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Linda Rottenberg

“Innovator for the 21st Century” (TIME), “America’s Best Leader” (U.S. News), “Ms. Davos” (Business Insider), “The World’s Mentor Capitalist” (Thomas Friedman, The World Is Flat) and “The Entrepreneur Whisperer” (ABC, FOX, NPR) are among the designations given to Linda Rottenberg. The subject of five Harvard Business School and Stanford GSB case studies, Linda is primarily known by another name: Chica Loca (“the Crazy Girl”). Why crazy? Two decades ago, Linda insisted that high-growth, high-impact entrepreneurs exist in emerging and underserved markets; almost no one believed her.

As co-founder and CEO of Endeavor, Linda has led the global entrepreneurship movement since 1997. With 55 offices spanning the world, Endeavor’s team and network rigorously selects, mentors, and co-invests in the most promising entrepreneurs at the scale-up phase of their ventures. Today, Endeavor Entrepreneurs generate over $20BN in annual revenues and produce more than 3 million jobs. Linda also oversees Endeavor Catalyst LP Funds with over $115M AUM, raised to co-invest in Endeavor Entrepreneurs headquartered throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and underserved markets in the United States.

Beyond Endeavor, Linda currently serves on three corporate boards: a leading bandwidth infrastructure company (NYSE: ZAYO); a pioneering software developer (NYSE: GLOB); and a digital food-ordering platform (OLO). In her board capacity, Linda has served on two public company audit committees. Linda is also a member of the Yale President's Council on International Activities. Her book, CRAZY IS A COMPLIMENT: The Power of Zigging When Everyone Else Zags, became an instant NYT bestseller. Other recognitions include: Global Leader for Tomorrow/Young Global Leader (World Economic Forum); 2017 Visionary Award (Silicon Valley Forum); Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters (Babson College); 2018 Heinz Award in Technology, the Economy and Employment (Heinz Family Foundation).

A graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School, Linda lives in Brooklyn Heights with her husband, author/journalist Bruce Feiler, and identical twin daughters, Tybee and Eden.

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Areas of Impact
Latin America, North America


NOTE: Endeavor Global is in no way affiliated with "The Endeavour Group" based in Washington, DC.
Audio Interview

Endeavor is leading the global movement to catalyse long-term economic growth by selecting, mentoring and accelerating the best high-impact entrepreneurs around the world.

Focus: Enterprise Development
Geographic Area of Impact: Latin America, Middle East, Africa, South-East Asia, Europe, USA
Model: Hybrid Non-Profit
Number of Direct Beneficiaries: 30,000 entrepreneurs; +200,000 jobs
Annual Budget: US$ 30 million
Percentage Earned Revenue: 50%
Recognition: Schwab Fellow of the World Economic Forum

Fifteen years ago, Endeavor pioneered the idea that high-impact entrepreneurs are key drivers of sustainable economic growth. Endeavor was the first to identify the highest potential entrepreneurs across global growth markets and, with offices in 17 countries, has built the most extensive network of entrepreneurs and mentors in the world. During the past year, its network of 2,500 business leaders volunteered 45,000 hours to mentoring Endeavor Entrepreneurs.

Endeavor’s 766 entrepreneurs lead 476 companies that generated over US$ 5 billion in revenues in 2011, and have created over 200,000 jobs. Endeavor’s goal is to take its model to at least 25 emerging markets by 2015.

Innovation and Activities
Among Endeavor’s activities, Catalyst and Insight are two especially innovative programmes.

Catalyst, which serves as Endeavor's endowment, is an innovative, passive co-investment venture fund. Its returns support expansion and reinvestment in the support of more Endeavor Entrepreneurs. With a notional internal rate of return of 48%, Catalyst is set to support Endeavor's growth from 14 countries to 25 by 2015. Since launching in January 2012, Endeavor has raised more than US$ 10 million towards Catalyst, and invested/committed more than US$ 5 million towards five investments in Brazil, Turkey, Argentina and Mexico. Its goal is to raise US$ 40 million to promote innovation and investment in global growth markets.

Insight is the research arm of Endeavor that seeks to deepen understanding of how high-impact entrepreneurs contribute to job creation and long-term economic growth, in order to educate key constituencies, such as policy-makers. It also seeks to serve as a knowledge centre for high-impact entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and others, to provide useful information and tools that assist high-impact entrepreneurs as they grow their business. Through Insight, Endeavor has partnered with leading academic institutions, Fortune 100 companies and organizations such as the World Economic Forum, to share learnings on fostering entrepreneurial ecosystems and scaling high-impact ventures around the world.

The Entrepreneur
To launch Endeavor, Linda Rottenberg sought potential donors and business leaders in Latin America, the Middle East, South-East Asia and South Africa to donate +US$ 3 million to launch each country affiliate. She also convinced them to dedicate their time and passion to the organization and its entrepreneurs. Today, she empowers high-impact entrepreneurs worldwide and inspires Fortune 500 managers to think like entrepreneurs. She is a speaker on topics concerning global entrepreneurship, lessons for adopting an entrepreneurial mindset, business opportunities in emerging markets, and innovative leadership for the new economy. She is currently writing a book, entitled “Mastering the Art of Entrepreneurship: Essential Skills Everyone Needs to Succeed in Business Today”.


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