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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 adminRead more
In the news
In an article titled, “Can Restorando Beat OpenTable in Latin America,” The Wall Street Journal covered the Series B funding of Restorando, an Endeavor Argentina company. As the current leading online restaurant reservation service in […]
August 20th, 2013 — by adminRead more
Latest Video(video) Two Mexico Entrepreneurs Named Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurs of the Year for 2014
March 26th, 2014
Each year, Endeavor recruits MBA students from leading US business schools to spend 10 weeks during the summer working with our entrepreneurs on-site as “eMBAs.” The program is generously supported by Barclays.
This summer, 27 eMBAs have been placed with 23 Endeavor Entrepreneurs in South Africa, Lebanon, Mexico, Chile, Turkey, Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and Egypt. Stay tuned to this blog throughout the summer, as they will be posting updates from the field. (You can read posts from last year’s eMBAs here.)
One new program improvement this year was the introduction of the online Jobscience platform, which has allowed entrepreneurs to hand pick eMBAs according to their backgrounds and skill sets from the large pool of applicants. Also, while most placements occur over the summer, the new online job board also advertises available positions throughout the year.
In total, 660 eMBA applications were submitted this year from 286 unique applicants – with the most coming from Harvard, Columbia, Babson, London Business School, and IESE. The eMBAs will be working with Endeavor Entrepreneur companies Stoned Cherrie, Nada Debs, Alto, Vistek, Innovex, Pozitron, Ciceksepeti.com, Salado Media, Sirve, iCarros, Evolution Group, EMAN, Arizona, PedidosYa.com, RobTec, Vialux, Naranya, Neve Gelato, Aranda Software, Refinancia, ForexChile, Imagen Dental, and Hindawi.
Welcome, 2012 eMBAs!
While there are many factors that come into play when building a business, I believe that most important ones have nothing to do with innovation, balance sheets, finance or marketing. The most important over arching variable to your success in business is you.
Success, however you choose to define it, is a continual work in progress. Ask anyone who’s made lots of money if they are “there.” Even though we’ve been sold on the idea of making it big, most often you’ll find there is no there for truly successful people – it’s not when I make my first million, it’s not when I get my fiftieth employee, it’s not when I land on the cover of the industry publication. Success is simply a road to travel in an attempt to create a more compelling and enriching future. But, as with all roads, there is a direction you must travel to keep moving towards your destination even if, like the far off horizon, that destination keeps moving away no matter how quickly you move towards it.
In my own journey I can tell you there are three factors that have both led me and, at times, held me from advancing towards my picture of success. Some of the most fruitful work I can do is centered on improving in these three areas.
1) Who I am
This a pretty big one and I won’t propose any prescriptions here, but I have found that when I commit to working on my core beliefs about what’s possible, what I’m driven to give to the world, how I want that world to experience my gifts, I have very little trouble taking action that’s in line with who I am. The really beautiful thing about working on things like internal passion and purpose is that your progress comes out so authentically in all manner of external interaction. When people can genuinely feel that you care about what you are engaged in you are an incredibly convincing salesperson – without actually trying to sell anything.
This is an area that most everyone must practice. You must develop habits that force you be conscious of who you’re being. For me, writing my thoughts on paper each morning, spending time meditating and revisiting simple passages that serve to remind me of the version of my best self keep me focused on this practice.
I’ve also developed a series of questions that I can roll through before anything I do in an attempt to bring the right intention to every situation. Simply stopping and asking yourself why your are doing something, why it’s important and what a great outcome would look like is a great way to center yourself prior to making a large presentation to a group or meeting to discuss a new project with a staff member.
2) Where I’ve been
This doesn’t have anything to do with travel, although I suppose it could. For me this is all about leveraging what I’ve experienced, what I’ve learned, skills I’ve acquired, and what I intentionally expose myself to in an effort to learn more. We’ve all been exposed to a life time of lessons, some serve us well and some hold us back, but it’s how you use this mixture and enhance this mixture and overcome elements of this mixture that defines success in many areas of business and life.
I didn’t do particularly well in school, but my brain is kind of wired to learn new things, dig into new subjects and explore topics seemingly unrelated to my field of work. I read some portion of about twenty books a month, subscribe to at least one hundred blogs and still get seven or either magazines delivered in my mail box.
Lifelong learning, exploring and simply tuning your brain to pay attention to everything that’s going on around you is another key factor in moving towards success.
3) Who I hang out with
There are many studies that offer validity to the notion that what you believe, how you act and even how much earning potential you have has a great deal to do with the people you surround yourself with. Now, this can work for you or against you. Parents, school friends and social setting initially influence most people. As you venture into business you soon realize that customers, vendors, mentors and even competitors can play a big role in the success of your business.
When you’re first getting started you may attract customers that mirror your sense of self worth or doubt, but as you begin to grow you’ll soon learn that you must raise you own expectations to the level where you insist on working only with people you respect and admire. I belong to two mastermind groups and I get to hang out for full days with people that have already achieved many things in business that I aspire to achieve. In addition to developing a network of people that can help me succeed in tangible ways this experience also opens me up to accepting that I can indeed think much bigger.
In order to move towards this ideal many people have chosen to immerse themselves in the study of people they admire through memoirs or even a mentor relationship. Pick three or four people that you view as successful, dead or alive, and learn everything you can about how they think act and grow. Study and seek out a team of like minded strategic partners and focus a great deal of time and energy on building deep and meaningful working relationships with this group and you’ll quickly find that your own personal network will begin to fill up with people that can help you grow and thrive. Find and join a mastermind group that pushes you to stretch and think bigger.
There are so many things we can get caught up in trying to accomplish, but experience tells me that if we go to work everyday on the internal, the external success we so crave will show up as mileposts along the road.
This article was reprinted from Ernst & Young’s Exceptional Magazine.
Unlocking potential: Intrapreneurship can spark innovation and idea sharing in large organizations, helping employees to solve problems in creative ways
Entrepreneurs make a difference. They not only have great ideas, they also have the drive to make them a reality. The challenge for large organizations is to maintain that entrepreneurial spirit even once the rapid-growth phase is over. This is where intrapreneurialism — which enables individuals or groups within a company to unleash their creative potential — comes into its own.
Global not-for-profit organization Endeavor promotes exactly this kind of innovative approach to doing business. By selecting, mentoring and accelerating the progress of the most promising entrepreneurs in emerging markets, it supports long-term economic growth on a worldwide scale.
Keen to play a part in this growth and build an entrepreneurial culture within the business, Ernst & Young Financial Services has joined forces with Endeavor to launch an Intrapreneur Program that encourages consultants and entrepreneurs to share ideas and learn from one another’s experience.
The Program enables Ernst & Young’s top-performing managers to carry out six-week placements at entrepreneurial companies based in emerging markets such as South Africa, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. Participants work with the leaders of these companies to help them tackle critical business challenges, including international expansion, financial management and operational efficiency.
Amr Shady, founder of Endeavor Egypt and CEO of T.A. Telecom in Egypt, says: “Participants in the Program have a skill set that we — as entrepreneurs in the Middle East — don’t have. Their knowledge and experience can help us navigate the threats and risks we face each day, while enabling us to pursue the growth opportunities that will transform our companies and countries.”
In addition to helping young companies expand more quickly, the Program encourages the growth of intrapreneurship within Ernst & Young’s own business culture by giving participants a first-hand experience of what it takes to be an innovator. Participants also form part of a virtual network of 350 professionals, all of whom are keen to share ideas about creative approaches to problem solving.
One person who has been learning a lot about innovation is Lene Sogaard, who works for Ernst & Young Financial Services in Luxembourg. As part of the Intrapreneur Program, Sogaard has been spending time at the South Africa-based social enterprise Shonaquip, which aims to enhance the lives of people living with disabilities through mobility and seating solutions, support services, policy change and research, and awareness-raising activities.
In helping Shonaquip to implement more efficient processes, Sogaard says that she has learned to be more flexible and to think more creatively. “In order to implement a project in the best possible way, without having the time and resources needed, I’m having to improvise,” she says. “I’m trying to create a simple operational structure and process that can work for both these projects. At the same time, I want to pass on as much of my project management knowledge to the employees before I leave so that they can continue to sustain this in the long run.”
Sogaard’s experience illustrates the benefits of learning and cultivating intrapreneurial skills within a business.
When employees go outside their comfort zone, they are more likely to bring a fresh perspective to a business challenge and come up with innovative ideas. This approach is key to maintaining an entrepreneurial approach at even the largest of organizations.
New York Times: Sequoia Capital turns to South America for entrepreneurial investments, including Endeavor Entrepreneur firm Scanntech
According to a report in the New York Times, Silicon Valley venture capital firm Sequoia Capital is now joining other U.S. corporations by extending its influence into South America. Led by partner David Velez, who will start up a regional office in Brazil this July, Sequoia Capital has been planning to create a South American presence for over a year, and started with a $10 million offering to Scanntech, co-founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Raúl Polakof. Scanntech “makes technology to connect independent grocers and retailers with supplies.”
After Sequoia partner Doug Leone traveled to Brazil in late 2010 to scout out new entrepreneurial investment opportunities, the firm brought aboard Mr. Velez, who previously worked in the financial sponsors group of Morgan Stanley doing investment banking, last year. And though Sequoia has yet to invest in technology entrepreneurs in Brazil, the firm made two investments last year: Scanntech and Despegar, “an online travel company for the region.”
According to the piece, Scanntech has worked with Kraft, Coca-Cola, Scotiabank, and Visa in the past, and is projected to double last year’s $18 million revenue total in 2012. Although the company is based in Uruguay, it plans to expand into both Brazil and Asia in the upcoming years; Raúl Polakof said he wants “Scanntech to become a global company.”
By Karen Cliento
Last night, dozens packed into the Center for Architecture to join the conversation among some of the most influential in our field. Panelists included Endeavor Entrepreneurs and ArchDaily founders David Basulto and David Assael, who closed the Going Viral event with their tale of the creation and future expectations for their architecture websites. While ArchDaily receives millions of views per month, many may not know the story behind ArchDaily and the truly remarkable accomplishments this media empire has surpassed in a mere few years.
ArchDaily has grown to become the most widely read architecture website in the world, a feat largely accomplished by the founders’ clear goals in creating a large platform to expand opportunities available to all architects, and their understanding of the power social media has in influencing those in our profession.
During the 2000s, Basulto recognized a “circle of opportunity” that was forming for several architects who continually graced the glossy spreads of traditional architectural magazines. As a kind of critique of this exclusive network, and after noticing the talent of lesser known architects making great architecture, Basulto and Assael launched their first architecture website – Plataforma Arquitectura – as a way to expand the existing traditional network to provide opportunities to all architects.
And, it worked!
As Plataforma began to grow and show different architects’ work, soon, those architects were being contacted not only traditional publications, but also by clients and even other architects inquring about the projects. In essence, Basulto and Assael crafted a system that showed what could happen outside the traditional network, because now, architects, clients, readers, etc. could interact with one another and form a hub of opportunities.
From Plataforma, the Davids realized the magnitude of their influence when the website was ranked the fourth most widely read architecture website– a remarkable accomplishment as the site was all in Spanish and actually out ranked many major English websites. The success marked a turning point for our founders as the Davids now realized that to reach more of the world, the website would have to appeal to English speakers. And, so, ArchDaily was created.
In a time of so many architecture websites and publications, it is hard to stand out. But, what separates ArchDaily and gives us our identity is our mission to educate and inspire readers by showing the range of the profession. For the ArchDaily team, it is not just about bringing the most well known projects to you, but it is about sharing the local projects and introducing new firms to you, and projects with interesting clients, or programs, or constraints. And, as widely read as ArchDaily is (thanks to all of you!), the Davids focused on a huge mission the site must accomplish in the years ahead during their talk.
By 2050, 75% of the world’s population will live in cities – that’s about 6.6 billion people! But, the cities experiencing such growth will not be New York or London or Madrid, but rather cities in developing countries where the percentage of architects are low, and the number who will need housing and infrastructure are high. ArchDaily will need to function as the source of inspiration, knowledge and opportunity to reach architects in all these countries, and to show what can be done or what has been done in similar situations as a way to help people have better lives.
Rohit’s new book Likeonomics officially launches this week. You can see special offers for the book at www.likeonomics.com/special-offers and purchase on Amazon.
When it comes to economic theories, there is plenty of fascination in the business world around how to explain what drives business and purchasing activities. Behavioural economics, the field of economics concerned with examining why people behave the way they do when it comes to their purchasing behaviour, is hot right now. Bestselling books like Freakonomics andPredictably Irrational dig deep into the psyche of people to try and explain seemingly illogical actions.
My own upcoming book called Likeonomics, to some degree, looks at a similar theme of why we do business with people and businesses we like and what impact likeability has on building a trusted business. As part of the research for that book, I have come across a disturbing number of examples of a new type of economic philosophy which is becoming sadly common, and which cannot be explained by modern economic theory.
I have started referring to this philosophy as Delusional Economics – a new economic principle which explains the growing number of businesses who expect some type of unreasonable behaviour change or act of altruism among their consumers in order to help their business succeed. This is not a strategy for success, even though sadly many businesses fall prey to it. Here are what I believe the four key principles of Delusional Economics are, and how you might avoid applying them to your own small business:
1. Change a customer’s worldview. A worldview is generally how a person sees the world around them, and it is usually the toughest element of perception to change. It is why people vote the way they do, why they sometimes blindly believe something or someone, and why they approach life in the manner that they do. To attempt to change how they see the world as part of your business strategy is usually a waste of time and effort.
2. Getting people to pay for something that is currently free. When a customer has become used to getting something for free, you really need to offer a compelling reason about why they should pay for something similar. Is it better, faster, more complete or more premium? Whatever the benefit, you need to make sure it is truly compelling to move people past the hurdle of being free.
3. Basing a business model on revenue from nonexistent advertisers or customers. More than one tech startup has been launched over the last several years with an extremely naive view of what advertisers will pay for. They have a revenue model based on advertising, but no pipeline or ability to get those customers. The end result is that their entire business success hinges on being able to connect with a key audience that doesn’t even really exist.
4. Overestimating a customer’s ability to appreciate value worth paying a premium for. A common problem with products or services targeted to the higher end of the market is that people in general are not that good at being able to detect what value is worth paying for. If I told you a bottle of wine was $100, you would assume it was great wine. If a wine bottle cost less than $5, it probably wasn’t. This is fine when it comes to wine, but in your business and industry it is probably much harder for a customer to discern the real value that they get and understand that it may be worth paying more for.
Rohit’s new book Likeonomics officially launches this week. You can see special offers for the book at www.likeonomics.com/special-offers and purchase on Amazon.
Last year on a trip back to the US from South Africa, I picked up a magazine about a topic I knew very little about. It is of the common tricks I use to learn about different industries outside of the ones I work directly with – and in this case, the magazine I ended up with was called Farmer’s Weekly.
The content was as you would expect, advice for farmers on techniques, information about regulations that will affect their industry and ads for tractors and things like that. In the middle of the issue I picked up was a feature article about what the author called the “Amish Paradox.”
This paradox describes the unexpected methods that the Amish use when farming their land that are working so well that they are continuing to run their farms profitably without interruption while many other farmers are struggling to make ends meet and often going under as well. What makes the Amish technique so special?
They rotate their crops consistently (planting different items at different parts of the yar. They never use chemical fertilizers and use something called “legume-based pastures’ to keep the fertility of their land. They tend to grow smaller fruits and veggies (which some say they are tastier to). Perhaps most importantly, they do what is called “adding value” – by producing additional products such as fresh cheese.
In an industry facing increasing pressure from large industry leaders to plant more genetically modified crops, and focus on volume above all else … the Amish philosophy stands out. What can you learn from their lesson, even if you are not in farming?
1. Stick to your ideals. For the Amish, their farm culture is mixed together with their religion and belief system. Few of our small businesses take such a principled approach, but if you do – it can help serve as a guidepost for what your business will do and how it will evolve, and what you will avoid.
2. Think longer term. One of the biggest challenges in any business is to think of the long term and not of today. Crop rotation, for example, is a principle focused on making sure that land remains good for cultivating crops far into the future. Sometimes what it requires is passing up the opportunity to simply plant the most profitable thing every time.
3. Avoid following the “experts.” The Amish philosophy goes against many experts in the farming industry who push for higher production and instead follows their more traditional path. This tends to draw many critics and also probably causes them to have lower revenues from their crops. Yet this goes back to point #2 – and how your priorities tend to be different if you focus on taking care of your land for future generations instead of just maximizing profit today.
Chilean Team Climbs Mount Everest
by Daniel Boyle
MOUNT EVEREST, NEPAL — A Chilean team led by Rodrigo Jordan has reached the summit of Mount Everest, the highest point in the world. It was Jordan’s second climb to the summit with the journey marking twenty years since his first ascent. He was not only the first Chilean to reach the summit, but the first from Latin America.
The current team also includes two other Chilean climbers who had previously reached the summit. Eugenio “Kiko” Guzmán and Ernesto Olivares. Both climbers made the journey in 2004.
In a sign of the change of the times since his first ascent, Rodrigo Jordan has been keeping his followers up to date through his Twitter account. The messages were immediately relayed to the world.
rodrigo jordan 270×168 Chilean Team Climbs Mount Everest
Rodrigo Jordan returned to Mount Everest to celebrate 20 years since his first ascent.
Rodrigo Jordan came to visit the I Love Chile studio earlier this year. You can listen to the podcast. The 1992 expedition was the third attempt for Jordan after two unsuccessful attempts. This latest expedition also included three members from the Chilean Army.
The members of the team are Rodrigo Jordan (Expedition Leader), Eugenio Guzmán (Deputy Expedition Leader), Gabriel Becker (Head of Climbers), Sebastián Irárrazaval (Expedition Doctor), Ernesto Olivares, Sebastián Varela, Pedro Vidal, Lorenzo Ruiz, Juan José Varela. (Climbers), Felipe Olea, Juan Díaz, Paulo Grandy (Climbers, Army of Chile), Cristobal Hurtado (Cameraman) and Sofia Jordan (Base Camp Manager).
On return from the successful climb of Everest, Jordan started Fundacion Vertical, aimed at building social skills for children by outdoor activities. Vertical also runs corporate leadership programs.
“We don’t have anything typical. We have learned to co-design our programs with the clients,” Jordan said in his interview on the Hot Chile program.
The Chilean group was the first expedition to reach the summit this season. They reached the 8,848 meter summit at 1:50 p.m. local time. This journey was the fifth Chilean expedition to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
Before returning to the fourth camp, Jordan tweeted, “We need your company and thoughts for the long journey back to 4.”
From the camp, the group will link with Chilean Defense Minister Andres Allamand by satellite phone.
Hang around with lots of small business owners and not all are what one would call entrepreneurs. In fact, many are simply people that happen to own a job that pays the bills. Don’t get me wrong, these are good people, really good people, but calling them entrepreneurs sort of muddies the distinction. So what is the difference? What are the character traits that one possesses or actions that one endeavors that qualifies them for this often misused label?
I’ve been asked this question repeatedly and until now not come up with a distinction that captured it adequately. That is until I found myself in the kitchen with my wife.
I think describing the very different ways that my wife and I approach cooking can best capture the difference between how an entrepreneur and the rest of normal civilization view the world. My wife enters the kitchen, cleans up any lingering messes, imagines a meal, looks up a recipe, acquires the ingredients, carefully measures, mixes and serves the meal all the while cleaning up as she goes. This is, of course, a perfectly logical approach to eating and entertaining.
I, on the other hand, enter the kitchen, figure out what we have on the shelves, ponder combinations of things I like, decide how these things could be combined to make what I hypothesize would be something good to eat, taste, test, add, mix, add more, revel in the odd discoveries, pivot based on what I learn and whisk what seems reasonable onto the plate of anyone I can convince to eat. And, somehow every single pot and pan available gets pressed into service and dirtied.
My wife imagines a future meal based on what she knows and I imagine a future meal based on what I discover as I go, and that I think is as clear a distinction of the entrepreneurial mindset as I can illustrate. Entrepreneurs don’t learn by thinking, they learn by doing.
I had occasion recently to spend some time with Ned Hallowell, M.D., Ed.D., a child and adult psychiatrist, New York Times bestselling author and leading authority in the field of ADHD. Hallowell will tell you that an extremely high number of entrepreneurs share many of the same traits as the ADHD patients he has treated over the years. The primary difference is that they’ve been able to channel what is, for some, a debilitation into an asset. Hallowell’s research and treatment of persons with ADHD is shedding entirely new light on the power of this trait.
In the words of Dr. Hallowell, “In my opinion, ADHD is a terrible term. As I see it, ADHD is neither a disorder, nor is there a deficit of attention. I see ADHD as a trait, not a disability.” And there, perhaps, you have it – entrepreneurship is a trait, that unmet, untended or unleashed could be considered by some a disability – or you could imagine a world where you discover only by doing.
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