities to build entrepreneurship in Morocco and the Maghreb.”


About Endeavor

Endeavor breaks down barriers that prevent emerging-market entrepreneurs from reaching their high-impact potential. Hailed by NYT columnist Thomas Friedman as the “mentor capitalist” model and “the best anti-poverty program of all,” Endeavor identifies entrepreneurs leading high-growth innovative companies in emerging markets. These entrepreneurs are given world-class strategic advice, access to key networks and other tools that will catapult them to success. With Endeavor’s guidance they become “high-impact” – expanding employment, generating wealth and inspiring others to innovate. Often overlooked, these local entrepreneurs are now jumpstarting private sector development in their countries.

At year-end 2011, Endeavor Entrepreneurs throughout Latin America, South Africa, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon had created more than 200,000 jobs and generated over $5 billion in revenues. In 2012 Endeavor expanded operations to include new affiliates in Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and Greece. For more information, visit www.endeavor.org.


About USAID-Morocco, MEC Program

USAID-Morocco is supporting the launch of Endeavor Morocco through the MEC program’s grant initiative. MEC is helping establish a more competitive business climate in Morocco – work that includes strengthening entrepreneurship promotion that targets high potential entrepreneurs. MEC is improving the business climate in Morocco and helping link smallholder farmers to agro-processing companies that MEC is helping to find new markets in Morocco and overseas. The initiatives are creating job opportunities and ameliorating employment conditions in both rural and urban areas.


Further Information:
For more information on Endeavor Morocco, please contact Amine Hazzaz at amine.hazzaz@endeavor.org. For further details on Endeavor Global and Endeavor’s entire portfolio of High-Impact Entrepreneurs please contact david.wachtel@endeavor.org (SVP, Marketing & Communications) or Joanna.harries@endeavor.org (Director of International Expansion).


Endeavor Entrepreneur Luvuyo Rani featured in the SA Business Times

The Business Day section of the South Africa Sunday Times featured Endeavor Entrepreneur Luvuyo Rani for being “bitten by the entrepreneurial bug,” as the article is titled. Rani was selected by Endeavor in 2011 along with his brother Lonwabo for their IT services company, Silulo Technology.

Luvuyo started out as a teacher in Khayelitsha who wanted to build his own business. With a demand for technology on the rise, he began selling refurbished computers from the boot of his car. In 2004, the Rani brothers launched Silulo and set up an internet café. At first, there were no customers.

 “People need technology but we were pitching to a market that simply didn’t know how to use what we were offering,” Luvuyo said.

They began offering training classes and advice and support, along with IT retail and repair. Now their internet cafés have about 300 to 400 visitors each day.  In six years, Silulo has grown from a single internet café to a US$0.5 million company.

 “I don’t think I was meant for teaching. I was much more in love with entrepreneurship. It’s more about doing something no-one has done and creating employment, and the effect of technology and people learning from us that you can start your business from nothing.”

Silulo continues to expand with the help of Endeavor South Africa. The Rani brothers were recently set up with an Advisory Board and were provided with strategic introductions- an IT company to assist with a new sale system, and the Chair/Founder of one of South Africa’s largest restaurant franchises. Endeavor also connected Luvuyo and Lonwabo to a mentor from Ernst & Young who has provided the accounting and tax advice needed to scale their company.

Luvuyo Rani hopes to build a presence in every province and to possibly franchise Silulo by the end of the year.

See more here.

Endeavor Entrepreneur Bedriye Hülya named Social Entrepreneur of the Year

Endeavor Entrepreneur Bedriye Hülya was awarded Social Entrepreneur of the Year by the World Economic Forum’s Schwab Foundation. Her company, b-fit, is Turkey’s first national chain of women-only gyms.

The Schwab foundation recognizes and supports 24 social entrepreneurs each year for their innovation and global impact. In receiving this honor, Hülya joins the foundation’s network of 234 social entrepreneurs from 59 countries.  She is also invited to attend the 2014 World Economic Forum, where she will meet with political, academic, and business leaders from around the globe.

“Receiving awards like Schwab motivates us in our challenging emerging-market conditions,” said Hülya.

 Hülya’s efforts have helped 25,000 women to collectively lose over 15 tons. With over 160,000 gym members at 220 gyms around the country, staffed by over 500 female employees, b-fit is a platform for the empowerment of women through exercise and education. Hülya has also enabled hundreds of women to own b-fit franchises and thus become entrepreneurs in their own right.

“Although b-fit is sometimes considered discriminative because of its women-only model, we believe that in order to close the huge gender gap in countries like Turkey, where there are neither quotas nor positive discrimination policies for women, we have to provide specific tools focusing on women’s development,” Hülya said.

Since selecting Hülya as an entrepreneur in 2009, Endeavor Turkey has helped her resolve licensing issues, execute a franchise financing strategy, and properly structure financial outsourcing and reporting. B-fit plans to expand throughout the country with the ultimate goal of having one b-fit gym in every Turkish neighborhood.

March 2013 Newsletter

To view Endeavor’s March 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 Entrepreneurs Return to Austin for SXSW

Endeavor brought 18 entrepreneurs to Austin, Texas for SXSW Interactive, the annual conference celebrating the latest innovations in tech, entrepreneurship, media, and more.

Endeavor’s tour began with a trip to The Salt Lick, Austin’s most famous BBQ joint, where execs from TravelShark, Austin Ventures, and Whale Shark Media mingled with entrepreneurs over ribs, cole slaw, brisket, and potato salad.

The tour continued the next morning with a visit to Austin-based HomeAway, the leading vacation rental marketplace. The company was founded in 2005, IPOed in 2011, and today has a $2.5 BN market cap. Endeavor toured HomeAway’s unique office space- including the iconic “bird house,” before sitting down with founders Carl Shepherd and Brian Sharples, the winner of the 2012 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Services Industry. Endeavor Entrepreneurs spoke with Carl and Brian about their aggressive acquisition strategy, best practices in M&A, effectively pricing products, and HomeAway’s future.

After leaving HomeAway, Endeavor spent the afternoon at Whole Foods’ headquarters in downtown Austin. Betsy Foster, Global VP of Growth & Business Development at Whole Foods, presented the company’s mission and core values. Her colleague David Bigham, Global Technology Director, spoke to entrepreneurs about Whole Foods’ latest efforts in the mobile and gaming space.

Later, Lou Aronson talked about how and why he left his career as a lawyer to found Votifi, a civic engagement platform. He also stressed the importance of agility, as the feedback on Votifi he received at SXSW 2012 led him to shift the business model and create Discourse Analytics, a political insights and analytics provider.

Travis Murdock and Mike Brito, Vice Presidents at leading Public Relations firm Edelman, shared their favorite networking apps, best practices for attracting PR at a large-scale event like SXSW, and several case studies, including case studies on Endeavor Entrepreneur companies The Online Project (Zafer Younis and Ramzi Halaby, Jordan) and Mural.ly (Mariano Suarez Battan, Argentina).

Maher Kaddoura, Endeavor Jordan Board Member and former Managing Partner of Accenture Middle East, closed the afternoon with his Falafel Theory of Innovation, arguing that to effectively scale your company, you must specialize in one specific area- like making falafels at a superhuman rate.

On March 11th, Endeavor Entrepreneurs attended a private breakfast meeting with Scott McNealy, the Co-Founder & Former CEO of Sun Microsystems and the Chairman of Wayin. McNealy spoke to entrepreneurs about why he decided to become Wayin’s Chairman, leadership challenges and opportunities, and succession planning for the entrepreneurs’ companies. The Silicon Valley legend called Endeavor Entrepreneurs “heroes” for their role in creating jobs and opportunities in their countries.

Endeavor’s SXSW tour ended with a cocktail party at Malaga co-hosted by GigaOm and attended by journalists, Venture Capitalists, entrepreneurs, and start-up execs.

In addition to attending Endeavor-arranged events, entrepreneurs received invites to what is arguably the most important aspect of SXSW: social events. Entrepreneurs networked at parties hosted by Austin Ventures, Intel Capital/Mural.ly , Scopely, Wayin, and WeHostels.

Endeavor Entrepreneurs and staff with HomeAway founders Brian Sharples and Carl Shepherd


Endeavor Entrepreneurs and staff at breakfast with Scott McNealy (Co-Founder & Former CEO, Sun Microsystems; Chairman, Wayin) and his wife, Susan


Words of wisdom at HomeAway


Words of wisdom at Whole Foods HQs


Edelman exec Travis Murdock presents a case study on Mural.ly, Mariano Suarez Battan’s company.


Endeavor Argentina Entrepreneur Mariano Suarez Battan (Three Melons, Mural.ly), staff member Travis Marchman, Endeavor South Africa candidate Zukhanye Mayekiso, and Endeavor Argentina Entrepreneur Pablo Orlando (GoodPeople)


Endeavor Entrepreneur Nikos Kakavoulis of Daily Secret speaks at SXSW Interactive about “Growing a Business in a Submerged Economy (Greece).”



At Athens Selection Panel, Endeavor selects 18 High-Impact Entrepreneurs (from Egypt, Greece, Indonesia, Lebanon, Mexico, Turkey and Saudi Arabia)

Endeavor selected 18 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from Egypt, Greece, Indonesia, Lebanon, Mexico, Turkey and Saudi Arabia at its 47th International Selection Panel. Endeavor now supports 784 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from 489 companies in 14 emerging market countries. The entrepreneurs were chosen at a panel held from March 11-13 in Athens, Greece.

“It’s very exciting to have so many new companies join the Endeavor community,” said Endeavor Co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “And I’m particularly pleased that the selection panel took place in Greece, where, amidst much economic chaos, we launched an office in September. I often say that when economies turn down, entrepreneurs look up!”

The International Selection Panel (ISP) is the culmination of a rigorous multi-step selection process. At the ISP, top local and international business leaders interview candidates about their businesses and high-impact potential, and then vote on whether or not candidates become Endeavor Entrepreneurs. Post-selection, Endeavor provides entrepreneurs with customized services, including introductions to local and international business mentors and volunteers from Fortune 500 consulting firms. Endeavor Entrepreneurs have had a significant track record of creating thousands of jobs and building sustainable growth models in their home countries.

Endeavor’s next International Selection Panel will be held in Buenos Aires this May.


Entrepreneur(s)/Companies selected:



Entrepreneurs: Gamal El Din Sadek, Mohamed Rafea

Company: Bey2ollak (www.bey2ollak.com/desktop.html)

Bey2ollak aims to help individuals in congested cities like Cairo avoid traffic, ultimately improving people’s quality of life by saving them time and money. As a simple, user-generated traffic tracking system, Bey2ollak’s cross-platform mobile application helps users find the fastest and safest routes.



Entrepreneur: George Patsis

Company: Obrela (www.obrela.com/home/)

Obrela is an IT security outsourcing company that offers comprehensive “security as a service” packages to enterprise clients and SMEs. Clients are able to buy the packages that match their needs–anything from a single software license to a fully-integrated suite of outsourced services–and Obrela will step in to optimize almost any IT security environment.


Entrepreneurs: Kerstin Trikalitis, Daphne Loukas

Company: Out There Media (www.out-there-media.com)

Out There Media (OTM) offers advertisers and mobile operators the technology and know-how to execute efficient and highly targeted advertising campaigns on mobile phones. OTM’s mobile advertising development and sales unit offers brands convenient and specialized end-to-end solutions for generating ads best suited to mobile and brands’ core audiences. The company’s Mobucks platform connects operators, publishers, brands and their agencies to distribute targeted ads across mobile channels to end users.



Entrepreneur: Sugianto Tandio

Company: Tirta Marta (www.tirtamarta.com)

Tirta Marta was established in 1971 as a pioneer in flexible packaging material.  In 2010, Tirta Marta launched two groundbreaking eco-friendly technologies: OXIUM® (a natural additive to plastic that ensures rapid degradation) and ECOPLAS® (a biodegradable plastic polymer made from tapioca). Through these products, Sugianto hopes to provide a long-term answer to the problem of waste accumulation and pollution. Today, over 90% of Indonesian modern markets and convenience stores exclusively stock OXIUM® plastic shopping bags.



Entrepreneur: Omar Onsi

Company: Nymgo (www.nymgo.com)

Nymgo is making the world smaller by connecting under-privileged immigrants with their families back home. Nymgo’s Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) software offers immigrant communities a low-cost and high-quality solution for calling landlines and mobile phones in regions where Internet and broadband infrastructure remain scarce. Nymgo’s VoIP calls are a fraction of the cost of its competitors. The product can be downloaded onto computers, mobile phones and tablets and offers a very simple design to make cheap calls to landlines and mobile phones around the world.



Entrepreneurs: Claudio del Conde, Claudia de Heredia, Paul Marquard

Company: Kichink! (www.kichink.com)

Kichink! is an ecommerce solution that is designed and built to be as simple, intelligent, personal and safe as possible to allow anyone to start selling in minutes, without upfront investment.


Entrepreneur: José Luis Cisneros

Company: La Zarza (www.lazarza.com.mx/directorio.php)

La Zarza makes classic Mexican desserts and pastries from the highest-quality ingredients and distributes them across Mexican states through 61 proprietary and franchise stores. The company is planning an aggressive expansion of both its geographic reach and its portfolio dessert options.


Entrepreneurs: Manuel Villarreal, Jorge Bouffier

Company: Sin Secretos (www.frutosdevida.com, www.holasmoothie.com)

Sin Secretos produces 100% natural and preservative-free fruit juices and smoothies under brands Frutos de Vida (Fruits of Life), Frutos de Vida for Kids, and HOLA Smoothie. The juices are available on the shelves of most major Mexican supermarkets and price clubs, and will soon be at convenience stores. The company emphasizes the positive nutritional benefits of its products for adults and children alike.


Entrepreneur: Manolo Diaz

Company: Yogome (www.yogome.co)

Yogome develops educational tablet and mobile games to help kids ages 4 -10 learn in a fun way through technology. The multi-lingual games are among the top 10 in the Apple App Store’s education category, are developed by pedagogical experts, and cover a range of school subjects taught by engaging “Yogotar” characters. The company aspires to become a global kids’ brand.


Saudi Arabia

Entrepreneurs: Abdulmohsin Alrabiah

Company: Shawarmer (www.shawarmer.com)

Shawarmer has transformed the way Saudis think about and eat shawarma, the most popular Arabic sandwich. This chain of fast-casual restaurants, with 28 locations throughout Saudi Arabia, is devoted to serving shawarma and other Arab foods, freshly prepared with high-quality ingredients and served with Arab hospitality.


Entrepreneur: Naif Alqahtani

Company: LSS (www.lss.com.sa/)

Logistics Solution Services (LSS) is a leading logistics provider in Saudi Arabia offering storage, distribution, and supply chain management services. LSS operates state-of-the-art warehouse technology and has achieved international logistics standards. LSS prides itself in serving some of the most significant clients in the region, including Halliburton, DB Schenker, and Saudi Aramco.



Entrepreneur: Murat Özler

Company: KobiMaster (www.kobimaster.com)

KobiMaster provides small and medium businesses with an integrated software and services solutions to build and manage their ecommerce presence. The company also aims to fulfill various integration solution demands such as supplier integration, inventory management, accounting, and user traffic integration solutions.


Entrepreneur: Kaan Aykaç

Company: Gezlong (www.gezlong.com)

Gezlong’s localized hotel bookings platform – the first of its kind for Turkish travelers-has disrupted the largely untapped online travel and hotel accommodation market in Turkey. Gezlong offers travelers flash deals as well as season-long sales to premium and boutique hotels in Turkey and across Europe.



Endeavor and Ernst & Young share best practices for corporate volunteers in Stanford Social Innovation Review

Endeavor CEO and Co-Founder Linda Rottenberg was published in the 10th Anniversary Issue of the Stanford Social Innovation Review. The article, focusing on best practices in corporate volunteer programs, was co-authored with Deborah K. Holmes, the Americas director of corporate responsibility for Ernst & Young.

“‘Resilient dynamism’—confronting adaptive challenges and turning them into transformational change—was the theme of this year’s World Economic Forum,” Rottenberg and Holmes write. “We believe one way to encourage this concept within emerging economies, inside leading businesses, and among young professionals is through well-designed international corporate volunteerism (ICV) programs.”

Endeavor and Ernst & Young have collaborated since 2006 on the Americas Corporate Responsibility (CR) Fellows program, which gives Ernst & Young’s top-performing, mid-career professionals an opportunity to assist high-impact entrepreneurs in Latin America for seven weeks. The program benefits both the entrepreneurs and CR Fellows.

As more and more leading companies are launching Volunteer programs, Rottenberg and Holmes put together six tips for designing a successful program:

“Focus money and time on the issues you understand.”

“Look for surprising connections, and find the right partner.”

“Look for the big change.”

“Create a context in which resilient dynamism can thrive.”

“Enter places that show promise.”

“Expect the change to be permanent.”

Read the article here.

Endeavor Entrepreneur Mariano Suárez Battán promotes his newest venture– Mural.ly

Endeavor Argentina Entrepreneur, Mariano Suárez Battán, recently announced enhancements in the collaboration features of Mural.ly– his newest venture that provides digital Murals for creative teams to share their ideas anytime, anywhere. Suárez Battán’s first business, a gaming company called Three Melons for which he was originally selected by Endeavor, was sold to Playdom in 2010, which was shortly after purchased by Walt Disney for $763 million dollars.

With his focus now on Mural.ly, Suárez Battán is improving his site with easier-to-add content capabilities, more customizable design options, and plans to introduce paid premium and business accounts in addition to its free services. “We talked with over 2,000 beta users in the creative industries: web product teams, game designers, visual designers, advertising agencies, visual thinking specialists, writers, videographers and more,”said Suárez Battán. “Our users need something easy and flexible to use to help them stay in the flow and let their ideas grow as they did in their designer war rooms.”

The startup, based in San Francisco with development operations in Buenos Aires, received funding from Intel Capital in 2012, and continues to develop with the help of angel investors from the Americas. “We are happy with our current stack and will continue to evolve as browsers get faster. Our goal is for tech to get out of the way and help creative teams work better together.”


Strong Interest Continues Surrounding Endeavor Miami

In a wide-ranging TV interview, Knight Foundation Program Director Matt Haggman speaks about Endeavor’s upcoming launch in Miami and what led the Foundation to lend its support.

Click here to watch the video.

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