Multinationals Turn to Entrepreneurs for a Foothold in Emerging Markets
By: Sarah J. Robbins, special to Overdrive
It’s a script-flip for offshore investment: After years of ho-hum growth in the U.S., some of the world’s biggest companies are hoping to expand their businesses by helping new entrepreneurs in far-flung markets with theirs. The approach may sound at first like an inflated corporate social responsibility initiative, but for such companies as Ernst & Young, SAP, Dell, Coca-Cola and others, connecting with the scrappiest of startups actually improves their own bottom line.
“There are so many reasons why moving toward emerging markets goes beyond [corporate social responsibility] to good business thinking,” says David Wachtel, senior vice president of marketing at Endeavor Global, a nonprofit that mentors high-growth entrepreneurs in 15 countries across Latin America and the Middle East. “Our corporate partners are interested not only in becoming smart global citizens. They’re looking at where the growth of their products and services will be in the next 20 to 30 years.”