11/29/10

15 Entrepreneurs from South Africa, Colombia, and Mexico selected at Cape Town

15 Entrepreneurs from South Africa, Colombia, and Mexico selected at Cape Town ISP


 November 19th, 2010 — Justin Belmont

Endeavor invited 15 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from South Africa, Colombia, and Mexico to join its network at its 37th International Selection Panel held in Cape Town, South Africa November 17-19. Endeavor now supports 555 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from 358 companies.
The newest Entrepreneurs were selected by top business leaders from the United States, Europe, and South Africa. In addition to the selection panel, on November 17th participants attended the 2nd annual Global Entrepreneurship Week summit “The State of Entrepreneurship in South Africa.”
This was Endeavor’s sixth selection panel in South Africa since establishing the office in 2004. Endeavor South Africa brought 11 candidates from six companies, out of which six Entrepreneurs were selected. The affiliate’s increased search and selection capabilities, particularly among entrepreneurs from previously disadvantaged groups, have been supported in part by a grant from the Citi Foundation. Citi has also provided support for 2010/2011 Endeavor search and selection activities in Egypt and Turkey. Learn more about the Search & Selection process here.
The companies/Entrepreneurs selected are:
Campoalto (Colombia)
Entrepreneurs: Andrés Angulo, Alvaro Hoffmann, Hugo Fernando Novoa
Campoalto is an education company that operates 16 career certification programs at five “campus” locations in Bogotá. Programs cover offerings in the Health Care sector and, more recently, Hotel Management and Food Services.
Cibecs (South Africa)
Entrepreneur: Richard Dewing
Founded in 2004, Cibecs provides enterprise-wide, centrally managed, automated and secure data protection and recovery services for desktops and notebooks. Its product, Cibecs Continuity, allows clients to easily and quickly recover lost data, reducing infrastructure utilization and optimizing bandwidth and storage usage.
Cinemagic (Mexico)
Entrepreneurs: Roberto Quintero Vega & José Irigoyen Palacios
Cinemagic builds and manages high-tech, modern movie complexes in regional Mexican cities with populations of 50,000-150,000.
Integr8 (South Africa)
Entrepreneurs: Lance Fanaroff and Rob Sussman
Integr8 IT is now the largest privately owned Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) Company on the African continent. It currently supports and regulates the ICT environment of many of South Africa’s leading organizations including Microsoft South Africa, Ernst & Young and Nedbank.
Masana (South Africa)
Entrepreneur: Cynthia Mkhombo
Masana Hygiene Services provides office cleaning programs for clients in a full range of corporate, retail and commercial sectors. In six years, Masana has grown from 7 to over 750 employees, the majority of whom are women.
Neve Gelato (Mexico)
Entrepreneur: Francisco Xavier Briseno Sanchez
Founded in 1999 as Mexico’s first Italian-style ice cream chain, Neve Gelato has built its brand name and retail presence in Mexico City, currently operating 26 shops, and has plans for major expansion throughout the country.
Pabisan (Mexico)
Entrepreneur: Enrique Antonio Ramon Eisenring
Puebla-based Pabisan produces specialty bakery products such as low-sugar and gluten-free bread. Its business lines now span several markets to include a high-end retail bakery franchise, wholesale production for leading domestic supermarkets and exports to American supermarkets.
PagosOnline (Colombia)
Entrepreneurs: Jose Fernando Velez and Martin Schrimpff
PagosOnline has become a domestic industry leader, capturing 80% of the transactions of the Colombian e-commerce market. The company specializes in integrating local forms of payment—such as cash or bank transfers—into their online payment platform.
SYNAQ (South Africa)
Entrepreneurs: Yossi Hasson and David Jacobson.
SYNAQ offers email and internet security products based on the Linux open-source software to both large enterprise and SME clients.

11/28/10

Do you believe that a venture needs to be non-for-profit in order to make a high positive impact in the world? Or it is this irrelevant?

If on FACEBOOK, feel free to join a recently opened forum discussion by a good friend. The following was my answer to his question: "Do you believe that a venture needs to be non-for-profit in order to make a high positive impact in the world? Or it is this irrelevant?"

Follow the debate here: http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=173967849295484&topic=307


11/24/10

Entrepreneurial Discovery - 2010 Top Finance Blog Award



As a website dedicated to help those consider a career in finance, we only
provide the best information available.  Whether it's a resource that
explores the legal aspects of finance, or provides insight on how to manage
debt, we provide them for those seeking to obtain this information.  This is
why we've featured your blog, as it is one of the best to teach our readers.

You can see your blog and others at:
www.onlinefinancedegree.com/features/finance/

11/18/10

11/15/10

Rainy season Entrepreneurs ...(subsistence entrepreneurship rules!!!)

It is really a pity that I did not bring on Friday a camera with me - it would have been nice to show you evidence of the "rainy season Entrepreneurs" I saw! Sometimes it can be really entertaining to go out in Colombian cities when it rains ...

So, here is the ranking of called my attention today ...

# 3 - The guy selling umbrellas: Now , this is a classical one. Yet, it never stops surprising me how much these guys take advantage of the "poor" (or dumb?) people - me being at times one of them - that inspite of knowing that it`s raining every day, do not carry an umbrella with them.

I was at a corner today waiting for a cab and in less than 5 minutes, I swear, I saw a guy selling at least 5 umbrellas, and what`s most relevant, at 5-8 USD each ... when for the quality of those they should not cost more than 2 USD. Yet, when it`s pouring, you pay whatever it takes to have even a crappy umbrella, which is highly likely that you pile up and forget at home ... giving the chance  to these "entrepreneurs" to sell you again and again...  I prohibited myself recently to keep buying umbrellas! I showered completely last time but that was the only way to get the discipline of carrying one . Also, something cool that those sellers do, is that they walk into the lobbies of the buildings (where people are crowded together "waiting for the rain to stop" - but at the same time suffering because they are really in a super hurry) and offer the goods. I was in this situation once, and out of like 20 people, around 10 bought one. Common sense actions that boost revenues ...

# 2 -  The "improvised" plastic cealing: As some of you might know in Bogotá there are lots of street sellers, which mainly offer stuff like candies, fast food and take away beverages. Below you can see how it more and less looks like.


The # 2 position goes to a guy that literally put an improvised huge cealing of plastic (I guess of around 10 Sq Mts of roof made out of plastic bags) right in front of its mini-shop. Of course when it starts raining lots of people just land there, wet and panting, but relieved to find at least 1/2 Sq mt where each one can stand. Of course the seller starts offering warm coffee, aromatica (herbal infusion) and other types of snacks, which wanting it or not you just buy. If you do not buy, people below the plastic ceiling ask you to leave!!! - and give you place to someone that is willing to "consume". I was passing by with my umbrella and also felt like having an  aromatica. I did not stand under the improvised roof, but yet I started talking to the guy and asked him about his "patic bags ceiling". He said it was his salvation, he could sell in 1 hour rain what sometimes he was not able to sell in  a whole morning on a wet day.

# 3 -  The "arroyo" mini bridge: This one I did not see in Bogotá, yet it is very common in Barranquilla, my home city. For some geographical condition issue, plus a lack of suitable sewer system/drains, Barranquilla is a city that has lost of arroyos.

The best way to know what an "arroyo" is, is probably just taking a look at one of them. It`s like a river on a street ...




"Arroyos" can be quite dangerous. One tends to speak about them almost like a touristic attraction at times, yet the topic is not even funny. Not only because it exposes every year the lack of infrastructure of the city and how over decades the problem has not been solved, but also because every year during the rainy season (imprudent) people get injured and sadly some of them have died, trying to face "arroyos". Barranquilla is (so far) the only city I know where you actually find a formal signal warning for "arroyos".



Coming back to my story, the # 1 endeavor I want to portrait is the one of the guys that in Barranquilla improvise a "bridge" made out of random planks/boards of wood. They put these planks from one side of the road to the other, allowing you to cross the street despite the massive arroyos.  Some of them also "offer" to walk with you over the plank with an umbrella, if you do not have one.  I remember when I used to use this "service" in Barranquilla, that I always asked the guys to go with me, since I found it a bit scary. The "right" to pass, costs you "whatever you want to give them" (which in local understanding could be up until 0,5 USD ... but make sure you give something, otherwise they get really pissed off. This one for me is the winner ... "arroyos" keep flowing up several hours  after the rain is gone... these guys can easily, out of nothing, make a living those days just by putting a wooden plank on a street... and well, even if it was not that common, I managed to also see some guys that instead of wooden boards, used big stones... but the demand for these ones was way lower ... of course ...

Anyways, I know I am ignoring lots of crazy subsistence endeavors that take place when it rains. For us, Colombians, rain is not part of our agendas ... we dislike it completely ... it`s the perfect excuse to not go out,  to feel "sad", to feel "cold" - we are sunny people. Yet, as can see, for a good % of people, rain is subsistence. 

Have you any other "rain" entrepreneurial story to share?

11/6/10

From "subsistence entrepreneurship" to "opportunity/high impact entrepreneurship"

Hi all,


I went a week ago to the annual conference of one of our Endeavor Colombia Companies: Servinformacion - one of the companies I directly serve! Servinformacion is in the business of  GIS


I had the pleasure to be on an amazing session that  closed me up into the "world" of the "tiendas"

The format of "tienda" is so far known by me from my home country Colombia and partly, from other few Latin American countries.  A "tienda" is a shop, a very small one, "messy" one, driven by an entrepreneur that without much technique and academic formation (yet, very savvy) sells a wide array of categories of food and beverages (mainly) for consumers. 


The historical boom of "Tiendas" in Colombia is not about them selling "cheap" - being such a "humble" format one might think that this is the driver of their success, but it is not -  they are certainly NOT cheap. The format is simply a natural response to a market reality: in Colombia 6 out of 10 people earn/are paid daily. Yes, every day they manage to earn something (formally or informally) and every day they buy their food for the next day and somehow manage to save/reserve a piece of the daily money for their other expenses. Who will go then with 5 (or way less) USD to a supermarket, where just taking a bus will probably cost you 1 USD? Almost nobody ... so people go to their "tienda" and buy, close to home, whatever they need.


Now, the essence of my post is not about the "tiendas" - although I love marketing I am certainly not a guru in the "tienda phenomenon". The essence of my post is about how the "tiendas" are evolving from a "subsistence venture" to a higher impact venture.


On the conference it was said that one of the main reasons (if not the main) for the format to evolve into a more professional, structured and customer-friendly one, was the fact the the children of "tenderos" (the owners of the tiendas) did not want to become "tenderos". Even if through the "tienda" business their parents were able to raise them and give them in many cases even university education, they expected an "upgraded" version of the business.


So, these children that, as said, had the chance to access to education started to become the new generation of "Tienda" Entrepreneurs, evolving the "Tienda" format into the "Superette" format. A "Superette" is the upgraded version of the "Tienda", which as first sight might just look as a "small" supermarket (a mini-market) but yet conserving the convenience (location-wise) of the "Tienda".


There are additional other reasons why the new format also worked quite well for a "Tienda" family. The first one is related to security. An old format "Tienda" offered way less security for owners in terms of robbery from customers, but also from burglars. In the new format given its structure they can have professional watchmen and other complementary systems (cameras, sensors, etc.) that can help them be more aware. The second reason why the new format also worked quite well is related to "quality of life" of the entrepreneur. It`s been always said that for the business to work, a "Tendero" had to be present at the shop  24/7.  It is clear that (for a "Tienda" or for any other business) an Entrepreneur has to be immerse in the business - this leading role should not be eliminated. However, with the new format more systems and competent people have the potential to be considered, so that the "Tendero" does not have to be there to do every delivery and count every penny.  

The typical "TIENDA"


The "Superette"



How can`t we talk about the format evolving into a higher impact venture when ...

1. As per a survey realized last year 77 % of the "Tiendas" were attended by only 1 person, and now with the "Superettes" way more people (qualified and not) are required?

2.  As per a survey realized last year 62 % of the "Tiendas" sold less than 100 USD a day and now with the "Superettes" given the attractive format and a wider set of products way more than that is sold?

I know this analysis is still very superficial, yet the discovery is fascinating. In the past, always when we wanted to give an example of a subsistence entrepreneur, we couldn`t find a better one than the "Tendero". Now we can see the even such a business has the potential to develop high impact characteristics and re-invent its nature, adding way more value to the  customers and also to the value chain surrounding the business. To me that`s amazing. 

When was the last time you want to a "Tienda"? Do you actually go to one? What have you seen?