By Olga Rosca
A pioneering organisation leading the high-impact entrepreneurship movement worldwide, Endeavor is expanding in Romania with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) among its founders.
The EBRD is joining forces with Dedeman, a do-it-yourself chain and the biggest company owned by Romanian private investors, and Globalworth, a real estate company active in central and eastern Europe, to amplify the boost for Romanian entrepreneurs that Endeavor will provide.
Founded in 1997, Endeavor today operates in more than 30 countries across Latin America, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and the United States of America, supporting entrepreneurs at the ‘scale-up’ stage. The organisation currently supports more than 2,000 rigorously selected entrepreneurs, providing a world-class network and services to help them grow bigger, faster and more efficiently. Last year, Endeavor entrepreneurs generated more than US$ 20 billion in annual revenues and created over 4.1 million jobs.
Managing Director of Endeavor in Romania, Mihnea Craciun said: “Endeavor will offer Romanian entrepreneurs a best-in-class seal of approval, an unrivalled personal and professional network, frictionless co-investment capital and peer-to-peer exchange of ideas in a truly global setting.
“Our aim is to select, mentor and dramatically accelerate the best high-impact entrepreneurs by helping them to think bigger, make better decisions by accessing talent, investors and global markets and multiply their impact by becoming role models, mentors and investors in their local ecosystems.”
“We are thrilled to launch Endeavor in Romania to help local entrepreneurs scale up and multiply their impact by investing in, mentoring and inspiring the next generation. With access to Endeavor’s global network and the Endeavor Catalyst co-investment fund, and with support from a strong founding board, we are confident that Endeavor Romania will have a meaningful impact on Romania’s most innovative entrepreneurs and the country at large,” said Endeavor co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg.
The EBRD supported the opening of Endeavor’s Romanian branch by extending a €450,000(US$544,212) grant from the Turkey-EBRD Cooperation Fund, which is backed by the Republic of Turkey’s Ministry of Treasury and Finance.
EBRD Regional Director for Bulgaria and Romania, Mark Davis said: “The missions of Endeavor and the EBRD are complementary in many ways. We work towards catalysing the development of the entrepreneurial environment in Romania and are delighted to join forces.”
Using its business network in the country, the EBRD also helped identify and select a board of directors for Endeavor Romania.
The local Board of Directors is chaired by Marius Stefan, CEO and co-founder of Autonom Group, and includes Monica Cadogan and Calin Fusu, the co-founders of Vivre, Vargha Moayed, Chief Strategy Officer of UiPath, Tiberiu Moisa, Deputy CEO at Banca Transilvania, Voicu Oprean, CEO and founder of Arobs, Andrei Dunca, co-founder and CTO of LiveRail, and Costin Taracila, Managing Partner of RTPR. Dan Lupu, Partner in Early Bird Venture Capital, will join as Senior Adviser. The Board is completed by the representatives of the three founding partners, Karina Paval of Dedeman, Dimitris Raptis, CEO of Globalworth Group, and the EBRD’s Mr Davis.
The EBRD is a major investor in Romania and focuses on financing infrastructure, boosting productivity and strengthening the financial sector. To date, the EBRD has invested €8.8 billion in the Romanian economy through 463 projects.