High-Impact Entrepreneurship

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Minha Vida Acquires TecnoNutri; Creates Dominant Player in Brazil’s Healthy Eating Market

Brazil’s Minha Vida Group, which manages a medical/health care website of the same name and a popular online diet program called Dieta e Saude, took a major step forward in its growth this week with […]

July 6th, 2015 — by admin

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Greece’s Hellas Direct Named a National Champion by the European Business Awards

The European Business Awards, an annual honor that recognizes innovation and ethics in the regional business community, recently named Greece’s Hellas Direct to its rankings. Along with a selection of businesses representing more than 30 European countries, Hellas Direct joins a list of […]

September 22nd, 2014 — by admin

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eMBA field report: inventive flowers and food in fast-growing Istanbul

Elizabeth Gulliver is an MBA student at Columbia Business School. She is interning with Ciceksepeti.com and Endeavor Entrepreneur Emre Aydin in Istanbul through the Endeavor eMBA Program.

I was breathless and sweaty, dragging three months of luggage up a narrow staircase, but I stopped dreading living so many floors up when I opened the door to my new apartment. The late afternoon sun on the Bosphorus is undeniably magical and I was somehow lucky enough to have a spectacular view of it all. I was already enchanted with the city before I had even begun to truly explore.

Istanbul is an astonishingly large city with a diverse mixture of neighborhoods. On the European side alone, the city ranges from the historic Sultanahmet area to older charming neighborhoods like Cihangir and Galata, to the newer developments stretching north of the city that are constantly expanding. The rapid growth and economic potential are palpable in the intense energy felt throughout the city. As observers often write, Turkey is clearly experiencing strong economic expansion and currently benefiting from its unique position between Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Thus far, from what my co-workers and people I have met outside of the office tell me, Istanbul appears to be thriving as a result of its ambitious, young, and hard-working population.

This summer I am working at one of the many new e-commerce companies in Turkey. Among other industries, e-commerce has exploded in Turkey with the dramatic increase in the number of internet users and a growing middle class that is ready to consume more and is increasingly comfortable with online shopping. The company that I am working for, Ciceksepeti, currently has four websites and is in the process of finishing several others to launch in the next few months. Emre Aydin, the CEO and Endeavor Entrepreneur for whom I am working, had no e-commerce experience prior to launching the first website, Ciceksepeti.com (and online flower retailer). The website started when Emre’s brother, who lives in the US, called and asked him to send flowers to his mother and mother-in-law, living in two difference cities in Turkey. Finding this nearly impossible to do, Emre saw an opportunity and started building the website that night. Ciceksepeti.com is one of the fastest growing e-commerce sites in the country, and in addition to selling flowers, the company now sells gourmet gifts, jewelry, other small gifts, and experiential gifts.

In my role this summer, I am helping Emre and the staff to expand and develop their corporate structure. The company has grown so quickly that they have had little time to establish a structure that will allow them to continue to expand and launch new sites. Together, we are working to build these systems and structures. This unique position has provided me the opportunity to work closely with employees in every department of the company. The ability to learn and discuss how all the different aspects of the company, from the 24/7 call center, to the operations department, marketing teams, IT, HR and business development groups work together has been extremely interesting and valuable. I am only a few weeks into my internship, but I am eager to keep working with the team here to maximize their growth potential.

In addition to time in the office, I have been spending time exploring Istanbul and several other destinations in Turkey. Despite not speaking the language, the country has been relatively easy to travel around and people have been unfailingly helpful and patient. By far the best part of exploring so far has been the food. The food in Turkey goes well beyond the traditional mezzes that most people think of. While these are truly delicious, there are a multitude of restaurants offering newer, modern takes on traditional dishes that are simply delicious. And with the economic boom has come a broad expansion in Turkish wine production – I can safely say that this has benefited the country’s economy as I know I have already supported several vineyards myself! Looking towards the next few months, I am excited to continue exploring this vibrant country and working with the dynamic team at Ciceksepeti.

Argentina hosts 2012 “Endeavor Experience” conference

 By Belen Alvarez Toledo and David Rousseau

“Each time someone falls prey to the mistaken assertion that you can’t become an entrepreneur in Argentina, a multitude of opportunities are lost.”

Such were the words delivered by Andy Freire, board director of Endeavor Argentina, at the “Endeavor Experience” event in Buenos Aires. This year’s edition counted over 1,300 attendees.

The two-day event (June 14-15) attracted prominent figures of the entrepreneurial world, including locally famous Mauricio Macri and María Eugenia Estenssoro. Entrepreneurs from across the country enjoyed numerous networking opportunities and had the opportunity to pick the brains of “the best in the business.”

This year, for the first time, a diverse group of investors were also present to interact with entrepreneurs seeking financing, and offer face-to-face consulting and advice.

Furthermore, talks were given byEndeavor Entrepreneurs Marcos Galperin, Co-founder and CEO of MercadoLibre;  Susana Balbo, Founder of  Dominio del Plata; and Nelson Dubosq, Co-founder de HSM. Other inspirational speakers included Josh Silverman, President of American Express Consumer Services in the U.S (ex CEO of Skype); Mike Cassidy, Director of Search Product Management at Google; Alex Pryor, Co-founder de Guyaky Sustainable Ranforest Products; Emerson Andrade, Founder of Pez Urbano; and Martín Frascaroli, Founder of Aivo.

“Successful entrepreneurs aren’t those who’ve faced less obstacles than others. Rather, they are those who’ve held a clearer vision of their ideas and objectives” affirmed Andy Freire, at the closing of the event.


Happy summer from Endeavor!

From Endeavor Insight: G20 nations’ top priority is job creation. Why aren’t they talking about entrepreneurship?

By Ha Le, Endeavor summer research associate

Nineteen countries and the European Union will meet in Mexico today for the annual G20 summit to hold discussions on the state of the global economy and financial system.

Endeavor Insight analyzed the most recent policy speeches of the G20 nations to better understand their policy priorities. The speeches we analyzed included most recent State of the Union address in the U.S. and similar speeches across the world. We found that job creation is the most important issue for G20 nations. In fact, the issue of job creation was much more important than other issues, such as food security and the environment, that are part of the priority agenda for this week’s summit.

Even though job creation is the most important issue for G20 nations, entrepreneurship is rarely discussed in policy speeches made by the leaders of these countries and is not part of the official list of priorities for the current G20 Summit. In fact, Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Japan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey and the United Kingdom did not mention any words associated with entrepreneurship, such as “entrepreneur” or “start-up,” in any of the policy addresses that were analyzed. The most frequent mentions of this issue came from Brazil and the United States, which included three and four references to the issue, respectively.

Entrepreneurship is the best solution to the employment problem around the world. Entrepreneurs, more specifically high-impact entrepreneurs, create jobs and enhance the stability of economies around the world. In a five-year survey of 800,000 adults in over 60 countries, the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor shows that while only 4% of respondents were high-impact entrepreneurs, they generated 38% of all the jobs created by all the entrepreneurs.

If governmental leaders truly want to create jobs, the issue of entrepreneurship needs to be elevated in its importance. Here’s hoping that next year’s G20 priorities include discussion of the best job creation tool in the world: entrepreneurs.

Endeavor Entrepreneurs say fathers were their top inspiration

Our research team, Endeavor Insight, asked all of Endeavor’s Entrepreneurs “Who inspired you to become a high-impact entrepreneur?” The #1 response was “my father.” So, on father’s day, we’d like to say thank you to all of the fathers out there that are encouraging their children to become entrepreneurs!

Endeavor Entrepreneur company Top Systems joins the Stefanini group

Since 1987, Top Systems has been creating innovative technology solutions that are critical elements of their clients’ strategy and business. A wide range of the most prestigious financial institutions in Latin America, the Caribbean and Europe have placed their trust in Top Systems. The company’s founder, Álvaro Domínguez, has been an Endeavor Entrepreneur since 2003.

The following is a press release from the company, which can also be found here.

TOP SYSTEMS has joined the STEFANINI group, one of the most important global providers of technology solutions for the world market.

Stefanini is a Brazilian multinational with 25 years of experience, present in 29 countries, and with 71 offices distributed in 66 cities; it has in its financial sector one of its main lines of action.

This fusion establishes a perfect combination of businesses, because it adds the strength and experience of both the enterprises with a solid presence in the financial area and widens the offer for this market of innovative solutions which complement one another.

Nowadays, Stefanini has a portfolio of more than 400 active customers, many of them among the most important Brazilian businesses, like Petrobras, Telefonica, Bradesco, General Electric, Caterpilar, Gerdau, Unilever, and Pan de Azucar. It also serves 32 global accounts including Coca-Cola, Dell, Ford, Alcoba, Motorola, and Johnson & Johnson.

TOP SYSTEMS joins the multinational team with its solutions TOPAZ for the comprehensive management of financial institutions and their deep knowledge of the business. The system TOPAZ has been implemented in more than 60 clients around 29 countries and has been highlighted by the consultants Forrester and Celent in their prestigious annual reports.

TOP SYSTEMS and STEFANINI are certain that technology helps to break down barriers. Day to day new solutions arise, and their correct application ensures the growth of businesses. Together, both companies join forces to win the greater share of the market, providing complete solutions for the financial sector.

Endeavor Entrepreneur company Bodytech receives investment of $40 million to continue expansion

Company press release

Through a strategic alliance with Teka Capital, Bodytech continues its consolidation as the leader of gyms in Latin America

In April 2012, Bodytech announced a strategic partnership with Teka Capital, which will be giving the leading health club sports in Latin America a capital injection of $40 million to fund expansion to Latin American markets like Brazil, Mexico, and Chile.

For [Endeavor Entrepreneur] Nicolás Loaiza, Co-Founder and President of Bodytech, the signing of this agreement signals the successful advancement of negotiations with Teka Capital, one of the most important and well-known private equity funds in the country which takes a chance on medium sized companies in Colombia and the region.

Currently, the health sports club Bodytech offers its services in 41 gyms throughout 11 cities in Colombia, 5 gyms through 3 cities in Peru, and 38 gyms in Chile through its recent partnership with Sportlife Chile. Bodytech is the leading line of fitness centers in Latin America according to IHRSA, the World Association of Health Clubs, and is the 25th most valuable brand in Colombia according to Compass Branding.

The private equity fund Teka Capital currently manages $148 million, including funding from local and foreign investors. Bodytech is the second Colombian company in which the fund has invested, following investment in a well-known Colombia apparel company. Diego Cordoba and Juan Antonio Pungiluppi from Teka Capital both worked at Valorem, an investment holding of the Santodomingo family in Colombia, where they managed investments in companies in more than ten different industries and oversaw assets of $3 billion in acquisitions of companies like Cine Colombia and TV Cable and in the sale of companies like Propilco, Serdan, Sofasa, Finca, Aluminio Reynolds, and BellSouth.

Video: Ernst & Young fellows assist Endeavor Entrepreneurs in Mexico City

Through the Americas Corporate Responsibility Fellows Program, Ernst & Young sends talented managers each summer to work on-site with Endeavor Entrepreneurs. In this new video, the four 2011 Corporate Responsibility Fellows who were assisting entrepreneurs in Mexico City share their experiences with the program. To view the video, CLICK HERE.

Since 2005, more than 55 Ernst & Young professionals from across the Americas, at or above the manager level, have contributed their skills to promising High-Impact Entrepreneurs as Corporate Responsibility Fellows.

Fast Company on Endeavor: “The Case for High-Impact Entrepreneurs”

Reprinted from Fast Company (Co.Exist). Original article here.

By Ariel Schwartz

Most of the time we talk about supporting small business entrepreneurs in the developing world, but what if supporting companies with dreams to be the next Apple or Facebook would have a larger effect on the economy?

In the U.S., land of kids who dream up clever tech ideas in dorm rooms and launch multi-million-dollar startups in their 20s, it’s a no-brainer to attempt to become a “high-impact entrepreneur” who creates companies that have a major impact on wealth and job creation. That’s not the case in many other countries, where people don’t dare to dream of opening anything but a mom-and-pop shop. “If you go to Mexico, Turkey, Jordan, Brazil, and tell them that high-impact entrepreneurs have the power for transformation, if people don’t laugh at you, they don’t believe what you’re telling them,” says Fernando Fabre, president of Endeavor, an organization that selects, mentors, and accelerates those same high-impact entrepreneurs in countries around the world.

In an attempt to prove that high-impact entrepreneurship makes a difference, Endeavor teamed up with SAP to create an Impact Dashboard that shows the financial, employment, and social impact of entrepreneurs that work with Endeavor compared to small to mid-sized businesses around the world. The result: Endeavor’s hundred of entrepreneurial companies grew 5.4 times faster in jobs and 2.4 times faster in revenue than comparable companies. In Brazil alone, employees who work in Endeavor-supported companies have double the income of employees in World Bank companies, and 10 times as much access to private health care versus the national average.

Most of the public policy in countries like Mexico and Brazil, says Fabre, is about supporting microbusinesses or small businesses. “What we’re trying to prove with tools like this is that you modify slightly public policy to support high-impact entrepreneurs, and it has a greater impact,” he says. Those small businesses you see on Kiva have their place, in other words, but visionary entrepreneurs with big dreams also need to be front and center. Because as the Impact Dashboard notes, the need for jobs worldwide grew in 2011 to over 200 million people while global GDP growth declined. High-impact entrepreneurs will create those jobs.

Fabre cites a handful of Endeavor companies that exemplify the kind of entrepreneurship that the organization wants to nourish. Café Punta del Cielo, a Mexican coffee chain that Fabre calls “the Starbucks of Mexico,” started just six years ago. Today, the chain has 1,021 employees and 14 retail stores. Globant, an Argentinian software development company formed in 2003, now has over 2,000 employees and is one of the fastest growing companies in Latin America of its kind.

The dashboard is a self-promotional play for Endeavor, of course, but it does make a compelling larger point: We have to support high-impact entrepreneurs just as much as small businesses. Next, SAP plans to take Endeavor’s data to look into the future. Says Brittany Lothe, SAP’s head of corporate social responsibility: “If the Endeavor entrepreneurs are performing at these rates, what would happen with greater investments, and what could that mean for job growth, and revenue growth?”

4 ways to bring fresh insight to your business

Reprinted from wamda.com. See the original article here

by Oubai Elkerdi

Did you know that marketing directors at Google use physics to explain the fundamental theories of branding? That astronomers use software developed by doctors for brain imagery to study the explosion of supernovas? And who would have guessed that the design of one of the fastest trains in the world had been inspired by nature?

In the late 1980’s, Japanese engineer and birdwatcher Eiji Nakatsu studied the splashless water entry of kingfishers and the noise-reduction property of owl wings, and applied this knowledge in the design of the Shinkansen train. The new biomimetic design was not only 10% faster than previous models, it also consumed 15% less electricity and produced much less noise (residents near the tracks were delighted!).

One of the most prominent characteristics of innovators is a discovery-driven spirit that is constantly scrutinizing the world for new ideas. Many people think breakthrough innovations are the result of isolated, sophisticated thinking and research, but this is rarely the case.

History’s leading innovators and creative minds have always researched outside of the lab. When design firm IDEO was asked to renovate the computer science building at the University of California, what the faculty staff had in mind were high-tech classrooms and laboratories, futuristic fanciness and whatnot.

“When we looked at the way learning was happening we found that a good deal of it took place in the hallways, in between spaces, not in the classrooms at all” explains IDEO creative director Jane Fulton-Suri. This observation led to an entirely different model of the new buildings. Rather than focusing solely on classrooms and laboratories, more emphasis was put on circulation spaces to further encourage impromptu gatherings and collaborative learning.

This human-centered approach dates back to the rule of Umar ibn al-Khatab when he noticed that people engaged in a lot of chit-chat and arguments in the mosque. Instead of suppressing the chatter altogether, he provided people with an alternative by designating a space for discussion – just outside the mosque – known as al butayha’.

Innovation also happens when seemingly unrelated ideas and concepts are juxtaposed. When Digital Domain started working on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, they realized there was “a giant chasm” between the technology of the day and where they needed it to be to achieve high-resolution computer-generated facial expressions. So the producers started looking in other fields and combined findings from medical imaging technology, the games industry, and psychology.

This peripheral vision was crucial to the success of Digital Domain. Had they not observed and borrowed ideas from neighbouring disciplines, they may never have been able to produce such high quality production and transcend the limits of technology.

Sustainable and elegant solutions are more likely to emerge when problem-solvers leave their ivory towers and watch people in their natural habitats, collaborate across disciplines or simply examine nature. “The real act of discovery consists not in finding new lands, but in seeing with new eyes.”

Here are few tips that you can apply to turn observation into a natural practice in your organization:

    Train your eye to pick up solutions for the problems you’re trying to solve. To master this skill you must really cultivate your mind and inform yourself. One of Fadi Ghandour’s rules for being an entrepreneur is “Listen. An entrepreneur has to have the ability to listen more than he talks. Across industries as well.” Make sure you thoroughly examine other disciplines and industries, get ideas from insightful platforms (TEDStumbleUpon, etc.), and talk to all kinds of experts. Take regular walks in urban and natural environments, and read a lot – it’ll expand your horizons.

    Hire “anthropologists”. If you want fresh and insightful observations, you have to dedicate a few members of your team to camp out in schools, hospitals, malls, and bookstores, and watch how people behave in different environments and with various objects. Look for the subtleties and pay attention to details. How can you make their experience more pleasant? Anthropologists help your organization “develop a deep understanding of how people interact physically and emotionally with products, services, and spaces,” to quote Tom Kelly of IDEO.

    Hire cross-pollinators. While anthropologists bring depth of understanding, cross-pollinators enjoy a breadth of knowledge in many fields. Cross-pollinators help tackle issues from different perspectives and specialize in finding solutions in other industries. Let cross-pollinators in your organization give weekly one-hour presentations of “what’s out there.” This will help your team switch cognitive gears and approach problems from a new angle. Cross-pollinators open windows to the world outside the four walls of your organization. Stephen Johnson’s motto is: “Chance favours the connected mind.”

    Document everything. Keep a database of all your personal and collective discoveries, and visit your entries every once in a while. It doesn’t have to be all text; you can arm your anthropologists with video cameras and label the recordings for future reference. Find the easiest way to store and organize the knowledge you collect in a way that suits your organization – you may want to hire a curator.

To conclude, I’d like to quote Tom Kelly again (because he’s awesome): “People who adopt the learning roles are humble enough to question their own worldview, and in doing so they remain open to new insights every day.”

Oubai is a graduate student in Mechanical Engineering at McGill University. He is interested in crowd-driven innovation and multidisciplinary collaborations. His main passion is human-design interaction and the role design plays in shaping society and culture. Oubai is also the cofounder of theArab Development Initiative. You can reach him @obeikurdy.

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