Endeavor’s model works in five parts to Launch, Select, Scaleup, Multiply, and Reinvest the high-impact entrepreneurship movement worldwide.

In new cities, regions and countries, our pull model is led by local private sector leaders who pledge their time and money to open a new offices.

Endeavor operates across Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, Latin America, and the Middle East. Endeavor’s launch process typically takes 12-18 months. Initial “scoping trips” allow Endeavor to assess a country’s fit with our launch criteria.

Learn more about the markets where we operate by visiting our local offices.

Enabling Framework

Endeavor looks for strong macroeconomic conditions that enable entrepreneurship (e.g. stable economic growth, low corruption levels). While we operate in countries and cities that possess structural barriers to entrepreneurship, we believe that with Endeavor’s help these barriers can be diminished (e.g., early stages of inbound foreign investment).

Potential for Entrepreneurial Ecosystem

Endeavor’s model is about High-Impact Entrepreneurship. We look for markets that have a critical mass of innovative entrepreneurs who need a “jump start” to catalyze an environment favorable to new venture creation and the formation of mature capital markets.

Pull of the Private Sector

Endeavor requires the support of 5-10 top local business leaders to fund local operations, form a board of directors and build a local network to mentor Endeavor Entrepreneurs.

Mission Congruence

In our attempts to foster entrepreneurship wherever we operate, Endeavor will not duplicate efforts in countries that already offer significant support to high-impact ventures. Rather, we look for a vibrant local business community that has the resources, but not the framework, to provide these support services


Our portfolio of high-impact entrepreneurs help to drive innovation, produce role models, and maximize wealth and job creation. Endeavor selects and supports a group of extraordinary entrepreneurs who have the potential to transform industries, communities and countries. Through a rigorous, multi-step selection process (12-18 months), candidates pass a series of local and regional interviews before presenting to panelists from our global business network at International Selection Panels held five to six times each year.

We select individuals of all ages, ethnicities and educational backgrounds, delivering a meritocratic message to the developing world: through hard work, creativity and values-driven leadership, individuals living anywhere, from any background, can turn an entrepreneurial idea into a world-class venture. Learn more about the high-impact entrepreneurs in our network.

Our multi-step selection process involves:

Pro-Active Research

Conducted by Endeavor staff.


Made by the Endeavor network.


Made through the website.


Endeavor staff assesses entrepreneur’s application and conducts preliminary research to determine whether to interview the candidates.

First Opinion Reviews

Endeavor staff conducts a one-hour interview to assess the candidate’s viability.

Second Opinion Reviews

Senior-level Venture Corps conduct multiple interviews with each candidate, probing the business’s strategy, innovation, growth-potential, and entrepreneur’s personal qualities.

Local Selection Panel

10–15 Venture Corps and local Board Members interview, deliberate, and select candidates for an international panel.

International Selection Panel

International business leaders serve as panelists to interview candidates, deliberate, and select a new class of Endeavor Entrepreneurs by unanimous vote.

We help our entrepreneurs’ companies grow throughout their business “life-cycle” by developing and providing a comprehensive, unparalleled array of demand-driven services and programs. At the heart of Endeavor’s innovative model is our world-class network built to support Endeavor Entrepreneurs.

Once selected, entrepreneurs are provided with customized services from a volunteer network of more than a thousand global and local business leaders who serve as mentors, advisors, connectors, investors, and role models. These services take place on both the affiliate and global levels. Learn more about the global programs and services Endeavor offers.

Endeavor focuses on providing access to:

2.2 Endeavor - Model - Support-01


Endeavor’s impact is exemplified by showcasing Endeavor Entrepreneurs as role models who influence education and policy reform, spur local investment, and inspire others to take risks. In each country and city where Endeavor operates, we highlight our entrepreneurs as role models, helping them to transform social norms around entrepreneurship and to inspire future generations to innovate, take risks, and “think big” – the multiplier effect.

Learn more about how entrepreneurs multiply their impact in ecosystem studies conducted by Endeavor Insight.


Endeavor has always been an organization of, by and for entrepreneurs. To support Endeavor’s goal of long-term sustainability, Endeavor Entrepreneurs are motivated to pay it forward, reinvesting their financial gains, expertise, and time.

In support of Endeavor’s long-term goal of sustainability, Endeavor Entrepreneurs are expected to give the organization an annual service fee and, in the event of an acquisition, are asked to donate 2% of their personal cash out to the organization. Today, we proudly count dozens of Endeavor Entrepreneurs among our LPs in Endeavor Catalyst—investing to grow the next generation of high-impact entrepreneurs and completing the cycle.

Learn more about how our entrepreneurs are giving back and making an impact all around the world and about how Endeavor Catalyst’s model supports Endeavor’s mission.


Endeavor was formed as a new kind of non-profit organization.

In 1997, Linda Rottenberg and Peter Kellner sat down and, like many entrepreneurs before and after, sketched their vision on the back of a napkin. Peter had just returned from a Harvard Business School trip to China, where he had witnessed first-hand the boom in entrepreneurship that would transform that country.

For Linda, the light bulb moment for Endeavor came in the back of a taxi cab in Buenos Aires. She struck up a conversation with the driver and was shocked to learn he had a PhD in Engineering. She asked if he hadn’t considered becoming an entrepreneur instead of driving a taxi. “An empresario?” he said dismissively, using the Spanish word for a big businessman. It suddenly occurred to her that there was no Spanish word for “entrepreneur.”

Learn more about our story and how the “business plan” that began on the back of a napkin had become a shared vision, cultivated and expanded by board members, staff and entrepreneurs around the globe.