High-Impact Entrepreneurship

Join the global conversation


Endeavor Jordan Hosts Second Annual “Catalyzing Conversations” Event with Top Members of the Global Network

Endeavor Jordan hosted the second annual ‘Catalyzing Conversations’ event in collaboration with the 59th Endeavor International Selection Panel in Amman. ‘Catalyzing Conversations’ is a multi-tiered event featuring a series of interactive and motivational discussions with business leaders, entrepreneurs […]

June 30th, 2015 — by admin

Read more

In the news

2014 Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Morocco Spotlights the Endeavor Network

The 5th Annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit took place in Marrakech, Morocco this year, serving as one of the world’s largest celebrations of entrepreneurs who bring ideas to life by creating enterprises, driving economic growth and […]

December 1st, 2014 — by admin

Read more
Get RSS Feed

The basics of business structure for emerging entrepreneurs

Reprinted from Under 30 CEO. Original article here.

By Carlene Masker

Success is a ladder that cannot be climbed with your hands in the pocket. A successful business venture is no different in this regard. Hard work, proper planning and smart thinking are the key to a successful business. This article is a guide to business standards and structures for rising entrepreneurs.

In US, the most reputed form of business structures are general partnership, corporation, Individual proprietorship and LLC (Limited Liability Company). Each of these structures has its own merits and demerits in terms of complexity, security, taxation, expenses and other factors. You must have a thorough understanding of how each structure works to emerge as an entrepreneur.

Let’s get into more details on the structures.

General Partnership

When two or more individuals join hands to make profit through business entrepreneurship, it is popularly termed as a partnership. Partnerships can be formed so easily by a simple handshake or an oral agreement. However, it is always good to operate a partnership after a written agreement. A partnership offers relatively simple operation, organization and flexibility that multiple owners can afford to enjoy. One has to bear in mind that partnership is a form of business that is more likely to result in lawsuits and disputes because of its easy formation and informality.

Advantages of partnering

-Easy and Inexpensive
-Fewer formalities and no annual meetings.
-Favorable taxation to small business setups
-Unlike LLC and Corporation, partnership does not demand minimum taxes


-You are personally liable to losses, debts and liabilities.
-You also have to bear responsibility for the other partners’ actions
-Badly organized partnerships can lead to disputes and lawsuits.

How to find a good mentor (by an Endeavor Entrepreneur mentee)

Reprinted from Wamda. Original article here.

by Abdullah Alshalabi

Starting a new business is like having a baby. I’m no expert in raising kids, yet I know that when your first baby is born you’ll always seek your parent’s advice. The same thing applies when you have your first startup, you should find your parents (mentors) for your newly born baby (startup). Yes, your mentors will be your new parents.

You’ll need mentors that have gone through the ups and downs of an entrepreneur’s life. The mentors should be experienced entrepreneurs that previously built two to three startups and can advise you against making the same mistakes they did. Ideally, they will guide you when you are lost, support you when everyone is laughing at you, and will be honest with you when everyone else is just being nice. Good mentors are usually nice people too, and tend to follow the “Give before you get” mantra.

Unfortunately, good mentors are rare! I’m super lucky to have two great mentors helping us with our startup, fishfishme.com: [Endeavor Entrepreneur] Omar Koudsi, the co-founder of Jeeran.com, and Migeul Angel Ferrero, the co-founder of quehotels.com. They have opened our eyes to great opportunities and have saved us from doing crazy things.

Now, the question is “how do you get access to great mentors?”

Good question: first you need to do your homework. You need to find out who you want to be your mentor, and why. Don’t be limited by geography or nationality. Next, follow them on twitter and get to know a bit more about them. Let them know who you are by retweeting or replying to some of their tweets.

Next, try to find out if they are participating in regional events and try joining these events. Then, you have two options: 1) talk to them directly, in person or over email. 2) Find someone who can introduce you to them (the better option). Don’t mention anything about mentorship yet.

The next step to ask them one or two specific questions about some challenges you are facing at your startup, asking for their advice (over coffee or a Skype call). Do this a couple of times, and then introduce the idea of being a Mentor and a Mentee.

You can’t imagine the value of having a mentor until you have a good one yourself. It’s still uncommon in our region and people still struggle to understand what does the term “Mentor” means. We need to change this, and Wamda is already working on it; last weekend I attended a great event organized by Wamda called Mix N’ Mentor event (which is also coming to Dubai this Thursday). They invite experienced entrepreneurs and VC investors from all over the world to give entrepreneurs some feedback in their startups and to help them find their new parents (mentors).

I never dreamt I would meet Dave McClure of 500Startups in the Middle East, yet that was what exactly happened. I’m glad I got in touch with Omar and the Wamda team and came to this awesome event.

[From the left in the photo above: Omar Koudsi of Jeeran, Mohammed Alzubi of Global Investment House and Sand Hill Angels, and Dave McClure of 500Startups and Geeks on a Plane. ]

Video interview: Endeavor Entrepreneur Bedriye Hulya of b-fit in Turkey

Reprinted from Wamda. Original article here.

By Nina Curley

This week’s entrepreneur of the week is Bedriye Hülya, an Endeavor Turkey entrepreneur who built b-fit, a chain of gyms for women in Turkey, that are also staffed and run by women.

In a call from Istanbul to New York at the time, Hulya chats with us about staffing the gyms with all women, her challenges creating a gym franchise, scaling up in Turkey, her aspirations to enter the Arab World, and the advice that she typically gives entrepreneurs and women.

“We have to believe that we can do anything that we want to. As long as we decide that it’s our right to start businesses, I am sure every woman will be successful,” she says.

Building a culture of creativity: what companies can learn from Ferrari, art, and jazz

Reprinted from Wamda. Original article here.

By Oubai Elkerdi

Dynamic teams made of passionate, curious, and talented self-starters produce exceptional outcomes.

But building a highly dynamic team is easier said than done. It’s crucial to nurture individual curiosity, develop skills, and create opportunities for personal growth, while designing a workspace that fosters collective ideation, experimentation and improvisation.

Few employers are currently willing to really invest in creating thoughtful institution for growth, but smart companies understand that a focus on team culture is essential to sustainability and success. This is why, a few years ago, Ferrari launched a program that is entirely geared toward employee training and development.

In an HBR article, director of human resources and organization Mario Almondo was asked how Ferrari trains its employees to be creative, to which he responded:

“You can’t methodically teach creativity. But you can provide an environment that nurtures it. Several times a year, we run a program called Creativity Club that is designed to get employees’ creative juices flowing. We have six events at which employees meet various types of artists. We’ve had painters, sculptors, a jazz musician, a writer, a radio DJ, a photographer, a chef, an actor, an orchestra conductor, and others. The goal is for our employees to learn about how artists generate ideas and solutions.”

Ferrari isn’t the only company that cares about the personal growth of its employees. At Pixar University, 110 courses on everything from improv to self defense are taught to all employees. The point of this in-house education “is to push Pixar employees to try new things, work together better and test new ideas.”

In his book Innovate the Pixar Way, dean of Pixar University Randy Nelson says “the skills we develop are skills we need everywhere in the organization. Why teach drawing to accountants? Because drawing class doesn’t just teach people to draw. It teaches them to be more observant. There’s no company on earth that wouldn’t benefit from having people become more observant.”

At IDEO, employees are introduced to new ideas on a weekly basis. Tom Kelley writes, “nearly every Thursday evening, a world-class thinker shows up to share their thoughts with us.” This “Know How” speaker series is not only educational; it also stirs all kinds of fresh conversations and insights.

Environments that stimulate and engage problem-solvers in provocative learning experiences are more likely to give birth to innovative solutions.

Jazz as a first step

But how do we create environments that promote vibrant interplay? Especially when building lean startups?

It turns out there is much to learn from jazz, especially when it comes to mastering the art of improvisation.

A jazz improviser assumes that a melody can be molded out of a chaotic rhythm, so he pays close attention to his surroundings and waits for an opportunity to embellish, to “link the familiar with new utterances, and adjust to unanticipated musical cues that reframe previous material.”

Jazz musicians also take advantage of errors. Which is also how the pacemaker was created, recalls Barrett: “A simple mistake – pulling the wrong resistor out of a bag – and a willingness to stick with it long enough to connect the pulse of the oscillator to [an] overheard conversation about irregular heartbeats… led to an invention that has done untold good.”

Errors are the stuff of new discoveries because they disrupt our expectations and throw us into new territories where we have to look for original approaches and ways to combine previous knowledge with the tools at hand.

This is why innovators like Brian Eno like to disorient the members of a band – while they’re rehearsing in the studio – by having them switch instruments. This may result in less refined music, but “it enlarges the envelope of possibility within which they navigate,” says Eno in a conversation with Stephen Johnson.

Lastly, it is important to allow employees to design their own workspaces within a flexible, relaxed structure. Cross-disciplinary dialogue requires vigilance and followership. It also requires minimal, obtrusive, intervention.

What a manager should do is play the role of the anthropologist; keep her distance and make sure she is observing her team in its most natural state. Or just pick up and instrument and join the groove! Join – as in follow, not lead.

Companies and organizations that are excellent at delivering innovative products and services also happen to be platforms of experimentation and learning, and they often empower employees to become proactive agents of change beyond the walls of their organization.

So go ahead, spread those ideas and give them a try!

Video interview: Endeavor Entrepreneurs Hind And Nadia Wassef of Diwan Bookstore

Reprinted from Wamda. Original article here.

By Maya Rahal

The Entrepreneurs of the Week today are Nadia and Hind Wassef, co-founders of Diwan Bookstore in Egypt, and Endeavor Egypt entrepreneurs. Launched in 2002, Diwan Bookstore aims to to encourage a culture of reading and research. Today, the company is at a crossroads says Hind Wassef- “is the future of bookstores focused on e-books?”

The two Wassef sisters managed to launch 10 branches of Diwan accross Egypt, 10 years after the first one. The main reason behind Diwan’s success is its consumer-driven approach, says Nadia Wassef. “We listen to our customers and provide them with the services they really need, whether it is in the kind of books or music.”

“Hardwork and innovation are key elements today’s entrepreneurs must not ignore at all. We do not need more imitation on the market, but new and unique products,” Hind advices young Egyptian entrepreneurs.

16 awesome feature films that showcase entrepreneurship

Reprinted from Under 30 CEO. Original article here.

Q. Name one awesome feature film that showcases entrepreneurship. Even if it’s not completely accurate to the hardships of the startup journey, what about that movie is a true takeaway?

The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only nonprofit organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.

A. Forrest Gump

Although it is historical fiction, Forrest Gump is one of my favorite inspirational movies that has entrepreneurial ties. My takeaway is that everyone has challenges that they have to overcome in life, but how you respond to them is what separates the people who succeed from those who don’t. Also, it is important to persevere and take advantage of unique opportunities presented to you.

Lawrence Watkins, Great Black Speakers

A. Twister

I always watch Twister with a sense of awe. Yes, it’s fiction, but the idea that you believe so much in a solution to risk life and limb to get it out there is inspiring. Throughout the film, they continually test and adapt the solution until it fina lly works. I may not be putting my solution in front of a tornado, but it’s that level of dedication I’m striving towards.

Kelly Azevedo, She’s Got Systems

A. Coco Before Chanel

This movie talks about Coco Chanel and her journey to starting her company. The true takeaway is that you never know what’s going to work in your business, and that sometimes starting with hats will lead to perfume or vice versa. Being uncompromising about your tastes will also lead to having a strong brand.

Nathalie Lussier, The Website Checkup Tool

A. Zoolander

Zoolander contains the best entrepreneurship wisdom I know: “What is this? A center for ants?…The building has to be at least… three times bigger than this!” It’s a great lesson in remembering your dreams should be at least three times bigger than what you originally thought — and that they’ll be at least three times as much work!

Derek Flanzraich, Greatist

A. Dave

Dave is a classic Kevin Kline movie where he stands in as the President. As the chief, he needs to lead a massive organization: he has to find his own leadership style, rally a team and make compromises on his vision. The most relevant takeaway: he’s successful specifically because he has an outside opinion. Startup success relies on being open-minded and re-examining the way things are done.

Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches

A. Boiler Room

No, I’m not encouraging or condoning anyone who commits fraud, violates SEC regulations, or acts like a sociopath. However, that does not mean there aren’t some great things for entrepreneurs in the movie. One positive takeaway from Boiler Room is Seth’s relentless hustle and scrappiness. He just crushes through problems (both good and bad) and get’s stuff done!

Seth Kravitz, Technori

A. Don Quixote

From the greatest book ever written, there are lots of movie adaptations, but the 1972 version with Sophia Loren is best. What better representation of an entrepreneur than an idealist who sets out to revive some important value in the world while the world thinks he’s crazy? Through a series of entrepreneurial “adventures.” he comes to greater realizations about life, love, meaning and value.

Luke Burgis, ActivPrayer

A. Startup.com

A film I particularly enjoyed is called Startup.com, which chronicles the short history of the failed website govWorks.com. This site was created to provide citizens an easy way to pay traffic tickets to municipal governments, among other things. The film teaches you that you can’t launch a business based solely on an idea; you must do thorough research it to see if it’s viable and can last.

Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

A. The Shawshank Redemption

Andy Dufrense is an entrepreneur, even if it’s not obvious: he grows a small tax preparation business inside prison walls into a library and education system into a full-fledged successful prison break. The scene that sticks with me is when Dufrense finds out that his letter writing campaign has paid off — he responds that he’s going to write even more letters, just like a good founder would.

Thursday Bram, Hyper Modern Consulting

A. Catch Me If You Can

Okay, so what the main character does throughout the movie isn’t exactly legal, but the entrepreneurial spirit in this movie is still very present. Leonardo DiCaprio plays the kind of man that can think up a new idea on the spot and execute it with complete confidence — a quality many entrepreneurs use every day.

Caitlin McCabe, Real Bullets Branding

A. Cast Away

Tom Hanks’ character, Chuck Noland, in the movie Cast Away may have been a FedEx employee, but he’s got the heart and hustle of an entrepreneur. He didn’t have money to throw at problems while stranded on the island and had to rely on coming up with cre ative solutions to survive. I also appreciate that he was customer-centric to his core — saving a package to deliver after he made it home.

Natalie MacNeil, She Takes on the World

A. The Pursuit of Happyness

My favorite is The Pursuit of Happyness, which brings the viewer through the real-life struggles of someone who made it big. It’s truly inspiring, and it helps you see that others have overcome difficult times that were probably even worse than your own. It’s hard to make excuses for yourself after seeing that.

Peter Nguyen, Advertiser360

A. The Social Network

This list isn’t complete without The Social Network. The true takeaway of the movie is not to build things to make money, but to build things that people want. The money will come eventually.

Josh Weiss, Bluegala

A. Flash of Genius

In this David vs. Goliath story based on true events, entrepreneur/inventor Robert Kearns spends years in courtrooms fighting the giants of the auto industry when they steal his technology for intermittent windshield wipers. It shows closely the unfair power imbalance that exists between the big companies and small entrepreneurs who sell to them. There is much to be learned from Kearns’ story.

Emerson Spartz, Spartz Media

A. Baby Boom

Your great idea will strike in the midst of a challenge. Classic Diane Keaton, career-driven new mom in the ’80s, quits her demanding job to focus on a baby. While in the midst of her breakdown, she discovers an underserved market with a huge demand in natural baby food. The lesson to take away is that opportunities are everywhere — if you’re paying attention!

Jennifer Donogh, Young Female Entrepreneurs

A. Glengarry Glen Ross

“You know what it takes to sell real estate? It takes brass balls to sell real estate,” is one of the best movie quotes for entrepreneurs. It does take “brass balls” to handle critics, setbacks, and customers. Everything is sales, and this movie reminds us that “coffee is for closers” and “ABC” really means “Always be closing.” With confidence and closing, you will have a successful startup.

Nancy T. Nguyen, Sweet T

CNBC: “Why High-Impact Entrepreneurship Matters,” by Linda Rottenberg

Reprinted from CNBC.com. Original article here.

By Linda Rottenberg
Co-founder and CEO, Endeavor

Recently, Bono admitted to some “humbling” realizations about foreign aid—claiming that when it comes to fostering sustainable economic growth, “job creators and innovators are … the key, and aid is just a bridge.”

Sometimes we need to listen to our rock stars.

It’s no secret: the world needs jobs. The UN estimates that worldwide, more than 500 million new jobs need to be created by 2020. Especially when it comes to emerging markets, there is a growing realization that entrepreneurship is the best answer to high unemployment. But not just any type of entrepreneurship: high-impact entrepreneurship.

High-impact entrepreneurs are visionaries who generate the highest returns, create the most high-value jobs, have the most significant impact on their communities, and inspire the most people to follow their lead — saying “if she or he can do it, I can do it too.”

For 15 years, my organization, Endeavor, has been finding, training, and promoting high-impact entrepreneurs around the world. Now in 17 countries, we have screened 30,000 entrepreneurs and selected 726 individuals representing 455 companies to be part of our global network.

Aided by 2,500 top-flight business mentors that form Endeavor’s boards and global “VentureCorps,” these entrepreneurs have created 200,000 jobs and annually generate over $5 billion in revenue. These results affirm data released by our research arm, Endeavor Insight, that just 4 percent of the world’s entrepreneurs create 40 percent of its jobs.

As another illustration, consider this question: what would it take to grow a country’s GDP by 1 percent? In Mexico, for instance, it would take 273,000 new microfinance companies to achieve this result — but only 105 mid-sized “high-impact” companies.

Bottom line: if you want to grow an economy, you need to grow high-impact entrepreneurs.

So what’s the best way to support these promising future job creators? As Endeavor has found, in emerging and growth markets — whether it’s in Latin America or Africa, in the Middle East or Southeast Asia — entrepreneurs still face considerable barriers to growth: few role models, a lack of trust, a limited pool of quality management, an inability to access smart capital, and insufficient contacts.

For this reason, engaging the private sector in mentoring these promising yet undiscovered innovators is a key aspect to developing an entrepreneurial ecosystem. Entrepreneurs don’t just need venture capitalists but “mentor capitalists.” They need access to business leaders who can serve as mentors, advisers, connectors, investors and role models.

In other words, forget the myth of entrepreneurs being self-made. Even icons like Bill Gates or Richard Branson or Mark Zuckerberg didn’t make it alone. They thrived in an environment that fostered and promoted their success, and in a network that helped nurture their growth.

Whenever I go to Silicon Valley, people talk about the abundance of venture capital and universities as a key driver of success. But the true magic is the network of people who together form an ecosystem of innovation. An ethos thrives wherein entrepreneurs don’t just focus on their own success, but understand their own success depends on nurturing the next generation.

This multiplier effect is the true special sauce of entrepreneurship. It’s the key to fostering employment and opportunity in growth markets around the world—and increasingly, here at home.

Wamda and Endeavor partner to support entrepreneurs globally

Wamda has been busy supporting entrepreneurs on all fronts this fall. Not only has Wamda Capital announced ten investments this year, but we’ve also launched two Mix n Mentor events in Amman and Beirut, with a third one inDubai tomorrow.

At Wamda Media, we are announcing a partnership with Endeavor Global to bring you content about leading entrepreneurs in Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia, as well as those outside the Arab World.

Why Endeavor? Endeavor entrepreneurs are some of the most experienced entrepreneurs around the globe- many of them are now at a stage where their companies have traction in local or global markets and are scaling quickly.

We’ll be focusing on bringing you their insights, challenges, and advice in video interviews and Google Hangouts.

Here are some of the ones we’ve already covered:


Stay tuned for more!

Endeavor Insight: Who wins and who loses when it comes to financing?

Endeavor Insight releases an interactive financial dashboard here.

What makes a healthy financing landscape for entrepreneurs? What countries are best suited to support an entrepreneur’s financial needs? These questions have no simple answer, no single metric to point to as the “golden indicator” of sound financial support for entrepreneurs. While Gross Domestic Product (GDP) may be a good gauge of the well being of citizens within a country, per capita GDP or financing as a ratio of GDP, two metrics often cited as litmus tests for the financing landscape of a country, may not accurately or holistically illustrate the true support available to entrepreneurs. One shortcoming is that it does not account for the need for differentiated financing throughout an entrepreneurial venture’s life cycle. Indeed, the best “entrepreneur environment” can differ depending on the particular needs and type of financing required by an entrepreneur at a particular moment in time.

To begin to shed light on this dimension as well as the numerous other layers of financing complexity in emerging markets, the Endeavor Insight team collected ~50  financing metrics across 13 countries. If GDP is normalized across this data for countries of different size and stage of development, and used as the measure of the health of a financing ecosystem, it might be easy to proclaim that just like with individuals, the higher the GDP, the higher the “standard of living” for firms. However, this simplistic view is not bared out in more thorough analysis.

Instead, what seems to really matter is how much of the total financing pool is accessible to each individual firm. Averaging financing per firm is greatest in countries with capital intensive industries, such as Israel, Saudi Arabia, Chile, Turkey and South Africa. Not surprisingly, many of these markets are cited as a “hot” markets for entrepreneurs. Interestingly, Brazil , often touted as just one of these exciting markets, appears to be under-financed on a per firm basis. This underperformance suggests remaining opportunity to improve and accelerate investment within Brazil.

To learn more about access to financing in emerging markets, visit Endeavor’s Financing Dashboard.

Endeavor November 2012 newsletter

To view Endeavor’s November 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.

Contact us

Press center


Newsletter Sign Up