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Mexico’s Travesias Media Selected By Banamex to Publish Corporate Magazines

Mexico’s Travesias Media, founded by entrepreneur Javier Arredondo, announced that it was selected by Grupo Financiero Banamex, one of the largest banking operations in Mexico, to publish the group’s corporate magazines. Travesias has evolved to become a […]

January 30th, 2015 — by admin

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Saudi Arabian Entrepreneurs Featured on Forbes List of Inspirational Leaders

Forbes Middle East, the regional outlet for Forbes business and finance news, recently released a ranking of Saudi Arabia’s top movers and shakers. Four Endeavor Entrepreneurs made the the list of sixty for their work as […]

January 21st, 2014 — by admin

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Three quick entrepreneurial sales lessons

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

By Daniel Tenner

Daniel is the founder of several companies including GrantTree. He blogs about startups and founders at Swombat.com. You can also find him on Twitter.

1. “Every no gets you closer to a yes.”

Permeating the human science (or art) of sales is this fundamental idea: sales fail all the time.

One of the hardest things for me to get used to, as a geek/artist/writer in business, is the constant disappointment of sales. The harsh reality, however, is that many leads will not turn into clients, no matter how exciting they might seem at first. And yet each lead must be given attention, enthusiasm, dedication, and so on, if it is to have any chance at all of turning into a sale.

Some people are very good at working on 50 new deals a week knowing that 45 will fall through. They deeply, personally understand that every no gets you closer to a yes, and yet don’t let it distract them from pursuing every answer with tenacity, ferocity even. We call them salespeople, and many people look down on them, but those people often make the difference between a business and yet another failed startup.

Competent salespeople, particularly those with an entrepreneurial attitude and the ability to work things out as they go along, are rare and precious. Treasure them.

2. “It’s not over until the fat lady sings.”

However, even if you’re not a salesperson, you will have to pursue and close deals. Deals, like sales, fail all the time. Never ever make critical decisions that depend on a deal happening (be it a grant application, an investment, a merger, or even just a new customer), until the money is in the bank. Even happily signed contracts are no guarantee that the money will actually change hands some day. The only thing you know for sure when you hold a signed contract in your hands is that the other person knows how to use a pen.

As an extreme example, one potential GrantTree customer we were talking to, at one point, asked us, “so, if you’re going to write this application for us, can I take on some loans right now on the basis of this grant?” That is almost exactly the wrong attitude when dealing with any kind of deal that’s not certain, and as we’ve already established, no deal is ever certain until the money is in your bank account.

Never base future expenses or commitments on money that’s not in the bank yet, even if it’s owed to you, even if you have an apparently ironclad contract. Any number of things can happen between now and then that can change that certitude into a painful (hopefully not fatal) disappointment.

3. “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.”

Another truism of sales, which emerges from the high failure rate of any deliberate sales endeavour, is that customers that you already have on your books are worth much more than potential leads.

This is actually something many (though not all) salespeople fail at, because of the natural focus of sales around getting more leads and converting them. However, as a business owner, you can’t afford to make that mistake. It’s very tempting, when chasing a $100k deal, to look down on the 4 or 5 $10k deals you already have as a comparative waste of your time. And maybe, when you regularly close $100k+ deals, you should start turning away customers that are just too small for you. But until then, treat every customer as well as if there were no more leads coming for the next year.

If you treat customers well and they like you and are happy with your services and products, they will provide the best kind of leads: “hot”, word-of-mouth leads. They will also provide you with testimonials, client success stories, and other sales materials that you can use to get more leads and more sales. Your customers can be your best salespeople, but only if you treat them right.

Conversely, if you treat your customers badly, word will spread about that too, and leads will mysteriously become ever harder to close. So, treat them well.

Seth Godin on talent and vendors

Reposted with permission from Sethgodin.typead.com. See the original post here.

By Seth Godin

You may be purchasing services from people with magical talents (artists) and it’s a mistake to confuse them with vendors.

As we get more and more service oriented, it’s an easy mistake to make. You’re busy buying cleaning services or consulting or design, and sometimes the person you’re working with is a vendor, and sometimes they’re not–they’re an artist, “the talent.”

A vendor is someone who exists to sell you something. It doesn’t always matter to the vendor what’s being sold, as long as it’s being sold and paid for.

The quality of what’s being delivered is rarely impacted by the method of transaction. The turnips will still show up, the house will still get painted. You can send an RFP to a vendor, bid it out, get the lowest price, sign the contract and if you write the contract properly, will get what you ordered.

The quality of the work you get from the talent changes based on how you work with her.

That’s the key economic argument for the distinction: if you treat an artist like a vendor, you’ll often get mediocre results in return. On the other hand, if you treat a vendor like an artist, you’ll waste time and money.

Vendors happily sit in the anonymous cubes at Walmart’s headquarters, waiting for the buyer to show up and dicker with them. They willingly fill out the paperwork and spend hours discussing terms and conditions. The vendor is agnostic about what’s being sold, and is focused on volume, or at least consistency.

While the talent is also getting paid (to be in your movie, to do consulting, to coach you), she is not a vendor. She’s not playing by the same rules and is not motivated in the same way.

A key element of the distinction is that in addition to the varying output potential, vendors are easier to replace than talent is.

Target understood this when they reached out to Michael Graves to design a line of goods that sold hundreds of millions of dollars worth of items. When I interviewed Michael a few years ago, he had nothing but great things to say about the way Target invited him in and gave him the ability to do his work. Threadless embraces this when they treat the designers of their t-shirts in a non-corporate way. Etsy is built on this single truth.

Most industry is built on vendor relationships, and vendors expect (and sometimes value) the impersonal nature of their relationships. This scales… until you lump in the talent.

Should you treat vendors with respect? No doubt about it. Human beings do their best work when they’re treated fairly and with enthusiasm. But when the provider is also digging deep to put something on the table that you can’t possibly write a spec for, you’re going to have to respond in kind.

Khaled Ismail, first Endeavor Entrepreneur in Middle East, appointed Endeavor Egypt Board Chairman

Endeavor Egypt announced that Khaled Ismail has been elected as the organization’s Board Chairman.

After being selected as Endeavor’s first high-impact entrepreneur in the Middle East in 2007, Khaled Ismail built the company he founded, SySDSoft, which became one of the leading companies in designing wireless communications systems. SySDSoft sold most of its IP and assets to Intel in March 2011. Ismail now serves as the Managing Director of Intel Mobile Communications.

“I’m much honored to be chairing the Endeavor Egypt Board. I am passionate about Endeavor, and I have a dream to see Endeavor playing a significant role in driving entrepreneurship in Egypt. Being selected as an Endeavor Entrepreneur was truly a turning point,” says Ismail.

Khaled Ismail is a former Cairo University Professor with a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering (nano -electronics) from MIT (1989). He worked at IBM’s Watson Research Center in the design of novel devices and materials for the semi-conductor industry. He has published over 160 papers and issued 22 US patents, and received various honorary awards. Between 2005 and 2007, Ismail was the senior adviser of the Egyptian Minister of Communications and Information Technology, overseeing the technology development sector.
Endeavor Egypt’s Board of Trustees includes some of the leading business figures in Egypt, such as: Khaled Bichara (Executive Chairman, Orascom Telecom), Hassan Abdallah (Vice Chairman/Managing Director, AAIB), Tarek Mansour (Country Senior Partner, PriceWaterhouseCoopers) and Tarek Tawfik (Managing Director, Cairo Poultry Group). Naguib Sawiris, former Board Chairman, will continue to support Endeavor Egypt as Board Chairman Emeritus.

For more information, please visit Endeavor Egypt’s website.

Endeavor Entrepreneur Lilian Simbaqueba recognized on Forbes.com

In the Forbes.com article “Predicting the Path Out of Poverty: Microfinance & Credit Risk Analysis,” Endeavor Entrepreneur Lilian Simbaqueba is recognized for the success of her risk analysis company, LiSim.

First starting out in 1996 in Bogotá, Colombia, Lilian found her niche in the field of microfinance and developed one of the world’s first scoring systems that determines which individuals would most benefit from uncollateralized loans.

Author Elmira Bayrasli describes how through Accion International Lilian was able “to expand LiSim to 26 countries worldwide, including neighboring Peru and Bolivia as well as India, Bangladesh and several in Eastern Europe. By 2007 she had 50 percent of the market share in Colombia and Latin America.”

However Lilian was not satisfied.

“There were two problems with this,” Lilian says. Though she had managed to salvage her business by taking on microfinance lenders, she was not bringing in the revenue needed to scale LiSim up. “Accion wanted to work on one project a year. That was not enough,” she says.

It is Lilian’s adaptability and “thinking big” that has enabled her to continue to serve the poor while transforming her client base.

Today, 40 percent of LiSim’s clients are telecom and utility companies (Telefonica is her largest client), cable television providers and other for-profit enterprises such as Colombia’s largest fitness chain, BodyTech. Microfinance comprises 10 percent of LiSim’s business. “I’m still serving the poor,” Lilian says.

She serves them through the telecom and utility companies that use credit scoring for lower income clients. This has enabled several thousands to gain access to phone lines, mobile and landline, electricity, gas and water. “These are things that the poor need,” Lilian says, “wherever they are. That’s something that microfinance misses.”

Read the article in full here.

Remembering entrepreneur Felipe Cubillos

Update: to learn more about Felipe and his incredible accomplishments, check out this new article in the New York Times, “On a Mission to Help Chile Until the Very End.”

The Endeavor community deeply regrets the passing of entrepreneur Felipe Cubillos, whose life was cut short in a tragic plane crash near the Juan Fernández Islands earlier this month. Felipe was traveling to a ceremony celebrating reconstruction efforts in response to the February 2010 earthquake off the coast of Chile when his plane went down with 21 passengers on board. Felipe was an accomplished sailor, author, entrepreneur, and tireless promoter of his organization Desafio Levantemos Chile (Lift Up/Rise Up Chile Challenge). Endeavor selected Felipe in March 2002 for his company Senegocia. The 48-year-old father of four will certainly be missed, and Endeavor sends warm thoughts to his family and friends in this difficult time.

You never should give up. You shouldn’t believe that things aren’t going to happen only because they get very difficult. You have to keep moving forward. You shouldn’t be afraid to lose everything, because if you have earned everything in a good way, for sure you will recover it, multiplied.
– Felipe Cubillos

Entrepreneurs: 30 tips for writing and effective communication

By Wempy Dyocta Koto (reprinted from Under30CEO).

Words change the world.

They inspire, unite, direct, empower and prompt action.

They also discourage, divide, anger, misguide, confuse and mislead.

Empires, governments, businesses, relationships and careers rise and fall because of words.

Study President Obama’s inaugural speech, John Lennon’s Imagine, Shakespeare’s King Lear, The Oprah Winfrey Show’s 25 years of broadcast, Forrest Gump’s sweet assessment of life and Pliny The Younger’s love letters to Calpurnia and you will realize the power of words.

In faith and belief, billions and generations of people have centered their lives on words within Judaism’s Tanakh, Christianity’s Bible, Islam’s Qur’an, the Hindu Sruti, Buddhism’s Theravada and more recently, Scientology’s Dianetics.

Words change the world.

As young CEOs and aspiring entrepreneurs, think very carefully about the words filling the borders of your emails, documents, instant messages and social media profiles.

Never, ever, underestimate the professional and personal impact of the words you write and send into the ether. Businesses rise and plunge, with written communications evidenced everyday in the world’s courts of law in cases against entrepreneurs, CEOs, leaders and colleagues for abuse, defamation, breach of contract, incompetence, misdirection, unfair dismissal, harassment and unlawful business engagement.

As email is the dominant communication tool for entrepreneurs today, here are thirty suggestions to protect and power your enterprise with words that inspire, drive business, loyalty and return on written investment.

1. Approach every email with the motivation of selling, optimizing or approving an idea, product, service, direction or recommendation. As an entrepreneur with major time, revenue and organizational demands, the opportunity cost is high when communication is not borne from this motivation.

2. Before writing, assess if your objective is more efficiently achieved with a meeting, call, office or workstation visit.

3. Your parents, grandparents, guardians and teachers taught you manners. Please use them.

4. Address the email recipient by her or his name. This also applies to cold sales prospects that you do not have a direct relationship with. She or he is not known to colleagues as a ‘Sir/Madam’ or ‘Whom It May Concern’. Research their name and designation and you are more likely to receive a response and better still, a positive one.

5. ‘Hi’, ‘Good morning’ and the like are acceptable ways of starting an email. A less traditional approach is the way forward and if the recipient is based in another country such as Thailand, use a warm ‘Sawasdee Krub’ and thankful ‘Khob Khun Krub’. Case study, glocal HSBC.

6. If you don’t have a direct relationship with the recipient, state how you are connected or where you acquired their email address, for example through a mutual contact, database, LinkedIn or web-research.

7. Be honest, write with integrity, recommend responsibly and sell your proposition factually.

8. Keep sentences and paragraphs short and to-the-point

9. Avoid unnecessary upper cases, exclamation marks, repeated use of symbols, emoticons and chat abbreviations.

10. Minimize corporate jargon, acronyms and big words.

11. Always use the spelling and grammar check tools.

12. Clearly explain instructions, use simple words and delete words which may be open to misinterpretation.

13. Reply logically, sequentially and thoroughly.

14. Numbering and bullet-pointing are effective.

15. Remove all negative emotions. If a subject matter is contentious, write or respond professionally with facts, void of emotion.


Interview with Endeavor’s Allen Taylor (Director, Global Networks), selected for “Top 99 Under 33″

Allen Taylor, Endeavor’s Director of Global Networks, has been featured in Diplomatic Courier magazine’s “Top 99 Most Influential
International Professionals Under 33″
. What follows is the full interview from the article, originally published here.

Describe the impact on foreign policy you have made in your current/past jobs.

For the past decade, my passion has been working to connect the cultures and people of the United States with those in emerging markets, particularly in Latin America. I have done this through my work at three different non-profit organizations, including Princeton in Latin America (PiLA), which I co-founded back in 2002, and Endeavor, where I have spent the past five years in various leadership roles.

I steadfastly believe that harnessing the energy, creativity, and innovative capacity of the private sector is critical to the future of foreign policy.

I currently serve as the Director of Global Networks for Endeavor, an innovative, global non-profit that seeks to transform emerging countries by establishing High-Impact Entrepreneurship as the leading force for sustainable economic development.

Based in San Francisco, I lead Endeavor’s efforts to connect its portfolio of 350+ emerging market companies with US-based mentors and investors. My current work focuses on building out Endeavor’s West Coast presence, and leading the Endeavor Investor Network – a new initiative designed to connect US-based venture capitalists with High-Impact Entrepreneurs and local investment partners in emerging markets across Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa.

Over the past 5 years I have devoted my entire life to innovation and entrepreneurship, but in a way that you might not expect. I have spent every waking moment working alongside and in support of entrepreneurs in emerging markets. But not just any entrepreneurs: the incredible men and women I have had the good fortune of supporting and guiding have all been recognized by Endeavor, a private sector-focused economic development organization, as “High Impact Entrepreneurs.” We made this term up at Endeavor a few years back, but, in short, these entrepreneurs are the ones with the greatest potential and the biggest ideas – the ones who can change not only their companies and their communities, but also the world. And most importantly, they are the ones – 600+ of them representing 350+ companies from 12 countries – who have created 158,000 jobs and $4.5 billion in annual revenues.

What personal contribution to foreign policy are you most proud of?

Founding Princeton in Latin America (PiLA), which has placed over 100 fellows in 12-month service fellowships in Latin America over the past seven years, remains the single greatest source of personal pride for me in this realm. These young leaders return home with a profound and lifelong commitment to Latin America.

What is your vision of foreign policy in the 21st Century?

I firmly believe that the next two decades will belong to the Emerging Markets. And the story goes far beyond India and China. In fact, I think the real “untapped regions” of the world where I see tremendous potential for investment and growth in the years ahead consists of the emerging world – specifically beyond India and China. That starts with the other half of the BRICs (Brazil and Russia), but also includes countries like those included in the 2005 Goldman Sachs group called the “Next 11” (Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Turkey, and Vietnam), and The Economist’s new acronymic grouping (2010) of the “CIVETS” (Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey, South Africa).

In brief, I see 30-40 countries in all – scattered across several regions of the world – that represent significant global growth and influence in the near-to-medium term. But if I have to pick just one region, my money is on Latin America.

Over the past decade I have lived, worked and traveled in over 70 countries, and called seven cities home: Buenos Aires, Berlin, London, Istanbul, New York, Bogota, and now San Francisco. I consider myself a global citizen who steadfastly believes that innovation and amazing entrepreneurs truly can come from anywhere. But I am increasingly convinced that Latin America – powered by Brazil and Mexico as dual growth engines, but also with significant contributions from Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Peru, and others – will be the most dynamic part of the world over the next decade.

What is the greatest foreign policy issue facing our generation?

The single greatest foreign policy issue facing our generation is the increasingly dynamic movement of information and capital across an interconnected global economy, placing enormous strain on the archaic laws and policies governing the flow of the world’s most important asset: human capital. The rapidly globalizing economy will demand smarter policies around immigration in America and across the globe.

What challenges need to be overcome to create better foreign policy?

Structural challenges of our “19th Century nation-state” world will be increasingly challenged and disrupted in the years ahead by global actors, be they negative forces for change like terrorist groups, or positive ones like dynamic, entrepreneurial companies and/or NGOs. Figuring out the roles of state actors and their foreign policies, and how they work with non-governmental leaders from the business and social sectors, will be perhaps the greatest challenge of our generation.

What personal, managerial, and leadership skills and traits must the next generation of foreign policy leaders possess?

Courage and bold ambition, mixed with the ability to listen.

How can foreign affairs be made more accessible to Americans, particularly younger generations?

Every single U.S. college student should be required to spend at least six months in another country to graduate. Gap years abroad between high school and college should be encouraged. Language learning in primary/secondary school should be emphasized. In short, we need to make the world matter to Americans. And to make it matter, first they must be exposed.

Which living or dead foreign policy practitioner do you look up to the most?

Woodrow Wilson

Which living or dead foreign policy practitioner do you think has missed the mark and why?

Lenin, Marx, etc.

If you could change a critical decision in history to affect foreign policy, what would it be?

I think a lot of the decisions made in the late 1940s after WWII had the most profound impact on the next half-Century. I would have loved to have been an actor in those discussions in trying to better anticipate what was to come and shape a more positive outcome.

Gaming site Jawaker, started by two Jordanian Endeavor Entrepreneurs, attracts investment

Reprinted from Wamda.com

Arabic content fund twofour54 Ibtikar recently announced investment in social gaming sites Jawaker and Tahadi, marking the latest in a slew of investments in the gaming sector since January.

Jawaker is a social gaming company that was started as a pet project by partners Mohamad Haj Hasan and Yousef Shamoun, the Endeavor Entrepreneurs behind Akhtaboot, a Middle Eastern online career network. Jawaker is a multiplayer card gaming website has thus far generated a large online gaming community of over 500,000 registered users. The company has succeeded in targeting the largely under-served gaming market of the Arabic world, which is increasingly demanding high-quality, culturally relevant games.

Haj Hasan said: “twofour54 ibtikar’s investment in Jawaker will enable the company to capitalise on the rapidly expanding popularity of online gaming regionally. With the region’s extremely high percentage of young people combined with increased broadband penetration, we will look to work with twofour54 ibtikar to expand our current offering and develop and publish a wide range of Arabic card games for the region’s burgeoning online audience.”

The investment marks continued growth for the Arabic gaming market centered out of Abu Dhabi, which is now being branded as a “the Middle East’s leading gaming hub.”

Video (The 99 Percent conference): Linda Rottenberg offers advice to entrepreneurs in creative industries

In this talk at Behance’s 99% conference, Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg addresses some of the key challenges facing creative startups. She urges entrepreneurs to push their “crazy” ideas, think big, and engage in peer mentorship. Click here to view the video on the 99% website.

Next Web features Chilean “Gringas” Julie McPherson and Anette Krohn

Endeavor Entrepreneur Julie McPherson, and Anette Krohn, Operations Manager at Endeavor Chile, have been featured in a recent Next Web article, Latin American Startups: Eight “Gringas” to Watch Out For. The article profiles eight women who have moved to Latin America to work in entrepreneurship, finding great success.

The two women are highlighted as follows:

Julie McPherson

Earlier this year, we listed Julie McPherson as one of Ten Women to Watch in the Latin American tech space. Indeed, regardless of nationality, Julie is a key figure in the Chilean tech ecosystem. She describes the company she co-founded, Tiaxa, as “a one-stop-shop for the Latin American telecom industry.” Launched in 2002 to provide services such as WAP portals, the company pivoted a few years ago; its core business is now to help telcos with their data service infrastructure.

An American, Julie met her Chilean husband in 1996 while working at an investment bank in Santiago. She then returned to the US, where Tiaxa was created in 2000, before moving back to Chile where the company has been headquartered since 2002. Julie is committed to developing the local business ecosystem; she’s supporting other female entrepreneurs thanks to the Impakta program she co-initiated in Chile with fellow women entrepreneurs from the Endeavor network.

Anette Krohn

Anette Krohn is the Operations Manager at Endeavor in Chile. As you may already know, Endeavor is a non-profit organization that supports entrepreneurs around the world, with a particular focus on emerging countries. It started operating in Chile in 1998 where it currently supports around 50 ventures, “after screening more than 3,000 candidate companies.” Besides its offices in Santiago, Endeavor Chile launched operations in 2010 in the city of Temuco, 670 km south of the Chilean capital.

Anette, who studied at the universities of Gothenburg and Uppsala in Sweden, joined Endeavor Chile in 2004. Before joining the organization, she worked at Swedish companies in Europe and South America. She then went on to work at Trade Chile, a company whose mission is to “facilitate investment and trade to and from Chile”. The country seems like a perfect fit for her: this mother of two lists “hiking, skiing and sailing” as her favorite hobbies.

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