High-Impact Entrepreneurship

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Fifth Annual Endeavor Colombia Conference Brings Together Top Latin American Network Members in Bogotá

The 5th annual Endeavor Colombia Conference took place in Bogotá this month with the theme “A Day to Think Big”, aiming to inspire entrepreneurs and audiences with the high-impact stories of Endeavor’s network and provide a top forum for networking. The […]

October 21st, 2014 — by admin

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StudentUniverse Acquisition of WeHostels, an Endeavor Entrepreneur Company, Highlights the Impact of Endeavor

StudentUniverse recently announced the acquisition of WeHostels, a popular mobile app that enables travelers to book value accommodations around the world. Founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Diego Saez-Gil in 2011, the vision for the company was to revolutionize the travel experience […]

November 20th, 2013 — by admin

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Dell: “Focus on what is important; move the entire desktop to the cloud”

Endeavor is proud to have Dell as one of its leading sponsors. The following post is a reprint from the “Dell in the Clouds” blog focused on the future of cloud computing (@DellintheClouds). Find the original blog post here.

By Janet Diaz

“It’s in the cloud!!” seems to be a buzzword for IT and for good reason. Software and services can be more effectively managed and deployed from a central point, but why stop at a single application or service? Why not move the entire desktop to the cloud? Dell’s Virtual Desktop-as-a-Service, part of the Dell Desktop Virtualization Solutions (DVS) portfolio, does just that. By separating the desktops’ operating system, applications, processing and data storage from the desk-side hardware, IT departments can realize many advantages over a traditional network infrastructure by allowing:

Streamline IT: Operating systems, applications, and the support required to maintain thousands of desktops is a time consuming ordeal. Using Virtual Desktop-as-a-Service, patches and updates to desktops are made once and users can immediately take advantage of the changes at their next login simplifying deployment. As a managed solution, IT departments can outsource the mundane support work to Dell, freeing up resources to work on more strategic or profitable projects.

BYOPC (Bring Your Own PC): It’s expensive and difficult to support multiple operating systems, so what happens when the CEO says one morning “I just got this new tablet, I need to access my email and applications” or what happens when your organization needs independent contractors and they, in turn, need access to your data and applications? Virtual Desktop-as-a-Service makes these requests possible. It truly doesn’t matter if they access the desktop from a PC, a Mac or even a tablet they all get their standardized corporate-approved virtual desktops. Contractors can be quick spun up with a virtual desktop that they can access with their own computer. This also means that you can remove their access to critical data when they are done. Virtual Desktop-as-a-Service gives IT the flexibility to allow users to use the hardware of their choice while maintaining control over the desktop environment.

Security: Dell Data Centers are secure facilities and the hardware used has built-in redundancies. Data is stored on redundant hardware, which includes redundant processing, and has redundant power (a bit redundant, isn’t it!). This also means that if a laptop is stolen or crashes, the data is safe and the user only needs to sign back in from another machine to be productive again.

The future of IT is about empowering the users to be more productive and giving them the tools that work best for them, while maintaining the security and supportability of the applications and data. Dell’s Virtual Desktop-as-a-Service not only meets this need, but by transferring the management to Dell, it allows IT the flexibility to invest their efforts into more strategic endeavors. And it does it all from the cloud.

Got 2 minutes? Watch this video to learn what Virtual Desktop-as-a-Service can do for your organization. We want to hear from you, got questions? comments? Feel free to jump in and continue the conversation.

The road to ‘High-Impact’ entrepreneurship in the Middle East

Reprinted from The Middle East magazine. See the original article here (p. 41).

By Justin Belmont (Director of Communications, Endeavor)

By 2020, an estimated 100 million young people, many of them college-educated, will enter the job market. What kind of opportunities can they expect? How can the region guarantee there will be enough high-quality jobs to go around? What is the best long-term solution to ensure sustainable economic development? These are some of the same questions our global non-profit organisation, Endeavor, encountered 14 years ago in Latin America. And we found the answer has a lot to do with three words: High-Impact Entrepreneurship.

High-Impact Entrepreneurs are visionaries whose businesses have the potential to scale significantly, both in terms of job creation and revenue growth. Historically, in most economies, it is only a small number of high-impact, high-growth entrepreneurs that create the vast maprity of new jobs. This reality has been supported by the World Economic Forum in their recent report on worldwide entrepreneurship, authored by Stanford University Professor George Foster. The report found that the top 1% of companies from among 380,000 companies reviewed across 10 countries contribute 44% of total revenue and 40% of total jobs, while the top 5% contribute 72% of total revenue and 67% of total jobs.

When it comes to developing an entrepreneurial eco-system in the Middle East, much attention has been placed on the role of investment. Indeed, the availability of ‘smart capital’ for entrepreneurs is an important facet. Further, it is encouraging that many new regional funds are being established to provide much-needed capital to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

At the same time, Endeavor has learned over 14 years that capital alone is not the answer, When we started Endeavor in Latin America in the late 1990s, we noticed that entrepreneurs lacked three key components: access to mentors; access to networks; and access to role models.

Access to schools of entrepreneurship such as the celebrated Carnagie Mellon contribute to the development of rounded individuals.

Ciceksepeti announces minority investment by Amazon

The following is a press release announcing Amazon.com’s first investment in Turkey – in Ciceksepeti.com, a company founded by Endeavor entrepreneur Emre Aydın. Endeavor facilitated an introduction between the companies starting last May at the Endeavor International Selection Panel in London, where Emre was selected.

ISTANBUL – December 20, 2011 – Ciceksepeti (www.ciceksepeti.com), the leading flower and gifting-based e-commerce company in Turkey today announced that Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) has signed an agreement to make a minority investment in Ciceksepeti, subject to customary regulatory approvals in Turkey.

“The Ciceksepeti management team has built an innovative e-commerce company in Turkey, and we’re delighted to be supporting the company as it continues to grow,” said Greg Greeley, vice president of Amazon European Retail. “Ciceksepeti shares Amazon’s focus on offering great prices, selection and convenience as it brings flowers and other gifts to its customers across Turkey.”

Founded by Emre Aydin, Ciceksepeti is a premier online destination in Turkey for delivering flowers and other gifts to customers nationwide, including same-day deliveries in most metropolitan cities. The company offers customers a wide selection of flowers, gourmet gift baskets, jewelry, and other products for every important occasion in the lives of people that matter to them.

“I am delighted to have Amazon on board as an investor as we enter our next phase of rapid growth,” said Emre Aydin, founder/CEO of Ciceksepeti. “Ciceksepeti is committed to staying focused on providing the high level of quality that Turkish consumers have come to expect when orderingflowers, gourmet products, and other gifts for the important people in their lives.”

Terms of the investment were not disclosed.

About Ciceksepeti.com

CicekSepeti is one of Turkey’s leading online flower retailers and an emerging leader in related gift giving categories, such as candy and jewelry. CicekSepeti prides itself in consistently deliveringquality products and services at competitive prices. The company offers same day delivery in all ofTurkey through 150 contracted florists and 24×7 customer support.

CicekSepeti expects to double its revenues from last year. In the summer of 2011 the companystarted CicekSepeti Gurme for the confection and sales of candy, chocolates and cakes, which can be sent as a gift in similar occasions as flowers. More recently the company also started to offer jewelryonline and is planning to launch experiential gifts early 2012.

Ciceksepeti.com was first launched in 2006 by Emre Aydin, CEO, who remains the majorityshareholder. Hummingbird Ventures invested in CicekSepeti in January 2011. Headquartered inIstanbul, CicekSepeti currently employs 160 people.

10 best management books for small business owners (according to Small Business Trends)

Reprinted with permission from Smallbiztrends.com. See the original post here.

By Ivana Taylor

Running a small business requires a combination of both leadership and management skills. While leadership and management come easily for some business owners, many find that reading management books helps keeps them informed and current with today’s best management practices.

With thousands of books to choose from, it can be frustrating and overwhelming deciding on what to read. That’s why Small Business Trends has put together this list of top 10 best management books every small business owner should read. (Listed in no particular order.)

1. “Consider: Harnessing the Power of Reflective Thinking in Your Organization” by Daniel Patrick Forrester.

In today’s on-demand, always-on world, it seems counter-intuitive to take a moment and consider your next decision. Daniel Patrick Forrester interviews leaders in high-stakes and high-risk circumstances who have mastered the art of taking time out to think and process their options before rushing into a decision.

Small business owners will appreciate the many examples and techniques used by great leaders and managers of critical projects to calm themselves down, collect the information that they need and then communicate their decisions and actions clearly.

Read our review of “Consider”

2. “No Jerks on the Job: Who They Are, The Harm They Do and Ridding Them from Your Workplace” by Ron Newton

There isn’t a workplace around that doesn’t claim its share of jerks. In fact, working with difficult people is one of the most popular management books topics around, In the book No Jerks on the Job, Ron Newton explains where jerks come from and he gives solutions for dealing with jerks; create a transparent environment, embody your values and huddle up to solve problems.

The biggest benefit that any businessperson can get from this book is being able to identify jerky behavior and not feed into it or make it worse.

Read our review of “No Jerks on the Job


10 misperceptions about venture capital

Reprinted from thisisgoingtobebig.com. See the original post here.

By Charlie O’Donnell

1) You need it. Not every company raises venture capital—most don’t. Not raising gives you flexibility about the market size you want to go after, speed of growth, and de-risks your plan—because once you start spending someone else’s money, the clock starts ticking on your “out of cash” date. Slow and steady isn’t a bad thing.

2) Only 22 year old hacker dudes get funding. Before this remark generates too much controversy, let’s be clear: It is absolutely true that a huge percentage of startup teams are young, technical white dudes. That’s different than saying only young, technical white dudes get money. In large part, that is a result of who pitches to VCs, not surprisingly. We can debate how to get a more diverse stream of people in the top of the funding funnel for sure, but the fact is that VCs just want to make money. We’re kind of predictable that way. If you have a clear plan for making a lot of money—and some proof points that you’re on the right track to doing it—I don’t think you’ll be short of investors willing to work with you, no matter who you are. In my own case, of the 7 deals I’ve sourced and/or led at First Round, the profiles of the founders look like this:

  • Married, non-technical female, mid-30s, mom, white
  • Single, non-developer (knows how the tech works, though) male w/outsourced offshore tech team, 30’s, dad, white
  • Two single non-technical guys, late 20’s, white
  • Two technical mid 30s guys, one is a dad, white
  • Non-technical, mid 30’s dad, white
  • Non-technical single guy around 30, white
  • Early 20’s technical + non technical single founders, white
  • So, while it’s not a huge statistical sample, we’ve got less than 30% in their 20’s, 14% women, over 50% parents. Young, sure, but not early 20s…and that’s a lot of kids. A bit white, though…


What being an advisor to 17 companies taught me

Reprinted from www.quicksprout.com. See the original post here.

By Neil Patel

To this date I have been an advisor to 17 companies. 16 of these advisory positions were obtained 3 to 5 years ago and I joined 1 more in the last year. Over time I dropped a decent amount of these advisory positions, but before I get into that, let me first explain what being an “advisor” is.

Companies can grant stock options to individuals who aren’t employees. The stock options usually vest over a period of 3 or 4 years and in exchange for the stock you have to help the company out with whatever they need.

If the company does well, the stock options will be worth a lot and you will have made more money in the long run than if you just asked for cash up front for your advice. On the flip side if the company fails, your stock is worth 0 dollars and you don’t get anything for your time.

In my case companies would ask me for marketing help and instead of paying me in cash for my advice they would offer me stock options. By doing this 17 times, here is what I learned:

Cash is king

Out of all of the companies I agreed to be an advisor for, 3 or 4 are failing, 8 to 10 are doing alright, and a few are doing extremely well. But even then, the money that I will earn from all of my stock grants will probably only make me somewhere in the 7 figures, but if I had charged my normal consulting fee, I would have made a lot more money.

Now granted, each company wouldn’t be able to afford my consulting rates and as a consultant I would have to put in much more time compared to being an advisor, but none-the-less I would have came ahead if I just charged a consulting fee.


Why building an entrepreneurial culture extends beyond business creation alone

Reprinted from www.wamda.com. See the original post here.

By Nafez Dakkak

There has been a lot of talk recently, both globally and regionally, about the importance of creating an entrepreneurial culture, and the role such a culture can play in an economic recovery. Calling for an “entrepreneurial revolution” should definitely be one of the priorities of the world today; however, we need to make sure we do not define entrepreneurship too narrowly. In its essence entrepreneurship is about a proactive mindset that encourages ownership of surrounding problems in society, sees them as opportunities, and embraces the risks and failures involved in finding a solution.

In most cases, discussions about creating an entrepreneurial culture focus exclusively on endeavors to establish a business-centric ecosystem of workers and employees. Yet entrepreneurs are daredevils and business owners who are not found in our everyday environments. I believe an emphasis only on business is too narrow and can be very detrimental in the long run.

With the highest youth unemployment rate globally, job creation should definitely be a key priority for MENA economies. Nevertheless, a narrow focus on job creation alone misses a great opportunity to radically improve the region’s future. Governments and other entities working on establishing an entrepreneurial culture should not overlook the importance of creating a proactive and entrepreneurial citizenry outside the workplace.

In the new Middle East, we must not forsake any of the potential positive change an entrepreneurial revolution can bring. We must see entrepreneurship through a larger and more holistic lens. An entrepreneurial revolution must encompass all members of society in their different capacities and describe a culture that takes ownership of its problems and thinks critically and creatively of solutions – even if these solutions are outside of a business framework and don’t result in the creation of actual companies. Under this framework, the teacher that employs technology in the classroom to engage his students is an entrepreneur whether he fails or succeeds. Similarly, the company CEO who takes time after work to raise awareness about important local issues is an entrepreneur, whether she succeeds in solving the lack of information problem or not.

Entrepreneurship has the chance to play a central role in moving the Middle East forward and creating a more engaged and active civil society. Its rise presents the chance to create a culture that values and practices lifelong learning and takes direct ownership of all its problems. The promotion of such a society can only lead to a better environment for nurturing companies and start-ups. Existing and future companies will exist in a region where the general population is entrepreneurial by nature and no longer sees problems as obstacles but as opportunities for positive change and improvement.

In an opinion piece for CNN, Marwan Muasher stated that “[w]hat has taken place in the Arab world is the start of a genuine and permanent process of change where the average citizen suddenly discovered real power.” Moving forward, governments in the region and others working on creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem should leverage this change to empower citizens to become entrepreneurs that find organic and culturally sensitive solutions to the problems facing us today.

Nafez is a recent Yale Alum who majored in Economics and International Studies. Nafez wrote his Yale thesis on Obstacles towards curriculum reform in Jordan and the UAE. He is currently a consultant for PricewaterhouseCooper’s Education Team based in Dubai. He is interested in Education Reform, MENA politics, social entrepreneurship, and tech start-ups and is a firm believer in the power of gamfication. His main passion is the intersection between technology and education entrepreneurship.

Mentors: an essential engine for growth

Reprinted from informationarbitrage.com. See the original post here.

By Roger Ehrenberg

As I’ve gotten older I’ve become increasingly reflective on the seemingly random twists and turns in my life. Most of this consideration has gone towards my professional life, as I was blessed with meeting my life partner in college and, therefore, my personal life has largely been “up and to the right” since meeting the person of my dreams. But oh, that career… As I’ve thought deeply about exactly how I arrived at my current circumstance, there is a common element that has influenced each twist and turn I’ve taken: trusted mentors. While there is no doubt that I’ve done the work, taken the risks and pushed myself to the brink, it would be both disingenuous and inaccurate to say that I’ve done it completely on my own: I’ve been influenced by many great people who have, and continue to have, a marked impact on my thought process and decision-making. It actually boggles my mind to think about the generosity and helpfulness provided by these individuals, whether advice and counsel on a specific issue, hugely valuable contacts they’ve made or just a kick in the ass to say “keep it up,” they’ve without question had a material and positive impact on my outcomes (for which I feel incredibly fortunate). So, this message is both a call to action to the ambitious, curious and those hungry for guidance and a shout out to mentors everywhere who have positively impacted the destinies of their acolytes: because you rock. And I regularly try and give back in this same way, as I know the power of the mentor role and how beneficial it can be for the right person thirsting for such coaching and empowerment.


The recession’s silver lining

Reprinted with permission from Smallbiztrends.com. See the original post here.

By Rohit Arora

Did the recession ever really end? Technically, we are in a recovery, but there is little growth in the economy, employment and wages are stagnant, home prices and consumer confidence both continue to drop, and retail sales are down. The immediate future doesn’t look bright. However, the bright side is that now may the best time for people with the entrepreneurial itch to scratch it and go into business for themselves.

How can I advise starting a business when things seem so uncertain and credit markets are thought to be tight? There are several reasons:

1) Job Growth Is Almost Nonexistent

Washington’s stimulus efforts haven’t worked. Meanwhile, corporations have reduced their workforces, gotten increased productivity out of their remaining workers, and felt no need to hire when times got better. The result: higher corporate earnings but few new jobs. Those who have been out of work for six months or more now realize that the government and big companies are not going to create jobs for them.

The answer is to create your own employment. If you have ever dreamed about starting your own company, now is the time to take the bull by the horns (or the bear by its tail) and go for it.

2) Low-Cost Capital Is Available

With housing sales down, banks are not making money from granting mortgages, yet financial institutions cannot generate profits without making loans. While the largest banks have other sources of income and strict lending criteria, smaller banks and nonbank lenders (credit unions, nonprofit institutions and others) have less stringent requirements and are more likely to lend to entrepreneurs.

These lenders may not be as well known as the big guys, but they are making loans — often at better interest rates than the large banks are able to offer. While some experts are saying that capital markets are too tight, the reality is there are lots of lenders out there looking to make loans. Do not be discouraged.

3) Technology Makes It Easier to Go Into Business Than Ever Before

All aspects of starting a business are easier now than ever before because of technology:

– Searching for funding? You can find it online through a loan-matching website.

– Don’t know how to keep your books? You can search the Internet for a CPA or hire a free lance, part-time CFO through Elance.com, which helps thousands of businesses hire and manage online. The site enables companies to find and hire qualified professionals without having to take on full-time employees.

– Need help with your marketing? Conduct a Google search to find a local PR or marketing firm (they are all hungry right now) or take matters into your own hands by using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other forms of social media. You don’t need a journalism degree or marketing MBA to take advantage of the free resources on the Internet that can help you promote your business.

4) America Has a Heritage of Entrepreneurship

Small business growth has historically led the U.S. out of past recessions. This is likely to be the case again during the current downturn. Small businesses create two-thirds of the new jobs in this country. Creating an atmosphere to nurture and develop startup companies is vital to America’s recovery.

Whether or not the country is still in a recession is a topic for debate. But our instincts tell us the economy is not great right now. This is an opportunity to take the risk and pursue the American Dream. I know this because I started my company just as Lehman Brothers collapsed. It was difficult, but we came out stronger for it.

Success isn’t going to come to you; you must go after it yourself. Fortunately, there are plenty of people and resources available — often easily accessed online — to help you do it.

Image from Peter Baxter/Shutterstock

A frequently quoted expert on small business lending and recently named the “Top Entrepreneur of 2011” by Crain’s New York Business, Rohit Arora is CEO of Biz2Credit, which connects small business owners with 400 lenders, credit rating agencies and service providers. Since 2007, Biz2Credit has secured $400 million in funding for small businesses across the U.S. via its safe, efficient online platform.

Financing Latin America’s entrepreneurs

Reprinted from www.latinbusinesschronicle.com. See the original post here.

By Jerry Haar

Venture capital is a driver of entrepreneurship in Latin America.

Venture capital (VC) is one of the most challenging yet promising arenas of finance in the Americas today. While much attention has centered on the U.S. venture capital market, in the wake of the 2008-2010 financial downturn in that country, Latin America is emerging as the next frontier for entrepreneurial funding.

Funding for Private Equity (PE) and VC deals in Latin America more than doubled from 2009 to 2010, topping $8.1 billion. As for the first half of 2011, LAVCA (Latin American Venture Capital Association) reports nearly $7.5 billion in fundraising and investments—impressive performance by any measure. Nonetheless, VC represents only a tiny portion of the PE/VC category in Latin America. Compared with the United States, VC comprises 25 percent of total VC/PE commitments; in Latin America, it is just 5 percent. In 2010, the average PE deal size in the region increased significantly. Deals valued at $100 million and over jumped 100 percent from the previous year. Clearly there is a lot of room for growth in mid-market deals.

The average deal size also increased to about $41 million last year from roughly $19 million in 2009. It can be that private equity investors are beginning to perceive the long-term benefits of investing in Latin America which makes prices go up; or it can also be that capital flows are inflating the local market.

The 2011 edition of the Scorecard on the Private Equity and Venture Capital Environment in Latin America reflects a stable regulatory environment in which the top ranking countries are Chile, Brazil, and Mexico. In the past, Latin American businesses traditionally have been starved for capital, with bank credit tight and shallow public markets. Access to debt financing was just beginning to expand when the credit crisis first hit in 2007. Today, despite macroeconomic turbulence in Europe and the anemic recovery in the U.S., global investors are expanding their presence in major Latin American economies, amidst an increasing awareness of the importance of private equity and venture capital in local markets. At the same time, fund managers have actively engaged regulators on industry-specific rules and regulations. A fundamental distinction between developed world private equity and those that are increasing in Latin America is the relative lack of leverage in Latin American deals.


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