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21 / 07 / 2004
Linda Rottenberg, chief executive officer and co-founder of Endeavor Global, "Many people do not want to enter into the business world because of the bad image of its businesspeople"

The Forum's "141 Questions" (73): "Do we have to find new ways of aiding development?" Linda Rottenberg, co-founder of Endeavor Global, a non-profit international organization that offers its support to new managerial initiatives, statedthat "we have to change the image of businesspeople and train businesspeople with a new social consciousness to create workplaces and generate richness." She said that in both Spain and Latin America, "failure is not accepted" and believes that it is fundamental for enterprising people to have confidence in their possibilities: "At Endeavor we believe in those who believe in themselves," she assured.

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Linda Rottenberg, co-founder of Endeavor Global, stressed today at the Haima stage that "to solve unemployment and poverty we have to have the conviction that businesspeople are not a part of the problem." She pointed out that people in the United States believe that businesspeople clearly contribute to the creation of employment, but that in Europe and in Latin America, businesspeople tend to be associated with corruption and egoism, "We have to change this image and train businesspeople with a new social consciousness. Who will solve the phenomena of poverty? The United States?" she asked.

In fact, she made a quick survey among the attendees to research the degree of confidence that businesspeople deserve. Among others, she heard the opinion of two people from the public, "Here we have a cultural problem, all types of power are viewed poorly," one stated. "Businesspeople need to know that the power of money is as important as the power of work," another observed. After checking to see if the majority proved to be mistrustful of businesspeople, Linda Rottenberg reached the conclusion that "we need to change the situation, we will meet again in ten years and you can tell me what kind of businesses you have set up."

Rottenberg explained that Endeavor Global breaks with the negative ideas that are limited to helping with isolated aid to people who need it, "We identify new talents to offer them the opportunities that will allow them to create new companies." Among others, she explained about a young Argentine from Buenos Aires who sold office products and that, thanks to the collaboration and advice from Endeavor, "created a company that now has 500 workers and invoices 50 million dollars." She commented that the organization looks for people with good ideas and that, after six months of interviews, they choose the most appropriate candidates to start new businesses: “In this way we have created 12,000 jobs in Latin America,” she pointed out. She also insisted on the fact the project aims at consolidating “good citizens with good working conditions that can help their communities with their business activity.” In this respect, she highlighted that the goal “is not to make another ten rich business people” but to “get them to explain their experience to others and encourage other young people to do the same.”

She pointed that “failure is not accepted” in Spain or in Latin America and regarded self-confidence as a fundamental quality for anyone wishing to do business: “Endeavor believes in people who believe in themselves; failure is not a bad thing,” she assured.

Endeavor promotes new models of social, economic and cultural development by giving support to entrepreneurial activities in emerging markets. Its creation is based on the conviction that in creating a support network that provides knowledge, contacts and access to business people they would eventually contribute to create successful businesses as models to be followed. The organization works in the USA, Brazil, Chile, uruguay, Mexico, Argentina and, more recently, South Africa. “We only go where we are called.” She added.