At EY‘s first pan-Mediterranean Strategic Growth Forum in Rome, nearly 600 business executives, government leaders and entrepreneurs from across the globe came together to discuss the region’s business and investment potential. The two-day event included panel discussions with Endeavor Entrepreneurs Mostafa […]
Endeavor Entrepreneur companies KidoZen, founded by Jesus Rodriguez, and My Ceviche, founded by Roger Duarte and Sam Gorenstein, were recently featured in The Miami Herald’s Business Monday section, highlighting the growing presence of both companies […]
Endeavor is a Supporting Association for the MENA region’s largest private equity event, which brings together 500+ delegates to hear from global titans, Middle Eastern & International LPs and regional GPs. Endeavor Entrepreneurs, mentors, and staff members are eligible for a 10% discount. (For more information, contact ludmilla.figueiredo-at-endeavor.org.)
Click here for complete details about SuperReturn Middle East event, which will take place October 16-19, 2011 in Dubai, at the Ritz-Carlton (Dubai International Financial Centre).
Speakers include Endeavor network members Timothy Draper (Managing Director, Draper Fisher Jurvetson), Mustafa Abdel Wadood (CEO, Abraaj Capital), and Josh Lerner (Jacob H. Schiff Prof of Investment Banking, Harvard Business School). Learn more about the speakers here, and download the speaker lineup.
Selected by Endeavor in 2005, Globant has attracted major global clients across industries, including Google, Coca-Cola, Disney, LinkedIn, and Nike. Globant recently created eight new studios showcasing the breadth and depth of their services, including “High Performance Computing,” “Consumer Experience,” “Luminous Gaming,” and “Mobile.”
Nextive, which is headquartered in San Francisco and has offices in Buenos Aires and Cordoba, has developed social and mobile applications for clients such as Crowdstar, GSN, and Zynga. Globant will capitalize on the Nextive’s social and mobile expertise by tasking its team with leading Globant’s Mobile Studio. The acquisition will enable Globant to expand its U.S. presence, with Nextive’s 130+ current employees and plans to hire 200 additional employees in the U.S. in the next two years.
More nonprofits should take a page out of Endeavor’s book, according to a recent New York Times article. The article addresses the growing trend of management and human resources training for nonprofit leaders. In fact, many philanthropic organizations and donors are beginning to require such training when they provide financial support to nonprofits.
One such organization is the Omidyar Network, which pledged $10 million in growth funding to Endeavor. The article highlights Endeavor’s relationship with Omidyar as an example of the benefits of executive management training. Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg worked with Omidyar Network’s Sal Giambanco (Endeavor Global Network member, International Selection Panel panelist, and speaker at June’s Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit) to redefine leadership levels and roles and to recruit an experienced management team to drive Endeavor’s growth.
As the article points out, despite initial resistance, which is common among time-constrained nonprofit leaders, Linda found the management training and coaching to be very helpful for Endeavor as it sought to reduce its reliance on donations and cope with rapid growth. In reference to her work with Omidyar Network’s advisors, the article quotes Linda: “’We don’t always agree with them. We don’t kowtow. But the services they are offering are really useful, especially at organizations like us where resources are always scarce.’”
Arnim Falk Bonow is an MBA student at IESE Business School in Barcelona and is spending the summer as an eMBA with Aguamarina in Antofagasta, Chile.
After six weeks in Antofagasta I have finally settled in well. The desert is still here but it almost feels like home now. Given the fact that I am the only eMBA here in the north of Chile I have started to getting to know the other entrepreneurs, mentors, and staff related to Endeavor Atacama which was just inaugurated last week here in Antofagasta. The more I hang out with these people, the more I realize how inspiring and rewarding entrepreneurship is.
Turns out that instead of only working for my assigned project I am now supporting some of the other entrepreneurs in the network. I am getting to love the Endeavor spirit because it give me a lot of exposure to different problems around entrepreneurship. Not everybody gets insight into Biotech, Software and Technology in one internship lasting two and a half months.
Last week we had the inauguration of Endeavor Atacama in Antofagasta with prominent persons from politics, industry and Endeavor. At Aguamarina, the biotech startup I am working for, we had half of the Endeavor board of directors visiting and a representative from CORFU, a government fund supporting innovation in Chile. In order to make the week a bit crazier, Aguamarina also hosted its first board of directors meeting the same day. It was a lot of pressure but there were really interesting people to meet.
In celebrating the inauguration of Endeavor Atacama, the members decided to spend a weekend together in San Pedro de Atacama. Although I had been there before I took the opportunity to accompany them. To our surprise Roberto Muller – an Endeavor Global Mentor living in the US – joined us for the trip. I can tell you that this has been one of the most inspiring trips I have had in my life!!! This man brought Levi’s to LatAm, founded PONY (a sports apparel brand), was President at Reebok and built Fox Sports. I let you imagine the stories he knew to tell but I can assure you that he was a blast. And we had some great individual talks (in Spanish, English and German)! It was a pleasure to talk to a man who has done many things in his life I wish to do in mine. Yes, it is possible!
After leaving CVS, the largest U.S. pharmacy chain, with his brother and sister to start a pharmacy chain with their father based in Miami, Florida, Endeavor Entrepreneur Amjad Aryan had what he calls a “crazy idea.” While the chain was succeeding in Florida and the U.S., there was a bigger opportunity to differentiate the business and make an impact in the Middle East and his native Jordan.
In a video profile on Wamda.com, Amjad explains this decision, as well as many others that helped him grow Pharmacy 1 into “the CVS of the Middle East.” Amjad and the Pharmacy 1 team opened the pilot store in Amman in 2001, and began testing their value proposition in Jordan. Do Middle Eastern customers value good pharmaceutical care over the convenience of the nearest pharmacy? Do customers want to browse on their own, or depend on the pharmacist for direction and advice?
After two years of business operations and customer testing yielded positive results, Amjad moved his family to Jordan. Since then, Pharmacy 1 has focused on consistency and quality of customer service, including home delivery of medications. Amjad shares that even he has made late night customer deliveries!
Finally, Amjad addresses Pharmacy 1’s two biggest challenges during the company’s early expansion efforts: naysayers and industry regulators. To overcome the first, Amjad says he focused on his work and shut his ears to detractors. Resistance from industry regulators was a bit more difficult to overcome. “We were really fought viciously [by the Jordanian Pharmaceutical Association], thinking that we are going to destroy the small pharmacies,” Amjad said. “I’m very proud to say that with 47 pharmacies, not a single pharmacy closed or shut down in Jordan because of Pharmacy 1.”
Betazeta is a network of ten online vertical communities, including some of the biggest-name blogs in the Southern Cone. Betazeta’s network of blogs makes up the second largest independent Internet community in Latin America. With a steady stream of online traffic and a pioneering interconnectivity among its content and classified sites, the firm is well-positioned to tap into Latin America’s market for online advertising – which is projected to grow more than 25% by 2012, and represents the highest-growing region worldwide.
The founders acknowledge their appreciation for Endeavor’s role in their business growth and investment. Leo and Francisco, who initially met at Endeavor Entrepreneur / Board Member Wences Casares’ Traweln event, have received ongoing mentorship from business leaders including Diego Piacentini, SVP, International Retail, Amazon. In addition to local mentorship and a global advisory board, the entrepreneurs have benefited from an Ernst & Young Fellow as well as the MIT G-Lab program.
In a blog post last week, Francisco assured readers that the investment does not signal major changes or a loss of independence for Betazeta, but rather that the firm will continue pushing forward in its quest to be the leading Hispanic media outlet. The investment signals that a regional media giant—Copesa Group—also believes in that mission. With Copesa Group’s support, in the form of both financial backing and industry “know how,” Betazeta can pursue projects necessary for growth.
Endeavor Argentina’s annual Experiencia Endeavor conference is set for August 24-25 at La Rural Exposition Center in Buenos Aires. The public event aims to bring together entrepreneurs from around the world for instruction and networking. To learn more and register, click here.
On the first day, participants will attend a series of workshops on entrepreneurial topics, with sessions focusing on developing attendees’ management skills and business know-how. Additionally, several networking activities are planned, including group and face-to-face meetings between participants and Endeavor mentors / Endeavor Entrepreneurs. A networking party is also planned for more informal connections. See the complete schedule here.
Last Saturday, Endeavor Entrepreneur Shona McDonald was honored with a Shoprite Checkers Women of the Year Award, which recognizes visionary women leaders creating social impact in South Africa. Shona received the Socio-Economic Business Developers Award at a sparkling ceremony in Gauteng, South Africa.
Shona is CEO of Shonaquip, a social enterprise that enhances the lives of people with disabilities through technical, social and policy innovation. Having built her business from nothing into a multi-million dollar enterprise that has received recognition from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the South African Department of Health, Shona is known for the large-scale impact she and her company have had on disabled South Africans.
Shona built her first modular support buggy nearly 20 years ago to improve the quality of life for children with severe physical disabilities. Her comments at the ceremony reflect how far her impact has spread since then:
“Over 500,000 children and young adults with mobility disabilities living in South Africa do not have access to appropriate wheelchairs and accessible community based seating support services. This shortage of appropriate wheelchairs results in unnecessary, costly and devastating health and social outcomes for both the wheelchair users and their families who support them.”
In terms of how the award will allow Shona to further her impact moving forward, she said:
“Having spent over 20 years building Shonaquip, a social enterprise, as a tool to drive positive change in the field of appropriate wheelchair provision in under resourced regions, I now realize that I need to reach further. I need to explore ways to shift the historical contravention of human rights of people living with disabilities from its entrenchment in charitable giving and pity to become part of the moral concerns of mainstream society and establish an inclusive footprint across the globe. And for this reason I am delighted that Shoprite Checkers has recognized the impact that a social enterprise can have as a powerful driver of sustainable social change.”
This week Bloomberg ran an article about Refinancia, an Endeavor Colombia company that takes an unusual approach to debt collection. Founded by Endeavor Entrepreneur Kenneth Mendiwelson in 2005, the company sells custom financial products that facilitate repayments and ensure long-term customer relations.
“We provide a dignified product to someone who has been mistreated by the financial sector,” explains Kenneth in the piece. “Someone who falls into default is not a bad person.”
A Harvard Business School graduate and former McKinsey consultant who started Refinancia with a $4 million loan from friends and family, Kenneth is an ambitious but compassionate entrepreneur who seeks to counter the perception of debt-collectors banging on doors. His success is evident in his client base of more than 250,000 individuals and expansion of services into Peru and the Mexico.
Refinancia’s dollar figures are also impressive: The 510-employee company manages a total of 800,000 loans, with a face value of nearly $2 billion, from about 15 banks in Latin America. Kenneth expects revenues of $12 million this year and $21 million in 2012. He estimates that by 2015, 60 percent of revenue will come from debtors outside Colombia.
Kenneth also has a larger vision for his services. He hopes that Refinancia can cash in on goodwill and turn one-time defaulters into borrowers. His argument is that even a person who pays back a defaulted loan will find it difficult to escape a bad credit history when seeking to borrow again: “No one is going to give him new credit, but I can because Refinancia knows exactly how he thinks and how he has behaved in the past with the refinancing product we provided to him.”