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Colombia’s Bodytech Named EY Entrepreneur of the Year in Colombia

Nicolas Loaiza Galeano and Gigliola Aycardi Batista, Colombian entrepreneurs and founders of Bodytech, were recently named EY Entrepreneurs of the Year in Colombia, recognizing the company’s innovative business model and impact on the region’s economy. The chain […]

October 29th, 2014 — by admin

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The Power of Scale-Ups: Harvard Business Review and the World Economic Forum Spotlight High-Impact Entrepreneurship

Scale-up companies, defined by Endeavor Insight as companies more than three years old with a minimum of 20% average annual employment growth, have become a major force in transforming economies around the world. Bringing focus to […]

October 7th, 2014 — by admin

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Endeavor Launches Seventh Latin American Affiliate in Peru

LIMAPeru

Lima, Peru – April 29, 2014 – Endeavor announced that it Endeavor Peru (web small)will expand its presence in Latin America with the launch of Endeavor Peru, the organization’s seventh office in the region. The launch is supported by some of the country’s most influential and successful entrepreneurs and business leaders, who see the potential for Endeavor’s model to boost the local economy, create jobs, and transform the region.

With a population of over 30 million, Peru has become a driver of economic and social change within Latin America, overcoming past decades of instability and fiscal uncertainty. According to data from the World Economic Forum, Peru has nearly tripled its GDP in the last decade with 6% average annual growth, boosted by government-led reforms and a rise in market-friendly policies. With new national initiatives focused on diversifying local industries, Peru is primed to enter a new era of growth as consumer spending and foreign investment continue to rise.

For Peru to continue its trajectory, providing support for local entrepreneurs and their high-impact ventures has never been more critical. The country’s burgeoning ecosystem makes it an attractive target for the Endeavor model, which will provide the country’s top entrepreneurs with access to resources that will help them realize their scale-up potential. With Peru’s workforce expected to grow by more than 2.5 million workers by 2020, Endeavor Entrepreneurs will create thousands of jobs, stimulate the local economy and become role models for future generations.

“We are excited to build our presence in Latin America and continue the momentum in the region, where the outlook for entrepreneurship has never been brighter,” said Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “In Peru especially, which is becoming one of the region’s big economic players, Endeavor’s model can have a tremendous impact.”

Founded in 1997, Endeavor selects and supports high-impact entrepreneurs who have the potential to scale from promising SMEs into companies that create hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs and generate significant revenues. Once selected, Endeavor Entrepreneurs are given world-class strategic mentoring advice, access to key networks and other tools and talent programs that can catapult them to success.

In the past 16 years Endeavor has selected 917 high-impact entrepreneurs from 20 countries around the world in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Turkey, and Southeast Asia. In 2012, these entrepreneurs generated US $6.0BN in revenue and had created 250,000 jobs. Endeavor affiliates already operate in six other Latin American countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Uruguay.

All Endeavor affiliates are spearheaded by a local board of leading business people, each of whom believes that high-impact entrepreneurship can spark economies. The Endeavor Peru founding board includes: Oswaldo Sandoval, Chairman of the Board of Sandoval Group.; Carlos Rodríguez-Pastor, Chairman of Intercorp; Ernest Bachrach, Managing Partner of Advent International; Diego de la Torre, President of La Viga S.A.; Alex Fort Brescia, CEO of Brescia Group; Mario Alvarado Pflucker, CEO of Graña y Montero; Juan Carlos Verme, Chairman of Inversiones Centenario S.A.A.; Jorge Medina Méndez, Managing Partner of EY Peru; Luis Felipe Castellanos, CEO of Interbank; and Eduardo Hochschild, Executive Chairman of Hochschild Mining.

“Endeavor’s launch demonstrates the vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem that has been developing in Peru,” said Board Chairman Oswaldo Sandoval. “Entrepreneurship will be critical to the country’s growth as we look to spark innovation and spotlight Peru on the global stage.”

The board has nominated Ana Sofia Valdivia as Managing Director to oversee the successful launch of Endeavor Peru. Ms. Valdivia served previously as a manager at McKinsey with a focus on consumer goods segmentation, go-to-market strategies and transformational programs. She will lead the day-to-day operations of the Endeavor office in Lima and will be involved in screening entrepreneur candidates for consideration.

Endeavor Launches Seventh Latin American Affiliate in Peru; Releases “The 13-32 Report” on Local Scaleups

Endeavor Peru (web small)
Endeavor announced that it will expand its presence in Latin America with the launch of Endeavor Peru, the organization’s seventh country affiliate in the region. The launch is supported by some of the country’s most influential and successful entrepreneurs and business leaders, who see the potential for Endeavor’s model to boost the local economy, create jobs, and transform the region. Read the full announcement by clicking here.

In addition, Endeavor Insight’s “The 13-32 Report“, released with support from Omidyar Network, spotlights the contributions of scaleup companies towards job creation and economic growth in Peru. This is the third in a series of reports from Endeavor Insight that focuses on scaleup ecosystems worldwide and their significance in transforming emerging markets. Read more about the report by clicking here.

Highlights From Endeavor eMBAs In The Field

eMBA_webEach year, Endeavor recruits graduate students from leading U.S. business schools to spend 10 weeks during the summer working on-site with Endeavor Entrepreneurs as part of the eMBA Program, which is generously supported by Barclays. The three primary areas of focus for the eMBA projects are strategy, operations, and financing.

Over the years, hundreds of MBA students — after a highly competitive application process — have been placed with entrepreneurs across Endeavor’s affiliate countries. Endeavor ranks among the top 2% of recruiters at Harvard Business School and Stanford, and recruits from other leading schools including MIT, Penn, Columbia, Northwestern, Yale, and INSEAD.

Endeavor’s eMBAs often catalog the diverse professional and personal experiences they have during their placements for friends, family members and the general Endeavor network. Below are highlights of these write-ups that have been posted on the Endeavor Blog as part of the ongoing “eMBA Field Report” series.

2013

eMBA Field Report: A Global Business Project Journey in Brazil 

Tammy Wu, Cornell-Queen’s School of Business

eMBA Field Report: Mobile in Mexico… and Loving It

Leire Borderias, London Business School 

eMBA  Field Report: Becoming One with Acesso Digital — An Adventure That Was Anything But Ordinary

Amanda Wu, Cornell University’s Johnson School of  Business 

2012

eMBA Field Report: Explosive IT Growth, Exuberant Dancing and a Steak that Will Make You Cry In Bogotá

Manuel Alvarez Ortega, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

eMBA Field Report: Research and Teamwork in Egypt

Nate Wong, Yale University’s School of Management

eMBA Field Report: Spreading Innovative Design from Lebanon to Saudi Arabia

Abulaziz Baroum, Babson College’s F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business

2011

eMBA Field Report: Two Voices from Jordan

Andrea Zuluaga, London Business School

eMBA Field Report: The Emerging Giant in Santiago

Chris Zefferys, Thunderbird School of Management

eMBA Field Report: From Hong Kong to Uruguay

Rufino de la Rosa, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Endeavor and Linda Rottenberg Profiled in The Christian Science Monitor

christianscienceThe Christian Science Monitor, a U.S.-based international news publication, recently profiled Endeavor CEO Linda Rottenberg and the story of Endeavor, spotlighting the organization’s journey and its rapidly growing global impact. In particular, the article calls attention to Linda and co-founder Peter Kellner’s inspiration for starting Endeavor, after the pair noticed a discernible lack of support for many skilled entrepreneurs in emerging markets.

Endeavor Entrepreneurs Ramzi Halaby, co-founder of  Jordan-based social media agency The Online Project, and Wences Casarescurrent founder of Xapo and serial entrepreneur, were both quoted in the piece discussing the effect that Endeavor has had on their own high-impact ventures. 

“Just by getting Endeavor’s feedback on our business plan, and by being challenged by different mentors and board members, our whole mind-set shifted,” Halaby says in the article reflecting on his selection. “I can tell the difference between how Jordan was before Endeavor and after. It has played a major role in building the ecosystem for entrepreneurs [here] and has made it easier for people like us to succeed.”

Read the entire Monitor article by clicking here.

Colombian Entrepreneur Alex Torrenegra Highlights Endeavor and Bogotá’s Tech Sector in The Wall Street Journal

wall-street-journal-logo1Bunny Inc. co-founder and Endeavor Entrepreneur Alex Torrenegra recently authored an article for The Wall Street Journal’s Accelerators, a blog that features expert advice from successful entrepreneurs on business strategy and development. In his piece, Alex spotlights the emerging tech sector in Bogotá and offers takeaways from his experiences as one of the country’s top serial entrepreneurs.

In the post, Alex discusses the desire of many startups in emerging markets to imitate the Silicon Valley model, focusing too much on raising capital and making big exits. That desire, however, doesn’t translate to ecosystems like Bogotá that are still trying to navigate regional challenges. Alex points to research from Endeavor on the city’s tech sector that shows that, while there are hundreds of entrepreneurs, investors and tech VCs in the region, there lacks an active ecosystem of companies that are making acquisitions. Emerging market entrepreneurs are often told to think too global to quickly, focusing more on gaining investors than improving their actual offerings and customer base. The key, he argues, is to stop trying to copy Silicon Valley’s established model that only works in a leading ecosystem like the U.S., and instead focus on crafting programs and policies that are tailored to the local market.

Since joining the Endeavor network in 2013 at the 50th ISP in Palo Alto, Alex and his Bunny Inc. co-founder Tania Zapata have demonstrated their potential for high-impact growth, accelerating the expansion of their voice casting software offering with the guidance of Endeavor’s expert network of mentors and advisors. The entrepreneurs have also been active in a number of Endeavor events, including the 2013 Entrepreneur Summit and networking tours.

Read the full article in The Wall Street Journal by clicking here.

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Alex and Tania at the 50th ISP in Palo Alto

Mexico’s Intellego and Chile’s Agrotop Named World Economic Forum Global Growth Companies in Latin America

World-Economic-ForumMexico-based Intellego, founded by Endeavor Entrepreneurs Felipe Labbe and Eduardo Graniello, and Agrotop, founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Karina von Baer, was recently named by the World Economic Forum as Global Growth Companies (GGC) of 2014, which highlights 16 of the region’s most innovative and high-impact companies. With growth rates above their industry averages, GGCs are ventures with the potential to become economic leaders based on their business models, growth records, and leadership in the markets they serve. The Forum’s GGC community has now grown to over 360 companies representing more than 65 countries.

After realizing that Mexican businesses needed a better way of storing large amounts of information without relying on external databases, Felipe and Vicente founded Intellego to offer solutions for information, processes, and IT management for medium and large clients. The company’s model delivers affordable solutions that utilize clients existing technology infrastructure, expanding its service offerings across a range of sectors including management consulting, supply chain management, IT outsourcing and more. With over a thousand professionals in its network, Intellego operates in six countries in Latin America and has also expanded operations into the U.S.

Since joining the Endeavor network in 2010, the entrepreneurs have sought strategic advice from Endeavor’s network of mentors on the company’s international expansion strategy and talent recruitment goals. Felipe and Vicente have also become active panelists, attended the 2013 Endeavor Gala and Summit, and are active in sourcing future entrepreneurs into the Endeavor pipeline.

With roots as a family business stretching back to the 1960s, Agrotop is a Chilean holding company with a focus on generating advanced agricultural solutions based on an innovative business model that provides technical assistance to farmers and industry professionals.  With business units ranging from Oleotop, which processes canola oil, to Granotop, which processes grains, the company has set a rare example of high-growth entrepreneurship in Chile. With a rapidly expanding agriculture industry, some of Chile’s poorest regions have found revival in their local economies with the support of Agrotop’s various businesses.

Since joining Endeavor in 2006, Karina has participated in various network events, including Endeavor Galas, strategic mentoring sessions and advisory sessions.

Read more about this year’s GGCs of Latin America by clicking here.

Endeavor Hosts 53rd ISP: 29 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from 9 Countries Join the Endeavor Network

Floripa Header

Florianópolis, Brazil – April 10, 2014 – Endeavor selected 29 high-impact entrepreneurs leading 16 companies in 9 countries at its 53rd International Selection Panel.

Endeavor now supports 917 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from 585 companies across 20 countries. The entrepreneurs were chosen at a panel held from April 7 – 9th in Florianópolis.

The International Selection Panel (ISP) is the conclusion of a rigorous multi-step selection process that is at the core of the Endeavor model. At the Florianópolis ISP, top business and industry leaders from eight countries interviewed candidates about their businesses and potential for high-impact growth, and then deliberated on whether or not the candidates should become Endeavor Entrepreneurs.

“I am very excited to welcome these promising entrepreneurs to the network,” said Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg. “Many are innovating industries in their local markets and demonstrating the potential for high-impact growth, especially in Latin America where our presence continues to expand.”

After their selection into the Endeavor network, the entrepreneurs are given access to customized services, including introductions to local and international business mentors and volunteers from Fortune 500 consulting firms who will help them address key business needs. Endeavor Entrepreneurs have created thousands of jobs and built sustainable growth models in their home countries, transforming local economies and becoming role models for future generations of leaders.

Endeavor will be hosting three more International Selection Panels in 2014. Locations will be New York, NY; Istanbul, Turkey and Miami, FL.

Brief descriptions of the newly selected entrepreneurs and companies follow.

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Registration at the 53rd ISP

ARGENTINA

Entrepreneur: Parker Stanberry

Company: Oasis Collections (www.oasiscollections.com)

Now you can make every destination an Oasis. Parker Stanberry founded Oasis Collections to offer travelers a curated, online platform of high-end, short-term rental properties across Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Uruguay, and Miami. While individual property owners typically offer limited services to short-term renters, Oasis provides a complete hospitality experience that includes support from an around-the-clock, on-the-ground team, and social perks such as access to Oasis’ private members’ clubs and exclusive events. With over 700 properties in its portfolio, and a network of exclusive members’ clubs, Oasis has received international recognition in Vanity Fair, The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, and the Financial Times, among others.

Entrepreneur: Mauro Bono

Company: Savant (www.savant.com.ar)

Given the lack of innovation in Argentina’s pharmaceutical industry, Mauro Bono has the perfect prescription for his country – Savant. Savant manufactures and distributes a variety of pharmaceuticals, using an innovative manufacturing process that results in higher margins for pharmacists and more affordable drugs for end consumers. From its factory in the remote 2,500-person town of El Tío in central Argentina, Savant produces over 100 million drug tablets annually for thousands of pharmacies in Argentina and exports to 16 countries, including Vietnam, Lebanon, and Mozambique.

BRAZIL

Entrepreneurs: Cristiano Brega, Guarany Guimarães, Fernando Magero & Bruno Braga

Company: Confiance Medical (www.confiancemedical.com.br)

Scar no more! Through its video surgery equipment, Confiance helps doctors perform minimally invasive surgeries that leave smaller scars and have quicker recoveries than traditional open surgeries. While video surgery is a relatively standard practice in US hospitals, only premier hospitals in Brazil can afford the equipment. Awarded High-Impact Company of the Year by Brazilian’s leading SMB magazine in 2013, Confiance dreams of closing the gap between the elite and second-tier hospitals by making video surgery accessible to a broader population.

Entrepreneur: Rafael Ribeiro Madke

Company: Grupo RPH (www.gruporph.com.br)

Grupo RPH has the power to bring Brazil’s medical imaging techniques to electric new heights. The company sells cold kits, which are connected to radioactive products that illuminate patients’ organs under scans, creating precise, dynamic images that aid in medical diagnosis and treatment. Until recently, the Brazilian government dominated the highly regulated, US$80 million nuclear medical market, leading to inefficient business practices and stagnant growth. Grupo RPH is the first private company in Brazil licensed to manufacture and sell cold kits, and has already signed on major clients such as Hospital Sírio Libanês, Albert Einstein Hospital, and Beneficiência Portuguesa.

Entrepreneurs: Sergio Bertucci & Milena Satyro Bertucci

Company: Star Think Uniforms (www.staruniforms.com.br)

While professional uniforms often look generic and fit poorly, Star Think Uniform’s custom- designed collections combine high fashion and functionality to ensure that employees always look their best. Founded in 2005 by Milena and Sergio Bertucci, Star Think Uniforms has designed unique collections for over 30 clients and is constantly adapting to increasing demand: having started in a 70 m2 production facility, the company has since outgrown five additional plants and now outsources production. In the next few years, Star plans to introduce new business intelligence tools and a proprietary clothing sizing technology.

Entrepreneurs: Marco Carvalho & Ivan Zorn

Company: Toys Talk (www.toystalk.com)

Toys Talk is setting out to prove that you can build a successful global business out of fun and games! Founded by Marco Carvalho and Ivan Zorn in 2008, Toys Talk creates, develops, and brings to market high-quality and high-tech toys for children. With headquarters in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, and Shantou, China, Toys Talk has a global presence and has been recognized by international industry magazines including Toys World and Toys News. The company’s explosive growth over the past two years has been driven by sales of existing product lines including Spark Dogz, one of the “Top 10 Most Wanted Toys in 2011” according to industry press.

Entrepreneurs: Gabriel Bottós & Rafael Bottós

Company: Welle (www.wellelaser.com.br)

Hoping to dominate a niche market in the manufacturing sector, Welle is innovating the Brazilian laser-cutting industry by providing reliable and efficient equipment to clients that will, in turn, provide better products and services to consumers. Currently, most laser machines on the market are needlessly expensive and energy-consuming. Welle manufactures cost-effective, durable, and precise laser cutting, tracing and cleaning machines that better fit the needs of most of the firms it serves. Barely six years-old, Welle is already Brazil’s leading laser technology supplier, with clients including Whirlpool, Bosch, and Petrobras, among others.

CHILE

Entrepreneurs: Juan Pablo Marín & Francisco Marín

Company: Eco-Lógica (www.eco-logica.cl)

Chile’s trash is Eco-Lógica’s treasure. Based in Santiago, where 98% of companies fail to comply with environmental policies, Eco-Lógica helps its industrial clientele reduce, reuse, and recycle. Juan Pablo and Francisco Marín have developed a comprehensive, end-to-end corporate waste management solution that allows clients to dispose of waste safely and efficiently. As the only player in Chile with its unique blend of waste disposal services, Eco-Lógica is uniting Chile’s formerly distinct waste management sectors for solid waste, hazardous waste, and recycling.

Entrepreneurs: Victor Vargas & Alex Parnas

Company: Urbano Design (www.urbanodesign.com)

Though its products are designed to protect, Urbano Design is breaking the mold of the mobile accessories industry. In the early 2000s, Latin Americans looking to personalize their electronic devices were limited to a few bland color options. Victor Vargas and Alex Parnas transformed this market with Urbano by combining function and fast fashion, quickly replicating catwalk trends and popular graphic designs to add aesthetic appeal to the latest tech accessories. Through its fully integrated supply chain, Urbano produces smartphone cases, laptop and tablet sleeves, headphones, and chargers that reach its 14 kiosks across Chile, Peru, and Argentina, as well as Latin America’s largest retail outlets, in as little as 20 days.

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Attendees at the first night’s Welcome Dinner

COLOMBIA

Entrepreneurs: Pablo Atuesta, Nicolás Borda & Juan Rebolledo

Company: Groncol (www.groncol.com)

With only 5m2 of green space per inhabitant, Bogotá is far from meeting the World Health Organization’s standard of 15m2 per resident for a healthy urban environment. Groncol seeks to reverse this trend and transform Colombia by designing, producing, and installing green walls and rooftops made of real plants and vegetation. Operating in a global US$6 billion market for vegetated infrastructure products, Groncol has built the largest green wall in the country (360 m2) and over 45,000 m2 of rooftops. It has added millions of dollars in economic value to its clients’ buildings, creating a measurable environmental impact with projects that compensate for CO2 emissions produced by thousands of individuals.

GREECE

Entrepreneurs: Sotiris Papantonopoulos-Mantopoulos & Manolis Marsellos

Company: Money-Market (www.money-market.gr)

With multiple insurance providers and offers to choose from, determining the right insurance policy can be tiresome, difficult, and costly. Sotiris Papantonopoulos-Mantopoulos and Manolis Marsellos established Money-Market, an online insurance aggregator, to create an easier and more affordable way for Greeks to compare and purchase automobile, motorcycle, boat, and home insurance policies. Money-Market currently operates the leading online insurance aggregator in Greece’s US$6 billion insurance market, facilitating tens of thousands of active policies in 2013. To continue to accelerate its growth, Money-Market plans to expand beyond auto insurance into health insurance in 2014, and pensions in 2015.

MEXICO

Entrepreneur: Eymard Arguello Mancilla

Company: Agua Inmaculada (www.aguainmaculada.pe)

Agua Inmaculada has made a splash in the clean-water technology market. Since founding the company in 2002, Eymard Arguello Mancilla has been developing new ways to bring clean, potable water to the base of the pyramid in Mexico. Today, over 50 million people in Mexico lack access to clean water. By selling water purification systems to small business owners, Agua Inmaculada (Immaculate Water) seeks to offer a low-cost, high-quality alternative to bottled water and the market-leading systems offered by multinational CPG companies. Nearly 5,000 small businesses have purchased Agua Inmaculada’s equipment, installing water purification systems that provide countless individuals access to clean water.

Entrepreneur: Mateo Dornier

Company: Campo Vivo (www.campovivo.com.mx)

All vegetables are not created equal. With the amount of chemical fertilizers and pesticides sprayed on produce, even the most nutritious fruits and vegetables can have negative effects on consumers’ health. Campo Vivo solves this problem by bringing high-quality certified organic produce and processed grocery goods to the Mexican consumer. With a commitment to offer farmers fair market prices and offer consumers high-quality, affordable, organic foods, Campo Vivo distributes the country’s largest selection of organic products to more than 800 supermarkets and coffee shops across Mexico, including Walmart and Starbucks outlets. Over the next few years, Campo Vivo plans to accelerate new product development, add additional big-name retail clients, and begin exporting to European markets.

MIAMI

Entrepreneurs: Lionel Carrasco & Marcela Henao

Company: Leapfactor (www.leapfactor.com)

Some products sell themselves; for everything else there’s Leapfactor. Too often, field sales teams selling 21st century products rely on 20th century tools: pen-and-paper contracts, paper brochures, and antiquated CRM systems. Moreover, the old methods fail to create the engaging, interactive experience that customers expect in the digital era. Lionel Carrasco and Marcela Henao founded Leapfactor in 2009 to reinvent field sales execution; Leapfactor’s mobile app, Salesfactor, is a sleek and intuitive product that provides the tools to increase revenues and efficiency. Operating in the US$25B B2B mobile app market, Leapfactor has succeeded in attracting premier clients across industries, such as Avon, AstraZeneca, L’Oreal and HD Supply.

SOUTH AFRICA

Entrepreneur: Bevan Ducasse

Company: wiGroup Pty Ltd (wigroupinternational.com)

The world of mobile transacting is growing so rapidly that merchants are unable to keep up with, integrate to, and update their stores for each of the ever-increasing transaction applications the market has to offer. wiGroup simplifies this process through its cloud-based software, the wiPlatform, which enables mobile transacting from any application at any merchant through a simple integration with a retailer’s POS system. Since launching its platform in 2011, wiGroup has already processed over three million transactions worth over US$200 million and expects to continue this rapid growth on the back of South Africa’s booming m-commerce sector.

URUGUAY

Entrepreneurs: Carolina Bañales & Agustina Sartori

Company: AdviseMeTech (www.advisemetech.com)

Whether shopping online or in stores, three quarters of female consumers find the process of finding and choosing the right makeup frustrating. Fortunately, Carolina Bañales and Agustina Sartori are revolutionizing cosmetics for the 21st century through AdviseMeTech, a web-based program that allows women to virtually try on makeup through their own uploaded images. The company’s B2B software is embedded in retailers’ websites, while its B2C ecommerce platform, GlamST.com, allows women to directly try on and purchase products online.

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Observers during an entrepreneur interview panel

Saudi Arabia’s Shawarmer Makes Endeavor Connection with South Africa’s Taste Holdings

shawarmertaste

Demonstrating the impact of Endeavor’s global network, two Endeavor Entrepreneurs recently made a cross-regional connection, leveraging each other’s expertise in the food and beverage industry to share best practices and gain new insights on business development. Abdulmohsin Al-Rabiah, founder of Saudi Arabia’s Shawarmermade a visit last month to South Africa to the headquarters of Taste Holdings, founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Carlo Gonzaga, with the goal of examining Taste’s growth and operations strategies for its portfolio of franchised brands.

A management group that invests in a number of franchised food and consumer retailers, Taste Holdings has grown to over 600 outlets across South Africa, bringing names like Scooters Pizza, Maxi’s Grill, Domino’s, NWJ Jewelry and more to the region. Having created thousands of new jobs and crafted a successful investment model, Carlo and Taste have seen year-over-year revenue growth and attracted the attention of a  number of international retailers. With Shawarmer, a chain of nearly 30 fast food restaurants across Saudia Arabia, Abdulmohsin was looking to gain insight from Taste’s success that would relate to his own franchise model and help him accelerate his brand’s growth while streamlining operations.

Over the two-day visit, Abdulmohsin met with Carlo and also visited outposts of Taste’s most popular franchises, meeting with branding and operations executives while getting an in-depth look at production and distribution centers. The main objectives were to explore Taste’s efforts across its marketing, legal and revenue structures and learn about the advantages and challenges of its vertical integration processes. Ultimately, Abdulmohsin was able to gain a better understanding of how to balance corporate ownership with franchisees, maintain operations standards, improve employee culture, and make technical improvements to his supply chain.

Since joining Endeavor in 2007, Carlo has become an entrepreneur success story, serving as a mentor, ISP panelist and South Africa Board Member and helping to inspire future generations of entrepreneurs in his region. While only selected in 2013, Abdulmohsin is demonstrating his high-impact potential with connections like this, continuing to work closely with Endeavor’s network of mentors and experts to accelerate his brand’s expansion.

AbdulTASTE

Abdulmohsin meeting with a team at Taste Holdings

Mexico’s Carrot Raises $2 Million In New Funding Round, Aims to Lead Car-Sharing Market

Carrot-car-450x300Mexico-based Carrot, founded by Endeavor Entrepreneurs Diego Solorzano and Jimena Pardo, recently raised $2 million in a series B funding round led by Venture Partners. With participation from Auria Capital  and previous backer Mexico Ventures, the company’s total funding has reached $3.5 million.

The car-sharing model, similar to the popular U.S.-based service Zipcar, is looking to lead the car-share industry in the region, offering an alternative to vehicle ownership and rentals in the emerging Mexican market. Over the next two years, the Carrot team aims to expand to 10,000 members in 15 cities and add more than 300 cars to its fleet. Following the acquisition of competitor Ubicar in 2012, Carrot currently operates in Mexico’s three largest metro areas. The investment will help the team continue to drive plans for national expansion while also exploring other markets in the region.

Since joining Endeavor at the 44th Endeavor ISP in London in 2012, Diego and Jimena are demonstrating their high-impact potential by becoming active members of the network, receiving custom advising from local Endeavor mentors and participating in Endeavor Investor Network events.

Read more about Carrot’s funding news in TechCrunch.

Global Board Member Fadi Ghandour Discusses Barriers to Scale for MENA Entrepreneurs

dubaiThis post comes from Fadi Ghandour, who is the founder of Aramex, a board member of Endeavor, and the Chairman of Wamda, an organization that works to empower entrepreneurs in the MENA region. View the original post on the Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Insights page.

“Two-thirds of the Arab World ‘s population is below the age of 29. The region is not only growing younger, but also becoming more literate. With rising levels of education, connectivity, and mobility, the biggest challenge remains: How do we create good jobs for the restless millions?

Entrepreneurs are drivers of growth, innovation, and competitiveness. A recent World Bank report on small and medium sized companies (SMEs) shows that the highest contributors to employment are firms with less than 100 employees. And, not surprisingly, it is scalable businesses that generate the biggest share of economic opportunities. A study conducted by the World Economic Forum in collaboration with Stanford University and Endeavor in 2011 reveals that the top 5% of the 380,000 companies surveyed across 10 European and Asian countries have generated 72% of total revenue and 67% of the total employment recorded by these companies.

And yet, although scalability is critical for job creation, company founders still encounter many barriers when starting and growing their businesses. For startups to thrive, the different ecosystem players must understand the nature and source of these obstacles and work hard to eliminate them. But without comprehensive, up-to-date data they will not be able to craft viable, practical solutions.

Wamda’s newest initiative, the Wamda Research Lab (WRL), is focused on publishing research and insights on regional entrepreneurial activity to inform policy makers, investors, and other stakeholders on the critical challenges and gaps in this space. In its first report, The Next Step: Breaking barriers to scale for MENA entrepreneurs, WRL identifies the hurdles company founders face in generating revenues, raising capital, attracting talent, building teams, and facilitating expansion. Our study reveals that 63% of entrepreneurs and 60% of experts consider finding talent to build teams as a major challenge. Access to new markets is yet another central issue: 47% of entrepreneurs and 50% of experts cited difficulty in finding partners to facilitate expansion as an impediment to scale. Moreover, 41% of entrepreneurs said that the biggest restraint to generating revenues is marketing products and services.

The fact remains that the region’s outdated education systems, which continue to graduate generations of unemployable youth with no competitive 21st century skills, and its fragmented markets that allow little mobility of people and companies, are stifling the growth of entrepreneurs, and innovators. Unemployment needs to be considered in every policy, national strategy, private-sector initiative, and social activity. It is time we collectively deploy our knowledge, resources, capital, and networks to enable entrepreneurship as a development tool. I encourage all stakeholders – governments, investors, entrepreneurship institutions, universities, civil society, large corporations, and entrepreneurs – to read this report and take its conclusions seriously, in the hope that they will trigger effective action and positive change.

Finally, I would like to thank Endeavor Insight for their guidance, support, and expertise throughout the entirety of this project.”

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