Entrepreneurs of Endeavor
Endeavor is an international nongovernmental organization founded to support creative entrepreneurs especially in developing countries. Famous New York Times journalist Thomas Friedman in his book “The World is Flat” describes Endeavor’s basic model as “to link up small and midsize businesses with seasoned entrepreneurs.”
Turkey’s prominent young businesspeople came together in 2006 to apply this model.
Who are among these people?
Hürriyet’s CEO Vuslat Doğan Sabanci, Akbank’s member of the Executive Committee Suzan Sabanci Dinçer, Koç Head of Information Group Ali Koç, Limak member of the Executive Committee Ebru Özdemir, Fiba Holding member of the Executive Committee Murat Özyeğin, Tahincioğlu Holding President Özcan Tahincioğlu.
Fourteen members of the Executive Board of Endeavor have been supporting and promoting innovative entrepreneurs of Turkey for six years. They are trying to make true success stories emerge.
For example, the website Yemeksepeti.com that was set up in 2001 has been among the entrepreneurs Endeavor has selected since 2007.
Recently, General Atlantic, which has a fund size of $14 billion, became a partner in Yemeksepeti.com by shelling out $44 million.
According to information provided by General Secretary of Endeavor, Didem Altop, Endeavor has supported the growth strategy of Yemeksepeti.com as well as contributed to the assessment of partnership offers.
I also know people who are among the entrepreneurs Endeavor has supported in their growth process.
One of them is Bedriye Hülya who has opened sports centers only for women under the name B-Fit and who has reached 200 branches nationwide in six years.
Bedriye Hülya is now preparing to open up the B-Fit model to the Middle East using the Endeavor network.
Ender Mermer, who has opened Dükkan which sells extremely sophisticated meat products at a neighborhood such as Armutlu where especially the low income group lives, is a name who has benefited from Endeavor’s experiences.
I had the opportunity to meet Endeavor entrepreneur candidates from Turkey and from the world at the reception the other evening at Vuslat Doğan Sabanci’s home.
Yavuz Barkin who is among the 17 entrepreneurs Endeavor will select this year, has developed quite an interesting car rental model.
After working at Borusan Holding for years Barkin has set up his own company and has adapted a system that already existed in the United States to rent cars on membership basis.
According to this system, you are able to rent the cars parked at certain places in the city at any hour of the day. Yavuz Barkin said mostly it is students who use this system. For this reason, some of the cars are parked at campuses of Bilgi, Boğaziçi and Özyeğin universities.
This model is a wonderful idea for a country where car taxes have skyrocketed and where traffic in big cities like Istanbul has become inextricable.