High-Impact Entrepreneurship

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Endeavor Insight Spotlights Scaleup Ecosystems in Bangladesh and Uganda

As part of a series of reports focused on scaleup ecosystems worldwide, Endeavor Insight has analyzed the impact of scaleup companies on the economies of two emerging markets: Bangladesh and Uganda. Entitled “The Critical 5 Percent” (Bangladesh) and “The […]

March 24th, 2015 — by admin

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Endeavor Greece Research Spotlights Local Entrepreneurship Scene; Featured in The New York Times and BloombergTV

Endeavor Greece recently released findings in an infographic highlighting  the nation’s burgeoning entrepreneurship scene, the rise in local startups, and the influx of both domestic and foreign investment capital. With ventures in the ICT sector dominating, […]

March 25th, 2014 — by admin

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Endeavor mourns the loss of an invaluable mentor

Alexis with wife Marcela

Endeavor pays its respects to Alexis Rovzar, a member of the Endeavor Mexico board who passed away this month. In his work as a committed philanthropist both in Mexico and the United States, Alexis amassed a loyal following of international peers and colleagues who have described him as a wonderful friend. Endeavor Mexico received pro bono help during its formative years by Alexis through White & Case, the law firm to which Alexis dedicated his services for most of his professional career.

Along with serving on the Boards of numerous other academic and philanthropic institutions, Alexis served as Secretary of the Board of Endeavor Mexico for 10 years, actively engaging as a mentor and counselor throughout that time. With 100% of its Entrepreneurs participating in the Give-Back Program in 2011, and a new program to promote small- and medium-sized enterprise listings on the Mexican Stock Exchange, Endeavor Mexico makes a promising bid to continue Alexis’s legacy of generosity and humanitarian enterprise. Alexis will be truly missed.

Endeavor company Aorta acquired by .Mobi

Translated from the announcement on Valor.com.br.

.Mobi, a company controlled by the RBS Group (one of the largest media groups in Brazil), has acquired Endeavor-supported firm Aorta, run by Endeavor Entrepreneurs Patrick Lisbona, Antonio Carlos Soares, and Gustavo Ziller.

The acquisition makes .Mobi the largest mobile marketing company in Brazil. The .Mobi group has an increase in revenue of 45% to 50% with the acquisition, reaching a value of up to $35 million reais (~US $17M). The group will also increase the number of employees from 170 to 270 professionals. Aorta has a portfolio of approximately 50 major brands with presence in the country and has produced more than 100 applications, with 2 million downloads in the last year.

“The group’s intention is to become the largest segment in Latin America,” said Gustavo, Aorta’s managing director and partner. According to Gustavo, the Brazilian market for mobile marketing is growing rapidly and is already attracting major international companies operating in the sector. The acquisition of Aorta will allow .Mobi to be more competitive. It is estimated that the market for mobile marketing will double in 2012 from R $1.8 billion to R $3.6 billion.

Antonio, CEO and partner of Aorta, said the deal was made in the last seven months. The company’s board and members will stay; he and Patrick will leave to invest in other companies.

.Mobi was founded in 2007 and since 2008 has joined the RBS Group’s multimedia platform. In addition to .Mobi and Aorta, other companies in the group include fingertips, MonsterJuice, Minucom, DP7, Redemobi, Finggers, and Mobile Hands. The Group .Mobi has offices in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Porto Alegre, Recife, Curitiba, Belo Horizonte and London.

Attention MBA students: become an eMBA intern this summer!

The 2012 eMBA job board is now open! If you are an MBA student interested in working with an Endeavor Entrepreneur this summer, please CLICK HERE browse our first batch of project offerings, and apply to the ones that interest you.

We advise you to first register and upload your resume (no cover letter needed) and then apply to projects (no need to upload your resume again, but please do include a cover letter).


About the eMBA Program

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 three primary areas of focus for the eMBA projects are strategy, operations, and financing. Typically 30 – 35 MBAs are placed on the ground each summer.

Thus far, over 300 MBA students have been placed with entrepreneurs in all of Endeavor’s country locations after a highly competitive application process. Endeavor ranks among the top 2% of recruiters at Harvard Business School & Stanford, and recruits from other leading schools including MIT-Sloan, Wharton, Columbia, Kellogg, Yale SOM, and INSEAD.

Click here to see an Endeavor Entrepreneur describing the impact of an eMBA on his company in South Africa.

You may also browse a selection of eMBA blog posts written by last year’s alumni on our Voices from the Field page.

To learn more about the eMBA Program, please contact us at emba@endeavor.org.

Seth Godin: The trap of social media noise

Reprinted from sethgodin.typepad.com. See the original post here.

If we put a number on it, people will try to make the number go up.

Now that everyone is a marketer, many people are looking for a louder megaphone, a chance to talk about their work, their career, their product… and social media looks like the ideal soapbox, a free opportunity to shout to the masses.

But first, we’re told to make that number go up. Increase the number of fans, friends and followers, so your shouts will be heard. The problem of course is that more noise is not better noise.

In Corey’s words, the conventional, broken wisdom is:

– Follow a ton of people to get people to follow back
– Focus on the # of followers, not the interests of followers or your relationship with them.
– Pump links through the social platform (take your pick, or do them all!)
– Offer nothing of value, and no context. This is a megaphone, not a telephone.
– Think you’re winning, because you’re playing video games (highest follower count wins!)

This looks like winning (the numbers are going up!), but it’s actually a double-edged form of losing. First, you’re polluting a powerful space, turning signals into noise and bringing down the level of discourse for everyone. And second, you’re wasting your time when you could be building a tribe instead, could be earning permission, could be creating a channel where your voice is actually welcomed.

Leadership (even idea leadership) scares many people, because it requires you to own your words, to do work that matters. The alternative is to be a junk dealer.

The game theory pushes us into one of two directions: either be better at pump and dump than anyone else, get your numbers into the millions, outmass those that choose to use mass and always dance at the edge of spam (in which the number of those you offend or turn off forever keep increasing), or

Relentlessly focus. Prune your message and your list and build a reputation that’s worth owning and an audience that cares.

Only one of these strategies builds an asset of value.

8 tips for successful online marketing

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

By Esraa Haidar

The online world can be tough to navigate sometimes, especially if you are trying to sell or market a product or service. There are so many websites, tools and strategies out there that promise you customers and sales contracts. Sometimes they work, but the truth is, there’s more to online marketing than simply having a Facebook page and creating some Google Ads.

Online marketing at its core is about creating great brand recognition, so that even if a customer doesn’t make a purchase in a given moment, they are well aware that your products exist. For a marketer, that is often more than enough. To build brand awareness, here are a few tips:

- Online = Offline. Just because it is online does not mean we forget the basics of marketing. We still have to know who our target audience is, where are they located ( in this case which websites are they on), what their preferences are, and so on.

- Your website is your hub. With the burst of social media sites, some startups might find it satisfactory to have a Facebook page alone. But how much information can you really put on a Facebook page? Be sure to invest in creating a useful website that clearly showcases your products and services and your portfolio of clients as you grow.

- Create your image. Make sure you have a consistent image online and the way to do that is to make sure what you have on your website is consistent with your Facebook page. And keep your information current, both on your company page and personal pages. You don’t want people searching for you online and thinking that you are still employed for your ex-employer just because you forgot to update your LinkedIn account.

- Social media should be social. In order to truly engage in online marketing you need to engage with your customers through social media sites. Ask them how the food was, or what they thought of that sweater they bought. Engaging your customers online requires time, monitoring, and incentives, so make sure you have these three components. There is no use in having 10,000 fans on Facebook if none of them are interacting on the page.

- Create your own content. People love images, interesting information and something that is not copied because they probably saw it somewhere else. Get creative, because in the online world everyone’s attention span is generally far less than in the real world.

- Monitor. Keep your eyes open because you don’t know when someone might decide to say something about your product or service and you’ll need to make sure you are there to respond, whether it’s negative or positive. People like to feel pampered, especially online, so if someone says something nice, about your restaurant for instance, you should at least say thank you. Monitoring also helps you know how successful your campaigns were, so that you can improve them next time.

- Experiment. Marketing is not a quick fix or one-size-fits-all solution. Even if Facebook Ads gave your competitors great results, they might not work for you, so make sure you have researched the marketing tools you are going to use and don’t spend all of your marketing budget in one place at once. What might work today might change tomorrow since the pace of the online world is so fast. Your customers might be all on Facebook today but suddenly decide to have Google + accounts. You want to be ready for this.

- Stay up to date. Online marketing requires that you know what is going on not only in your industry but in other industries as well, such as what the hottest websites are, whether there is a new online phonebook directory in which you should register, or a new social media platform or service you should sign up for.

Generally, online marketing is similar to greeting your customer when they enter your store. You want to give a pleasant smile and introduce yourself, but you do not want to bombard them with questions and follow them around; you want to leave a good impression even if they don’t make a purchase. Marketing has transformed over the years and we as entrepreneurs need to remember that with this online revolution we can no longer rely on brochures and billboards. Word of mouth has become the “ word of the web,” and customers are creating our marketing strategies without us realizing it. We must learn to adapt and accept the fact that online marketing is going to be a new phrase on our yearly budgets.

Esraa currently owns and manages Consult-E Marketing, which provides companies with innovative marketing solutions throughout Lebanon. She is passionate about making change in people’s lives, and established Consult-E because she wanted to help small companies succeed. Esraa is part of various entrepreneurial organizations in Lebanon, including Bader, the MIT Enterprise Forum, and Cisco Entrepreneur Institute in Lebanon. She was also a finalist in the MIT Arab Business Plan Competition in 2010, and recently received mentorship from the Mowgli Foundation.

Getting the Arab youth into employment

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

By Tom Speechley

Throughout 2011, youth from across the Arab world have occupied streets, squares and other public places to protest a lack of inclusion, a lack of dignity and a lack of social justice. The most cited cause uniting the protesters is a desire for inclusion in the process of governance, primarily as a means to address these concerns.

But underlying this cause is the lack of inclusion in the economy. Unemployment is the biggest security threat facing the Arab World today. In some Arab countries, the proportion of those under the age of 26 and out of work is as high as 25%, one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the world. The economic loss arising from youth unemployment exceeds $40–50 billion annually across the Arab world, equivalent to the GDP of countries such as Tunisia or Lebanon.

Although this may seem bad enough, the real issue facing the region is that the future looks much bleaker. Taking the United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) assessment in 2009 that 51 million new jobs must be created by the end of 2020 merely to stand still on unemployment, at face value, we see that the Arab countries must, in effect, increase the number of employment positions in the region by around 50% over the 10 years to 2020.

Looked at another way, from the same UNDP report, we would need to grow our economies at an annual rate of 7.6%, to generate the requisite employment opportunities. This, just for unemployment not to get worse. And indeed our economies are growing at much lower rates these days. For countries without large fiscal surpluses, that is both a massive challenge and an even more massive liability if they fall short. For countries with significant fiscal surpluses there will be no real escape in the final analysis. The cost will inevitably need to be passed on and the cost will be huge. The entire Arab world faces being engulfed by the impact of rapidly rising unemployment.

How to avoid these scenarios and create the necessary economic and employment growth? Investment and related reform is the only solution. Investment is required in infrastructure, in education and directly into private sector enterprise. It is estimated from studies in the U.S. that every billion dollars of investment in infrastructure can create 18,000 direct and downstream jobs. Investment in ports, airports, financial centers and industrial zones are good examples.

Yet faced with the magnitude and urgency of the task, infrastructure investing is but a relatively small part of the solution. Nor is employment by the state going to provide a solution. Put simply, there aren’t any more jobs to give out and what more jobs can be manufactured will not be sustainable in the long term. Employment on a mass scale needs to be delivered by sustainable private sector economic growth and for that we need to invest heavily in the private sector and educate our youth to be able to fill the private sector jobs that are then generated.


New Year’s greeting from Endeavor’s CEO and President

As we begin a new year, we wanted to reflect on some of Endeavor’s milestones in 2011 and share our excitement for the year ahead.

We couldn’t be prouder of our Endeavor Entrepreneurs (656 and growing!). Last year, their companies generated an estimated $4.5 billion in revenues, and they’ve created 150,000 jobs. Beyond that, they continue to be stellar role models for the next generation of innovators. Check out more top metrics here; and be sure to download our 2011 Impact Report [PDF].

Endeavor now has offices in 15 countries, including newly launched operations in Lebanon, Indonesia, and soon Saudi Arabia. And with expansion teams scoping Morocco, Malaysia, Poland, and Greece, we’re getting closer to our audacious goal of 25 countries by 2015.

Even as we grow, Endeavor remains a family—from our entrepreneurs to boards, from our VentureCorps to our supporters. Last year, our global network of 2,500+ business leaders and MBAs volunteered 37,000 hours of mentoring. And we’re grateful to have launched or renewed partnerships with top-notch organizations: Abraaj Capital, Bain & Company, Barclays Capital, Dell, Ernst & Young, JP Morgan, Omidyar Network, SAP and Zennström Philanthropies.

Last year we started focusing on how to expand our reach and our services. With the remarkable help of a team of Bain consultants, we have built a strategy we’re calling “Endeavor 3.0.” Propelled by our incredible 200-person worldwide team, we’re making improvements to enhance and standardize the “Endeavor Experience” that entrepreneurs have from the moment they enter the network.

A key part of Endeavor 3.0 is sustainability. We are harmonizing our entrepreneur give-back programs worldwide to help affiliates continue to find the next generation of great entrepreneurs and provide them with exceptional services. At the same time, we launched a revolutionary new program called Endeavor Catalyst, a high-impact vehicle that uses donated capital to allow us to co-invest in our entrepreneurs—in a neutral, unbiased way. When these investments produce returns, proceeds will go both to support Endeavor’s operations and back into Catalyst. We’re thrilled to have pre-raised $6 million from our founding “Entrepreneurs’ Circle”—Edgar Bronfman, Jr., Reid Hoffman, Michael Cline, Mike Ahearn, Arif Naqvi, and Pierre Omidyar.

In addition to donating, we hope you’ll also stay engaged via our website and ever-popular blog, and by connecting on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Together, let’s make 2012 a truly high-impact year!

Best wishes,
Linda and Fernando

Linda Rottenberg
Co-founder and CEO, Endeavor

Fernando Fabre
President, Endeavor

2011 Endeavor highlights from around the world!

In 2011, Endeavor Entrepreneurs around the world saw the fruits of their labors materialize in the form of increased growth, new facilities, awards for entrepreneurship, and productive relationships with Endeavor mentors and partners. Check out our Impact Report for a detailed look at our highlights, or click here for top metrics.

The following are just a few “top stories” from Endeavor’s offices around the world in 2011. While by no means a complete picture, they provide a glimpse into some of our most recent milestones. Be sure to visit the respective country homepages and the Endeavor blog for more insights and highlights!


– AlaMaula, led by Endeavor Entrepreneur Diego Noriega, is acquired by eBay
– SocialMetrix, run by Endeavor Entrepreneurs Martin Enriquez, Juan Manuel Damia, and Gustavo Arjones attracts the first equity investment of DMGT in Argentina
– Endeavor companies expand internally, including Conexia in Colombia, SocialMetrix in Mexico, Lenor in Colombia, Technisys in Chile, Promored in Peru and Uruguay, Keepcon in Brazil, and Smowtion in the U.S.
Globant acquires U.S. company Nextive
Medix and Maqtec open new production facilities


– Entrepreneurs donate $700,000 through Give-Back Program
– Educational programs run in 26 of Brazil’s top universities, involving more than 400 professors in almost every state of the country, training 2,000 students in the first year
– Workshops and summits engage 7,000+ total participants and drives over 1 million unique visitors to Endeavor Brazil website
– First official paper about high-impact entrepreneurs in Brazil is written in partnership with IBGE, Brazil’s national statistics office
– Endeavor Brazil publishes first national research study about Brazilian entrepreneurship education
– Endeavor Brazil launches new regional satellite offices
– During the annual Global Entrepreneurship Week, Endeavor Brazil reaches 3 million participants and works with 500 partners, winning two global awards in the last three years


Under30CEO best entrepreneur interviews of 2011

Reprinted from under30ceo.com. See original post here.

Over the past year we have had the chance to talk with some of the most successful and interesting entrepreneurs. Every time we are blown away by the new things we learn and the amazing stories behind their success. Below is a small recap of some of the best and most viewed entrepreneur interviews from 2011.

1. Seth Godin – Seth Godin Interview: The Riskiest Thing We Can Do Right Now is Nothing

2. Tim Sanders – Stop Waiting and Start Making Decisions Now with Tim Sanders

3. Barbara Corcoran – Interview with Barbara Corcoran on Starting, Scaling and Investing in Businesses

4. Sharon Lechter – How Sharon Lechter’s Marketing Genius Sold Over 27 Million Books

5. Eric Ries – How and Why The Lean Startup is Becoming the Standard for Hockey Stick Growth

6. Catherine Cook – 32 Million Users and Growing – Catherine Cook founder of myYearbook.com

7. Lauren Bush – Interview: How Lauren Bush is Tackling World Hunger with FEED Projects

8. Chris Russo – How to Conquer the Online Media World with Chris Russo of Big Lead Sports

9. Kyle Smitley – Not Taking No For an Answer: Kyle Smitley Founder of Barley & Birch

10. Amos Winbush III – Rockstar Lifestyle to Hot Tech Startup: Amos Winbush III of CyberSynchs

Check out all of our entrepreneur interviews

280 must-read books for entrepreneurs, according to under30ceo.com

Reprinted from Under30ceo.com. See the original post here.

By Matt Wilson

This is a list of the top business books of all time, in no particular order. At Under30CEO we are firm believers that the secrets to success can be learned from others who have been successful before. Many of these authors have spent a lifetime learning the lessons in these books the hard way. Luckily for us, their wealth of knowledge is presented in the books below. There are no excuses–get reading…and please let us know what you think should have made the list in the comments!

1. The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur by Mike Micalowicz

2. ReWork by Jason Fried, David Heinemeier Hansson

3. Entreleadership by Dave Ramsey

4. The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World by David Kirkpatrick

5. The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

6. The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World by Chris Guillebeau

7. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries & Jack Trout

8. Getting Everything You Can Out of All You’ve Got by Jay Abraham

9. The Parable of the Pipeline: How Anyone Can Build a Pipeline of Ongoing Residual Income in the New Economy by Burke Hedges

10. The Fifth Discipline: The Art & Practice of the Learning Organization by Peter M. Senge


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