Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management

Introduction: Abdulla Elyas as an Example of Local Entrepreneur

Abdulla Elyas is a co-founder of a ride-hailing company, Careem, the number one car booking app for affordable and reliable transportation in MENA (Endeavor UAE, 2018). He was born in Saudi Arabia and raised in Germany. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with an MSc degree in Computer Science and Ph.D. in Business Administration from RWTH Aachen, one of the top universities in Germany. He also co-founded two social entrepreneurship startups, islam.de and waimo.net. Islam.de is a platform that provides information about Islam to the Western audience. Moreover, in 2016, Abdulla was appointed as board member of the Saudi Arabian Small and Medium Enterprise Authority.

Abdulla Elyas: The Path to Entrepreneurship

Before becoming an entrepreneur, Abdulla was already actively involved in the management and consulting sphere, which probably helped understand the business world’s nuances. In 2012, he launched Enwani, which offers the first address solution in the cloud (World Economic Forum, 2021). Enwani won the Most Investable Company award by Sophia Business Angels in 2013 (World Economic Forum, 2021). In 2014, Careem acquired Enwani, and Abdulla became the co-founder of Careem.

Abdulla Elyas: Overview of the Company

In 2016, Forbes magazine ranked Careem as the biggest car-hailing company and fastest-growing technology company in the Middle East. Careem is particularly useful in the context of the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia and UAE where public transportation is poorly developed. The app positions itself as a multi-functional, all-inclusive platform that allows users to order food, taxi, send funds, deliver the product, among other services. According to the app’s official site (careem.com), Careem operates in 100 cities in 13 countries from Morocco to Pakistan.

Marcos Eshkenazi as an Example of a Global Entrepreneur: Background

Marco Eshkenazi is a successful business owner from Mexico who has founded over 15 businesses. Marcos has an MBA from the IPADE School of Business and a Bachelor Degree in Marketing with a specialty in Small Business Management from Monterrey’s Institute of Superior Studies, ITESM. According to Rodríguez García (2020), “due to the static nature of ecosystems, public and private policies, such as culture changes, investment in financial infrastructure, and technology, should be channeled to entrepreneurs regardless of the country in which the venture arises.” He has made a name for himself as a serial entrepreneur. A serial entrepreneur is someone who runs many enterprises, all of which fulfill their objectives (Nheta, Shambare, Sigauke, and Tshipala, 2020). According to Salam (2016), “when entrepreneurship describes activities within a firm or large organization, it is referred to as intrapreneurship and may include corporate venturing when large entities spin-off organizations.”

Marcos Eshkenazi: The Path to Entrepreneurship

The main driver of Marcos to pursue entrepreneurship, particularly in the sphere of technology is his belief that technology can change the world. He believes that technology is an integral part of the world since 98 percent of the world’s population are receiving signals, and 50 percent actively uses the Internet. Marcos aspires to create an inclusive market by enabling small-medium businesses to access efficient technologies at affordable cost. This is why he joined Frogtek, which helps small merchants throughout marginalized communities of Latin America to successfully manage their businesses.

Marcos Eshkenazi: Overview of the Companies

One of the companies Marcos joined is Frogtek, a social venture that helps shopkeepers to maintain their store through several software tools. His main tool is TiendaTek, which is a mobile application that helps shopkeepers to more efficiently manage their inventories. The company does not generate revenue by making small store owners to pay. Instead, it generates profit by selling real-time sales and inventory data to big companies such as Procter&Gamble. Across all his companies, he generated jobs for more than 1500 families.

Jacqueline Novogratz as an Example of Social Entrepreneur: Background

Jacqueline graduated with an MBA degree from Stanford University and received her BA in Economics/International Relations from the University of Virginia. She also currently serves on boards of the Aspen Institute and 60 Decibels and is part of the Advisory Councils of the Harvard Business School Social Enterprise Initiative, the Oxford Said Global Leadership Council, the NYU Stern Center for Business and Human Rights, and UNICEF (Acumen). Forbes named her as one of the World’s 100 Greatest Living Business Minds (Acumen). She was also appointed by the Secretary Clinton to the Department of State’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board (The Aspen Institute).

Jacqueline Novogratz: The Path to Entrepreneurship

She began her entrepreneurial aspirations in 1986 when she left her job to co-found a Rwandan microfinance institution. This experience has motivated her to create Acumen. Prior to Acumen, she founded and managed The Philanthropy Workshop and The Next Generation Leadership Programs at the Rockefeller Foundation. This experience might also have contributed to formulate her philanthropist and social entrepreneurial mindset. Her desire and path to entrepreneurship is reflected In her first book, The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap between Rich and Poor, and Manifesto for a Moral Revolution: Practices to Build a Better World.

Jacqueline Novogratz: Overview of the Company

In nineteen years of Jacqueline leadership, Acumen invested $135 million to build and support 136 social enterprises across Latin America, Africa, South Asia, and the United States (Acumen). These companies help bring essential services such as affordable education, healthcare, clean water, and sanitation to more than 308 million people (Acumen). Moreover, companies built by the help of Acumen employ more than 58,000 people (The Aspen Institute). In 2015, Forbes named Acumen as one of the world’s top 10 Most Innovative Not-for-Profits (Acumen).

Exploration of Situational Factors and Motivations

For an entrepreneur to have a successful business venture, they must-have factors that drive them to push their ventures. Novogratz is motivated by a desire to assist average citizens and people realize their potential as action programs. Believing in the right of every human being to have equal opportunities, Novogratz launched a program to fund social enterprises across the world. Eshkenazi was motivated to end his poor background and stabilize the socioeconomic environment. He was passionate about taking business and was creative enough to see ends meet. Elyas was motivated by his information and expertise power in computer programming and software engineering. He wanted to help ordinary people to access the same comfortable opportunities as high income people.


All three entrepreneurs have one thing in common. They had faith in their work. Business will not grow without initial belief in the business. These people show that faith is important, but not a key aspect of doing business. Eshkenazi started a big amount of businesses to become successful. Due to the poorly executed public transportation in the Middle East Elyas saw an opportunity to provide the same comfortable services to low-middle income people. Novogratz realized the profound economic and social inequality while working in UNICEF and Wall Street. This experience invigorated her desire and profound belief to make the world a better place.


The three entrepreneurs worked in various sectors. Novogratz established a social enterprise, while Eshkenazi constructed a socioeconomic enterprise viewpoint. Elyas concentrated on cutting-edge cloud computing technology. The other distinction is the amount of danger. Elyas and Novogratz focused on one industry, technology and venture capitalism, respectively. Meanwhile, Eshkenazi experimented with different businesses (Krasniqi, 2019). As a result, Eshkenazi was a serial entrepreneur, while the other two were average business owners.

Shared Entrepreneurial Characteristics and Traits

An entrepreneur has to be creative, passionate, and self-motivated (Kilenthong and Rueanthip, 2018). Eshkenazi has a good education, which allowed him to analyze the market and open new businesses. He had a passion to achieve his targets and did not want to inherit the poverty lifestyle he grew while experiencing. He had a vision that indulging in various businesses would result in high returns. On the other hand, Elyas is creative in the kind of enterprise he does. First, he understands that the digital world required workspaces that need to be boosted with modern microservices architecture. Thus, he included several micro services in his enterprise, Careem, including transportation, delivery, among others.

Shared Entrepreneurial Traits

Novogratz had a passion for helping people change their lives. She believed that everyone has the right to access fundamental things such as clean water, sanitation, food, and healthcare. Eshkenazi is passionate to help people with his developments.

Background and Experience on Hindering or Fostering Entrepreneurship

  • Marcos has an MBA from the IPADE School of Business and a Bachelor Degree in Marketing;
  • Background and experience have an impact on entrepreneurship;
  • After Marco got to Frogtech, his life changed.

Background and Experience on Hindering or Fostering Entrepreneurship

Novogratz’s work in Wall Street motivated her to create a social enterprise. While working in Wall Street she co-founded a microfinance institution in Rwanda. After that, she realized that her work as credit analysis does not fully fulfil her desire to eradicate the inequality, and tackle poverty. Thus, she decided to found Acumen. According to Suchitra (2018), “entrepreneurship can be called as a process of rebuilding the nation.” Novogratz was motivated by what she considered a demonstration of social entrepreneurship – an acute economic sense mixed with a dedication to social improvement. She calls for a greater understanding of deep-seated drive to serve the entire, the sum, through fair and sustainable answers. She stands out against propaganda, which perpetuates the same ills that afflict our civilization. The metamorphosis of a changemaker, according to Novogratz, is the transformation of a person into a giver.

Elyas had a background in software engineering and business administration from the top university in Germany. As a scientist, he understood basic concepts in microservices architecture and wanted to expand his knowledge about scientific inventions (Thomas, 2020). Thus, the background and experience helped him to spot business opportunities that were based on online apps and public transportation and other exposures. Therefore, young business persons to succeed globally can adopt Elyas’s vigor in establishing a business that helps in getting a solution on contemporary issues.


By comparing three entrepreneurs, a business person can solve various problems. First, they were taking more and more risks when they started, Eshkenazi and Elyas. The success factor was the availability of creative ideas suitable for the market (Basly and Hammouda, 2020). In Elyas’s case, the online business passion is a model idea that defines how modernism can be used for business prospects (Kumar, 2020). The world that humans now live in is governed by computers, and therefore building a technology-centric enterprise is an important idea. To be successful, an entrepreneur must identify opportunities and know where to specialize in the market.

The paper compared people like Eshkenazi and Novogratz. One important concept that modern entrepreneurs must learn from Eshkenazi is serial entrepreneurship. Despite the potential risks in business, he has developed many ventures that have given him significant results. It is also a notable idea to set up a creative business as this can lead to success or failure (Hernandez-Carrion, Camarero-Izquierdo and Gutierrez-Sillan, 2016). If Novogratz did not work in Wall-Street or worked on Rwanda microfinance case, she might not have started her own company in the future. By testing entrepreneurial skills, a business person can learn to be creative, purposeful, and driven to win, regardless of environmental factors.


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Jacqueline Novogratz, founder and CEO of Acumen. Acumen. (2021).

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