Manila, Philippines – January 7, 2015 – Endeavor announced that it will expand its presence in Southeast Asia with the launch of Endeavor Philippines, its third country affiliate in the region. The launch is supported and led by some of the country’s top entrepreneurs and business leaders, including seven founding board members and a newly named managing director. According to the World Bank, the Philippine economy remains one of the fastest growing in the region, offering a promising climate for high-impact, high-growth entrepreneurship.
With a population of nearly 100 million spread across more than 7,000 islands, the nation is the seventh most populous in Asia and one of the most diverse. While the Philippine economy has grown at an average of 6% since 2012 according to the World Bank, over 20% of the population still lives in poverty. Supporting high-impact entrepreneurship in the region offers a critical opportunity to fuel economic growth at all levels. With an estimated 99% of Philippine enterprises considered small- or medium-sized businesses, many are facing the crucial scale-up stage that determines whether or not they can grow into impactful businesses that create thousands of jobs. Endeavor research found that just 5% of the country’s total number of firms are considered high-growth (with a minimum of 20% average annual growth), but created 75% of the net new jobs in the country.
The landscape of entrepreneurship in the country continues to show much promise. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor found that nearly half (48%) of all Filipinos have a very positive view of the entrepreneurial opportunities in their country; furthermore, 68% believe they have the capabilities needed to start a business. At the same time, many recognize the barriers to entrepreneurial development in the country, including a lack of access to financial support, government programming and guidance from role models.
This is where Endeavor’s model can make a difference. By providing access to a world-class network of industry leaders, investors and talent, Endeavor’s support can give the best entrepreneurs in the region the chance to turn their ventures into transformational businesses. Endeavor aims to take the magic of networks like Silicon Valley and bring it to regions with great ideas and potential, but not necessarily the resources to help founders take their visions to the next level. Once selected into the network, Endeavor Entrepreneurs are connected with strategic mentors and given access to an array of tools that can catapult them to success. Since its beginning in 1997, Endeavor has selected and supported 1,030 entrepreneurs representing 651 companies in the 22 markets where it operates. In 2013, from Miami to Morocco, these entrepreneurs have generated $6.8 billion in revenue and created 400,000 jobs across Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Southeast Asia.
“It is an exciting time in the history of Endeavor, as we have now helped more than a thousand entrepreneurs realize their dreams,” said Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “The addition of Endeavor Philippines ensures that we will continue to make an impact in one of the most dynamic and exciting regions in the world.”
All Endeavor affiliates are spearheaded by a local board of leading business people, each of whom believes that entrepreneurship can transform economies. The Endeavor Philippines founding board will be chaired by Eugenio (Gabby) López III, Chairman of ABS-CBN Corporation. He will be joined by Jaime A. Zobel de Ayala, Chairman & CEO of Ayala Corporation; Cezar Consing, President & CEO of the Bank of the Philippines Islands; Anthony T. Huang, President of SSI Group, Inc.; Sheila Lirio Marcelo, Founder, Chairwoman & CEO of Care.com; Edgar Injap Sia II, Chairman of DoubleDragon Properties Corp.; and Julio Sy, Jr., Founder & CEO of TAO Corporation.
“Endeavor has come to the Philippines at just the right time,” said Board Chairman Eugenio (Gabby) Lopez III. “Sustained economic growth has seen the rise of entrepreneurial activity in the country. We hope to accelerate the development of a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem by helping to unleash the full potential of high-impact entrepreneurs.”
The board has selected Manny Ayala as Managing Director of the office, overseeing the successful launch of Endeavor Philippines. Mr. Ayala was a co-founder of Hatchd Digital, a tech incubator, and a Managing Director of investment bank IRG. He will lead the day-to-day operations of the Endeavor office in Manila and will be involved in screening the first entrepreneur candidates for consideration.