I had begun a journey understanding startups in the Middle East — in and of itself and as a lens to dramatic shifts, bottom up, happening in emerging growth markets generally. One does not go long on such a journey and not here about the quality and impact of Endeavor. One ISP and I knew the world changing foundation that it is.
Endeavor as an organization has completely shifted by world outlook. The rise of economic growth across many parts of the world Americans all but ignore (and often critique) combined with near universal access to technology is revolutionizing societies bottom up. That this would unleash new generations of entrepreneurs who could achieve larger than ever scale seems obvious today. But, again, few here understand this. Endeavor was the first to not only recognize a rising phenomena but bring to bear the exact resources and connectedness the entrepreneurs need to succeed and scale. Through your chapters, you have by definition underscored the importance of “bottom up,” but at the same time the power of what Linda calls “E to E” — connections among emerging markets. There is not a member of the team, global or local, who has not shared with me a mind-blowing insight from their work. Equally so, a brief meeting, long pitch or longer mentoring relationship with the entrepreneurs themselves have not only been an education of this potential in action, but utter inspirations.
Favorite Endeavor moment? There are too many, but most of them are around the ISP or unofficial discussions with the entrepreneurs. They are micro moments of “aha” where one can see the entrepreneur come to an insight that will help her break through an issue she is facing. Equally they are “aha” moments where I rethink my very premises and rethink the organizations I’m involved with. One of my favorite personal moments was sitting with Linda for a couple of hours for my book Startup Rising. It was a tutorial in the power of entrepreneurship, the creation of Endeavor and it’s significant impact around the world.