On Friday, November 7, 2014, the Endeavor Gala brought together over 400 entrepreneurs, business leaders, Endeavor Board members and supporters in New York City to celebrate the power of Endeavor’s network. As Endeavor’s only annual fundraising event, the Gala is held in support of the organization’s mission to select, support and scale high-impact entrepreneurs in markets worldwide.
This year, the number of attendees included 18 Endeavor Entrepreneurs from seven countries and over 40 Endeavor board members from 15 countries, representing a total of 16 Endeavor affiliates. The event highlighted the power of Endeavor to transform global economies, with a particular focus on the connections made between cities, countries and regions. Endeavor now operates in 22 markets around the world with a goal of expanding to 25 countries by 2015.
The Gala honored Arif M. Naqvi – founder and Group Chief Executive of The Abraaj Group – as the 2014 High-Impact Entrepreneur of the Year. A visionary entrepreneur, Mr. Naqvi founded The Abraaj Group in 2002. The firm has since emerged as a leading investor in growth markets with US$ 7.5 billion in assets under management. Employing over 300 people, the Group has 25 country offices spread across six regional hubs in Dubai, Istanbul, Mexico City, Mumbai, Nairobi and Singapore. Mr. Naqvi and The Abraaj Group have developed an important partnership with Endeavor over the past four years, supporting dozens of entrepreneurs and playing a critical role in Endeavor’s affiliate expansion throughout the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia.
During the event, Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg and Global Board Chairman Edgar Bronfman, Jr. addressed the growth of the organization over the past 17 years and the high-impact entrepreneurs that have become inspirations across the network, from Argentina to Saudi Arabia. This year’s gala video featured one such success story, following the journey of Argentine entrepreneur company Globant from the team’s selection in 2005 to their IPO on the NYSE in 2014.
“The road is long, lonely and full of potholes,” Rottenberg said in her address. “Endeavor is where dreamers and do-ers come to get unstuck.”
Mr. Naqvi then took the stage to discuss the importance of supporting leaders and visionaries in growing markets, where a young generation of entrepreneurs are shaping the global economy.
“I’ve grown up in growth markets and I’ve had the privilege of building my business in those markets – in economies that are being heralded all around the world as the drivers of global growth,” Mr. Naqvi said in his speech. “All of these changes are driven by young, aspiring business leaders that inhabit these worlds…these people are the ones that will change the world of tomorrow.”
The program ended with a performance by Atlantic Records recording artist Max Frost. After dinner, attendees enjoyed the annual after-party with special guest DJ Hannah Bronfman.
View social media highlights from the event below, watch all of the speeches on Endeavor’s YouTube channel, and see photographs from the night on Endeavor’s Facebook.