Great Endeavor
    Category: Private Money By : Sonya Angraini Read : 1209 Date : Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - 09:47:07

    Ahmad Zamroni / Forbes Indonesia

    To be successful, entrepreneurs need more than some pluck, luck and seed capital. They also need to develop virtually every other part of the business, from their own managerial skills to the technology for the company. For all but giving them the money part, the U.S.-based NGO Endeavor is dedicated to helping entrepreneurs turn a small startup into a major success.

    Launched in Argentina in 1997, Endeavor now has spread to 18 countries, with Indonesia among the newest places in its network. Endeavor Indonesia office is opened in February 2012, and its first office in Asia. Why Indonesia? “Why not? It's the right organization in the right place,” says Endeavor Indonesia Managing Director Sati Rasuanto, who previously worked as chief of staff to Gita Wirjawan when he ran the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM).

    Indonesia fits the profile where Endeavor feels it adds the most value. It looks for growing markets where entrepreneurs are starting to emerge. Sati adds that entrepreneurship is taking off in Indonesia but challenges such as limited management expertise and access to capital are hindering its development. Endeavor wants to help overcome these challenges.

    “There's not really any organization that focuses on scaling up businesses. Most are focusing on giving awards to startups,” Sati says. Endeavor Indonesia is looking for what it calls “high impact” entrepreneurs, meaning a select few whose businesses have the potential of wide-reaching effects on the local or even global economy.

    To get support from Endeavor, the entrepreneurs and their business are put through a rigorous screening process. First to be evaluated is the entrepreneur. What is the entrepreneur's track record in terms of executing their business plan? Second is their potential as a role model. Does the entrepreneur have a good reputation? Is the entrepreneur's business going to have a positive impact on its country and can the entrepreneur be a mentor and role model for other entrepreneurs in the future?

    The business is also scrutinized, such what is its growth potential and long-term sustainability. “If an entrepreneur engaged in fashion design wants to be Indonesia's answer to Zara then he's the one we're looking for,” says Sati. Even if he has great designs, if he is happy with one store, then Endeavor will take a pass.