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Endeavor has worked with corporate partner EY to provide tailored business services to Endeavor Entrepreneurs through the EY Corporate Responsibility Fellows Program, which recently welcomed back its 2013 class from their time abroad. Through the program, EY dedicates […]
March 3rd, 2014 — by adminRead more
In the news
Endeavor was featured in an article in the French-language daily newspaper, “L’Orient le Jour” based in Beirut, for its potential to improve Lebanon’s economy. According to Endeavor’s calculations, the country’s GDP could increase by 1% […]
February 11th, 2013 — by adminRead more
Latest Video(video) 2013 Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit Video: John Donahoe
March 7th, 2014
By Matt Wilson
Introducing the Top 50 Events for Young Entrepreneurs…
1). CEO National–Imagine what happens when over 1,000 college entrepreneurs get together in one giant convention center for a weekend full of keynotes, workshops and lots of “networking”. The Collegiate Entrepreneurs’ Organization holds a soft spot in our heart as Under30CEO was launched in Chicago at this very conference, where we keynoted and threw quite the after party.
2.) SXSW–If you can only get to one conference each year or are launching a startup, you may want to consider SXSW. Austin hosts one the most serious interactive, film and music festivals in the world, but it’s getting a little oversold these days. Be sure to find a place to stay months in advance to guarantee a place to stay.
3.) Big Omaha–This is what SXSW was before the hype. Silicon Prairie is a great location for a conference because unlike swanky events in Miami or LA, people actually come for the conference. Last year we completed the experience by sleeping in an RV in Iowa.
4.) Startup Weekend–Want to launch a company in 54 hours? Find a Startup Weekend in your region of the globe, pitch your idea and build a team around it. Go from idea to a hacked together business in a single weekend. “No Talk. All Action.”
5.) Summit Series–While most of the events on this list will be open to the public, this event is invite only. Are you scheming to change the world? Then this is the place for you. Richard Branson and NFL Linebacker/Bow-tie entrepreneur Dhani Jones were some of the last in attendance to this laid back environment of people who are truly making it happen.
Keeping your small business ahead of the curve in a competitive economy is no easy task. It requires a lot of attention to detail, for example, carefully examining your small business and looking for any areas where efficiency or productivity can be improved. There are lots of ways to stay competitive. Read our roundup for tips and other important news for your small business.
How to stay ahead of the curve and be successful. To truly stay ahead of the curve, you must do better and be more thorough than everybody else. This usually means putting in more worthwhile effort than your competitors. To accomplish this, you must set your own standards, ones that surpass the norm, find the need that isn’t being met and pursue it, do things better than everybody else and go the extra mile. Finally, do the new and unexpected and do it well. Following these suggestions will help you dominate the field. Open Forum
Why content marketing is still king. Surveys show that content marketing now surpasses all other types of marketing. Content marketing has gained popularity due to its ability to economically bring in meaningful leads in a controlled environment. Entrepreneur
Take a close look at your website. Is it designed around one product or service or is it designed to attract customers who will take a look at you and want to be associated with you over a long period of time? The problem with the former is that you will have to find new customers all the time. Instead, help your customers look at how using your product or service will help them expand their business. Small Business Brief
10 secrets of successful leaders. The author quotes Eleanor Roosevelt, “A good leader inspires people to have confidence in the leader, a great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves.” You have a great idea for a new product. You develope it, set up your small business, line up your financing, market your product and started selling. But how will your organization operate? How will you lead and develop your employees? The article discusses ten ideas gathered from successful leaders that you should consider. Entrepreneur
Managing stress in small business is a part of the territory. How stressful is the work environment in your company? And how do you make a difference? What if you ran a small business in need of improvement?Where would you begin to make the necessary changes? Here is a list of resources to get you started.
5 tips to manage your relationship with your boss. Believe it or not, bosses are human beings just like you. Some of them are more difficult to work for than others. You must remember that many of them are under extreme work stress which may affect their disposition. However, being able to establish a good working relationship with your boss will result in increasing your happiness and success at work. The article presents suggestions on how to develop this relationship. Main ST
Stress management key to keeping business (and owner) alive. Owning a small business is bound to create more stress than if you worked for someone else. You work more hours, get less rest, and have many more and different responsibilities. Finding the right balance between work and life is crucial both for you business and for you personally. The article lists suggestions on reducing and controlling stress in your life. To reduce work stress, an effective management structure and finding qualified help are probably the two most effective solutions. Business News Daily
By Omar Aysha
Some of the region’s top investors, during their panel discussion at Arabnet Cairo, shared their experiences of the most common mistakes tech startups make:
- Not thinking through the practicalities of executing an idea. Giving even a little thought to possible implementation challenges will save a lot of headaches later on.
- Thinking of the investment process as money only. Founders need to discover what value possible investors will add to the project, as this is at least as important as a cash injection.
- Overlooking the chemistry of the team. How the team, including the investment partners, works together is most important, so make sure visions are shared and everyone involved is a team-player.
- Having a bad or non-existent employee ownership scheme. Greedy founders only shoot themselves in the foot if they’re not willing to share possible future wealth, as employee ownership is a fundamental motivation tool.
- Not having a business plan. Financial plans are always wrong, but that’s no reason not to have them. Writing a financial plan teaches the founders the key financial concepts they will need to know to make their company successful.
- Lacking knowledge about revenue and cost streams. Bad cash flow is the biggest killer of startups, so founders must always be clear where the money is coming in and going out.
- Having founders who are not well-rounded. It’s true that founders’ skill-sets should complement each other, but each founder should have a reasonable working knowledge of all of the core facets of running a business.
- Simply copying an idea that works abroad. The environments are structurally different, so something that works well abroad may not work well in this target market, and vice versa.
- Not thinking big enough. Too often local founders, especially Egyptians, limit their thinking and target market. If a local startup idea works globally, then it must plan to target a global audience at some stage.
The VCs were Ziad Mokhtar,a principal at Ideavelopers; Karim El-Sahy, founder and CEO of Genius Ventures; Gideon Simeloff, head of twofour54 Ibtikar; Feroz Sanaulla, regional director at Intel Capital; and Ahmed El-Alfi, founder and CEO of Sawari Ventures.
Omar Aysha is a former video-game developer, turned IT entrepreneur and writer, who is launching an Egyptian entrepreneurship magazine.
In the interview, Rodrigo recalls the moment he was inspired to start his venture, visiting the Cinecitta film studio in Rome as a high school student:
“It was there that it hit me,” he remembers. “I thought, ‘I need to get the gears going to make films in Colombia. I’m going to become a vehicle for this to happen.’ ”
After high school he attended film school in New York, and took jobs in various aspects of filmmaking. Upon returning to Colombia, he found that increased government funding and a new generation of eager filmmakers were set to revitalize the country’s film industry.
“I realized there was an opportunity: to set up a private equity film fund in Colombia, because there was no such thing”, he says.
Along with partners including childhood friend Andi Baiz, Rodrigo found a way to turn films into a viable investment:
Dynamo’s fund is a small part of their investors’ portfolios, but they have positioned themselves as a viable option. They’ve reduced the risk for investors by funding a slate of films, rather than pour investors’ money into one major film production. And, through tax incentive programs, investors get back $40 of every $100 they invest.
“We were coming to [investors] not just with a pitch for a movie, but a business plan for a film in such a way that they could put it against any other investment option they had,” Mr. Guerrero explained.
Today, it remains difficult for Latin American films to gain foreign viewers, but Rodrigo and his partners are determined to find new ways of popularizing their Colombian films at home and abroad:
With film business models and markets constantly undergoing change, he’s embracing the challenge to adapt. Audiences are watching movies more and more via their computers, he notes, while traditional models of distribution for Latin American films are still focused on hitting the theatres. “We are way beyond the big screen,” he said. “I’m more interested in everything else that’s cooking right now, where young people are putting their energy, and where surprises can actually happen.”
The full article can be found here (registration required).
By Joanna Harries (International Expansion, Endeavor)
I just returned from the World Economic Forum’s Special Meeting on Economic Growth & Job Creation for the Arab World, held at the Dead Sea, Jordan. I attended thoughtful keynote addresses, and panel debates, but think the jury’s still out on whether the overall tone was one of pessimism or optimism. The topics of Education, Employment, and Entrepreneurship certainly highlighted massive challenges for the region, but will they prove insurmountable?
As the forum title suggests, one looming issue overshadowed all conversations: how will the region create enough jobs to absorb the burgeoning young population entering the labor force each year? Exact statistics vary, but approximately 100 million new jobs are needed by 2020. Or, as one gentleman said to stress the urgency, “two million Egyptians enter Cairo each day looking for work that isn’t there.” When translated into growth, collectively the region must grow annual GDP by 7-8%. Tough, when 15% of FDI is being pulled from the region, and some of the largest economies are in transition (Libya now joins Tunisia & Egypt). Couple this with impatient youth (the Yalla Energy!), who want immediate change, not long term plans. Then acknowledge the skill gap between the unemployed, and their potential employers. Employers in the region aren’t big on training, and prefer to bring in expatriate workers to close the gap. Enter entrepreneurship, which can empower youth to create their own jobs.
Sounds deceptively simple, but despite the strong case for unleashing entrepreneurship, the tactics needed to get there require cooperation from multiple stakeholders. Regional governments must lower the cost of failure (e.g. going to jail if a check bounces), and open borders to allow truly regional businesses to scale. Collectively, 350 million consumers represent a huge market opportunity, but in reality, most entrepreneurs stay local and small. An Arab Small Business Act, and the creation of a Ministry for Entrepreneurs, were both suggested as possible solutions to accelerate regional entrepreneurship.
As we know at Endeavor, resources are especially needed to back those entrepreneurs with the ambition and business capability to scale rapidly. Only a few will grow fast enough to deliver substantial new jobs (but then, you only need a handful). Regional funding is certainly available, but criticized for not being leveraged or channeled correctly. Venture capital is still in infancy, and risk aversion is pervasive. As Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa (founder of The 99 Comics) pointed out, “the first due diligence question is often: how much did your father invest?” What about start ups without self-financing options?
MENA is a region of Haves and Have Not’s, a tension that largely contributed to the Arab Spring. As WEF founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab expressed in his opening remarks, “we may be different, but we are interdependent.” If regional cooperation takes root, and new governments can learn the lessons from the uprisings, then I echo what I heard from a 27-year old Tunisian woman in attendance: “We can’t afford to be pessimistic.”
A few other notable quotes…
“The Libyan youth continued to surprise me. When I was pushed to settle, and make concessions, they would not.” – Mahmoud Jibril, Chairman, National Transition Council of Libya
“How do you get the Arab youth from the street into discussions with multiple stakeholders?” – Madeleine K. Albright, Chair, Albright Stonebridge Group
“The region needs fewer leaders, and more doers.” – Habib Haddad, CEO, WAMDA
The Special Meeting’s full report can be found here.
By Wempy Dyocta Koto (reprinted from Under30CEO).
When I started my career fifteen years ago at American Express, the New York headquartered company defined pre-requisites to my entry, across the Pacific, at their Sydney operations. These included education levels and grades, language skills, personal qualities, references, perceived competence and an expressed preference for five years of professional experience – which my ‘just had lunch with my mates at the University canteen’ curriculum vitae impossibly could not reflect. Armed with ambition and shifting confidence after three rounds of interrogative interviews, I luckily landed the role that kick-started my five year career at the company.
During my tenure, I met Chief Executive Officers, Harvey Golub and Kenneth Chenault. I also had the fortune to directly report into Mira Mikosic, the company’s inspiring former Vice President of International Brand Advertising and worked within John Steward’s group, American Express’ current Executive Vice President of World Markets for it’s Cards business, whom I’ve shared conversations with at the Australian office, outside the company’s headquarters on Vesey Street in New York as well as recently at a pub in Chelsea, London, on a cold English evening.
In and importantly, out of the office, these American Express leaders are groomed to live ‘the blue box values’.
Beyond their individual smarts, the common thread that binds these American Express leaders is that they individually champion, share and embody the company’s shared cultural norms and principles, as defined within American Express’ Blue Box Values:
• Customer Commitment – We develop relationships that make a positive difference in our customers’ lives.
• Quality – We provide outstanding products and unsurpassed service that, together, deliver premium value to our customers.
• Integrity – We uphold the highest standards of integrity in all of our actions.
• Teamwork – We work together, across boundaries, to meet the needs of our customers and to help the company win.
• Respect for People – We value our people, encourage their development and reward their performance.
• Good Citizenship – We are good citizens in the communities in which we live and work.
• A Will to Win – We exhibit a strong will to win in the marketplace and in every aspect of our business.
• Personal Accountability – We are personally accountable for delivering on our commitments
By Alex Pirouz (reprinted from Under30CEO).
Becoming a business owner for the first time in 1977, Bruce Doyle has now owned and operated 27 businesses, 18 of which were developed from conception. Bruce has streamlined businesses that all perform predictably and profitably without his day-to-day input. He has been ranked “Global Coach of The Year,” “Victorian Coach Of The Year” and Action Coach’s most prestigious award, “Entrepreneur Coach of The Year.”
Along the way there have been many key distinctions and things learned, but one which Bruce regards as the most important is Business Planning.
“The most important thing about doing a business plan is becoming clear on what it will look like when it is finished. Most people don’t have an exit strategy. A lot of business owners don’t have clarity in where they are heading because they don’t know the end step. Included in the business plan should also be a succession plan, over 70% of businesses don’t have this. The main purpose is to have the business plan active and turn it into an action plan by breaking it down to 90-day cycles. Then chunk it down to weeks and then days,” Bruce explains.
How long should a business plan be and what should the business plan be based on?
This all depends on the style of business you are in; if you make it too complex they just don’t get followed. Ask any successful entrepreneur and they will tell you that any good business plan should be based around the numbers because at the end of the day the only measure of the success in business is the financials and numbers within it.
In saying that, what are the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make when writing their business plan?
The biggest mistake is not taking the time to write their business plan in the detail necessary to build the foundation to grow from. It is absolutely catastrophic to go into business without a plan. Loss of money and failure will be evident unless the entrepreneur is very lucky.
The second biggest mistake is not conducting market research before launching their idea. Market research is critical and the more you can do it without getting analysis by paralysis the greater your level of success will be in business.
It is much easier to look for the void in the marketplace and provide a solution then it is to try and come up with a solution that is not relevant or existent.
What can entrepreneurs do to increase their chance of success once they have started their business?
• Have the right team around them
• Hire people who are more skilful than they are
• Focus on their strengths and delegate other duties
• Focus on the business and don’t look at any other opportunities
• Get familiar with the financial aspect of the business
Research every aspect of the business to make sure there is a need for what you’re actually coming up with, and most importantly don’t think every idea is going to be a good one without crunching the numbers.
Doing this will ensure you are able to create a business that has the capacity to be scalable and sale-able, because the ideal outcome for any entrepreneur should be to sell and exit their business.
Alex Pirouz is the founder of RIDC Advisory Pty Ltd. A Business and Sales Advisory firm partnering with Australia’s largest and fastest growing companies to further increase their revenue. Visit www.ridcadvisory.com.au for more details.
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