Saturday, March 21, 2009

SA and Egyptian entrepreneurs selected for elite network

17 March 2009

Entrepreneurs from both Egypt and South Africa have been invited to join a global network of high-impact entrepreneurs, at an Endeavor International Selection Panel (ISP) in New Delhi, India.

Endeavor identifies entrepreneurs leading high-growth innovative companies in emerging markets. These entrepreneurs are given strategic advice, access to key networks and other tools that will enable them to grow their businesses. Often overlooked, these local entrepreneurs are initiating private sector development in their countries.

Prefix Technologies, from South Africa, and Egypt’s Diwan Bookstore were two of the four entrepreneurs chosen by the panel to join the group.

Started by Sam Hutchinson and Josh Adler, Prefix Technologies’ software has taken South Africa’s magazine publishing sector by storm. In a statement Prefix announced their expansion into other emerging markets in late 2009, a venture that will rely on the Endeavor network to set up contacts in these markets.

“Endeavor will open the doors but we have to work hard to make use of those contacts… We want to see emerging market publishers take their rightful place in the world,” said Adler.

Hind & Nadia Wassef founded the first Diwan Bookstore in 2001. Diwan is now an expansive franchise that merges western and eastern literature and culture. Diwan provides support to both Arab and international writers. Egypt is already the leading producer of books in the Arab world, with over 7,000 titles annually, more than the total number of books produced in all Arab countries together.

The Endeavor ISP is the conclusion of a long search and selection process, wherein respected business leaders interview and eventually select the entrepreneurs for the network.

Endeavor hosts 5 international selection panels every year. Two in Latin America, one in the Middle East, one in South Africa and one in India.

“Last week, in New Delhi, we selected an impressive array of entrepreneurs that are running companies that will not only change industries but also create value-added jobs that are necessary for any growing economy,” said Endeavor Co-founder & CEO Linda Rottenberg.

The selected entrepreneurs will be offered advice from successful business mentors and consultants from Fortune 500 firm, with the aim of enabling them to make a greater impact in their native economies.

“Endeavor identifies the stumbling blocks in emerging markets for entrepreneurs, and gives us the courage to think bigger. When a panel of top business people tell you that they think you are special, and that you have a lot of opportunity, is really a boost,” said Adler.

As of 2007, entrepreneurs in the Endeavor network throughout Latin America, South Africa and Turkey have created 86,000 new jobs and generated over $2.4 billion in revenues.

For more information on the Endeavor network, please visit their website
For more information on Prefix Technologies, please visit their website
For more information on Diwan bookstores, please visit their Facebook group