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Social Capitalists: Endeavor Global

43 entrepreneurs who are changing the world
Social Capitalist 2008 Winner

Endeavor Global

Linda Rottenberg, CEO
New York, New York


Endeavor transforms emerging-market economies by identifying and supporting high-impact entrepreneurs. High-impact entrepreneurs have the biggest ideas and the most ambitious plans. They have the potential to create thriving companies that employ hundreds -- even thousands -— of people and generate millions of dollars in wages and revenues. And they have the power to inspire countless others.


Among the root causes of poverty in many parts of the world are a lack of jobs and a lack of social mobility. Endeavor addresses these causes by supporting high-impact entrepreneurs who contribute to private sector development in emerging markets. High-impact entrepreneurship creates jobs, generates wealth, and contributes to the economic and social growth of emerging-market countries.

Endeavor has developed a model that systematically breaks down barriers to entrepreneurship and accelerates entrepreneurs’ growth. It connects talented emerging market entrepreneurs with a world-class network of business leaders, who provide mentorship, timely connections, and access to their networks. It is these tools that help catalyze Endeavor Entrepreneurs’ businesses, creating thousands of good jobs and dynamic economic growth in the process.


Endeavor has applied its "venture catalyst" model in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, South Africa, Turkey and Uruguay. In 2007, Endeavor will launch offices in Egypt and India and has a bold plan for expansion into Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Endeavor breaks down barriers that prevent emerging-market entrepreneurs from reaching their high-impact potential. Hailed by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman as the "mentor capitalist" model, Endeavor identifies entrepreneurs through a rigorous search and selection process. Working through a network of local business leaders, we identify and screen a large number of entrepreneurs leading high-growth innovative companies. Four times a year, international panels of experienced business people elect a new class of Endeavor Entrepreneurs based on the following criteria: innovation, initiative, role model potential, values and ethics, and development impact. Entrepreneurs who are selected receive customized services and access to a world-class global network.

Our model works to overturn barriers to new venture creation—building permanent cultural and institutional support for entrepreneurship in emerging markets.


To date, Endeavor has supported over 320 entrepreneurs from over 190 companies. Endeavor Entrepreneurs have created more than 80,000 new jobs, paying on average ten times the national minimum wage, and generated approximately $2 billion in new revenue. Today, 95% of Endeavor Entrepreneurs' companies are still operating in countries where entrepreneurial ventures typically close within 42 months. Just as importantly, Endeavor Entrepreneurs have become role models, inspiring others in their communities to start businesses. This is Endeavor’s "multiplier effect," which spurs economic and cultural transformation.

Endeavor is committed to expanding its model into Asia, Africa, and the Middle East with the goal of taking entrepreneurship beyond subsistence to jumpstart private-sector development in emerging-market countries. By supporting local entrepreneurs to create jobs and accelerate the spread of innovations that will improve the quality of life in the developing world, Endeavor helps instill confidence in emerging-market countries normally hampered by doubt and helps narrow the gap between rich and poor.