Image: James Ryang

Linda Rottenberg: For Entrepreneurs, "Crazy" Is A Compliment

About this presentation
As the CEO and Co-Founder of Endeavor, Linda Rottenberg works with entrepreneurs around the world on a daily basis, helping them grow their businesses for maximum impact. In this 99% talk, Rottenberg shares tips for new entrepreneurs and addresses some of the key challenges that creative startups face.

About Linda Rottenberg
Named one of “America’s Best Leaders” by US News & World Report and one of 100 “Innovators for the 21st century” by Time, Linda Rottenberg is one of the world’s most dynamic and respected experts on entrepreneurship, business opportunities in emerging markets, and innovative leadership for the new economy.
As the CEO and Co-founder of Endeavor, Rottenberg pioneered the field of High-Impact Entrepreneurship, the global phenomenon of using business to transform economies. Headquartered in New York with affiliates throughout Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia, Endeavor identifies, mentors, and scales the most promising emerging-market entrepreneurs. The 600 Endeavor Entrepreneurs selected to date have created 150,000 jobs and generate annual revenues of nearly $4 billion.
A graduate of Harvard College and Yale Law School, Rottenberg is a member of Young Presidents Organization and Council on Foreign Relations and an expert judge for the prestigious McKinsey-Harvard Business Review awards. She has been profiled in The Wall Street Journal, Time, Forbes, Fortune, New York Times, Fast Company, Inc., and The Economist. The mother of identical twin daughters, Rottenberg is the wife – and frequent subject – of the best-selling author and New York Times columnist, Bruce Feiler.


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  • Paulo Bernardo

    The word is Portuguese for entrepeneur is “empreendedor”.
     By the way entrepeneur is a word in French.

  • Mark Simchock

    Very inspiring. Thanks.

    However, I’m not so sure about big being the criteria for making something crazy and/or worth doing. Having to worry about scale too soon could compromise the ability to scale *the uncompromisable idea*.

    I’m also not so sure it’s right (?) to impose the US’s idea of entrepreneur and venture capital on these other cultures. Local impact could (and should?) supersede the bottom line. I’m not disputing the US model works, at least in the USA.

    My point is, what if there’s a better way? It strikes me as cultural imperialism to assume that the US model is superior. It would seem to me that in embracing these other cultures that they might bring things to the table that in fact improve on the US model. These incubators (if you will) are actually an opportunity to challenge the US model. Instead, the irony is, this is just the status quo, yes?

    With all due respect to Linda and her efforts…maybe her idea isn’t big enough ;)

    Don’t get me wrong, I am impressed. But there is an element of disconnect that I thought was worth mentioning. I’d be curious to know what others think. Thanks.

  • Ibaldo

    And in Spanish is “emprendedor”.
    Still is a great talk.

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  • Rodrigo Langeani

    Good point Paulo, the presentation was ok, but the introduction could be better.
    It is easy to talk when you did not grow up in a country with inflation taxes greater than 80%/month, wich was what we had in Brazil when I was a kid.
    The main problem is not the lack of founding but the ridiculous high taxes that we have to pay for the government.
    In Latin America countries, entrepreneurs are HEROES!

  • Nei Grando

    Linda, congratulations for your speach. The word in portuguese for “Entrepreneur” is Empreendedor.

  • SUre

    why is she talking so fast? 

  • Endeavor Ags

    hello, i work on endeavor mexico i would like to download this video, how can i do it? thanks

  • jkglei

    Hi there. We don’t allow downloads due to our agreements with the speakers, but you can embed the video, the code is on the right, just underneath the video itself. Best. Jocelyn /// Editor-in-Chief, 99%

  • Sérgio Schüler

    Yes there is a word for “entrepreneur” in Portuguese: “empreendedor”.

  • Linda Rottenberg

    Yes, we know! Endeavor Brasil helped coin the terms “empreendedor” and “empreendedorismo,” and now they are widely used. But 15 years ago that wasn’t the case. Today, Brazil is blowing everyone away with incredible entrepreneurs in every sector, who are driving growth and becoming role models for innovators around the world. It’s an inspiration to watch.

  • Arthurleonov

    that woman is hyyyyyyyyyyyyper 

  • DougfromEagan

    Dear Linda, one thing that was glaring to me was the taxi drivers saying they didnt want to work for the government. Socialism. Big government, the stifling of government regulation. I worked (in Minnesota) with a very intelligent positive, high energy girl from the Ukraine and she said that everyone from there has an engineering degrees and most have multiple degrees. Education is not the road to more jobs in an economy, Capitalism is.  I love the positive energy of your talk. The  big ideas and the free flow of forward thinking. I am worried about this dark cloud called Barak Obama and his old bad ideas. Good luck to us all.

  • network cabling services

    Interesting but lacking some real “meat”.

  • Joana_andrade

    There is a portuguese word for entrepreneur, it’s “empreendedor”.

  • orgulloTico

    Very interesting and inspirational…

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