Endeavor, a New York City-based nonprofit that works to accelerate entrepreneurship in local growth markets around the world, has announced a $2 million grant from the Walton Family Foundation to launch a new office in northwest Arkansas.
Founded in 1997 by Linda Rottenberg and Peter Kellner, Endeavor has developed a "pull" model that requires the support of five to ten local business leaders willing to fund local operations, form a board of directors, and build a local network of mentors for entrepreneurs. To date, the organization has helped 1,800 entrepreneurs build 1,100 companies that have created more than 1.5 million jobs in North America, Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa. Endeavor NWA will be the sixth office established by the organization in the U.S. since 2012. According to the 2018 State of the Northwest Arkansas Region Report, 1,364 new businesses were established in the region from 2012 to 2017.
"This region's entrepreneurial heritage is a rich one indeed," said Endeavor NWA board chair Elise Mitchell. "Many of us were fortunate to build companies here. But the obstacles entrepreneurs face in smaller markets are significant. Endeavor NWA will allow us to provide fast-scaling entrepreneurs with resources that can further accelerate their growth and enable them to have an even greater impact on the region."