It would change everything.
Meet the Arabia 500. Africa 500. Asia 500. Eurasia 500. Latin 500.
Deirdre Coyle, Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter and I founded AllWorld to find and scale ALL the growth entrepreneurs of the emerging world.
It sounds crazy, I know, so let me tell you how we are going to do this. Fasten your seat belts.
Our model is simple and powerful
To start with, AllWorld ranks fast growing private companies and puts them on the world map, drawing the market to them in new capital and opportunities – what we call Visibility EconomicsTM. The emerging world does not suffer from a capability deficit; it suffers from a visibility deficit. Without visibility, companies can’t get to scale and countries can’t prosper.
Some of the best growth entrepreneurs we have seen are in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Eurasia and Latin America, and we wrote about them in our Harvard Business Review article “The High Intensity Entrepreneur.” They are rugged, tech savvy and tuned to the third millennium, but they suffer from a profound lack of visibility to investors and customers.
Now think about this: the front door to most companies is their web site. This is a revolution in communications and in economics. We have the ability to create a Visibility Tipping Point. With annual data on thousands of growing companies disseminated through eCommunications channels, we can power companies and countries forward.
What lack of visibility does is create massive economic inefficiency. Investors chase the same few deals. With visibility, capital can reach more companies in more places, unlocking the next wave of growth and jobs. The Arabia 500, Africa 500, Asia 500, Eurasia 500 and Latin 500 are the platform for Absolute Growth.
Here come the 500s
AllWorld started by creating country 25 and 100 rankings (Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Pakistan, India and South Africa), which we are now expanding to regional 500s. The first 500 is the Arabia 500, which will be followed by the Asia 500, Africa 500, and then the Eurasia 500 and the Latin 500. These 500s are created using the same standards as the famous US Inc. 500. So, any company that makes an AllWorld 500 ranking has reach a global standard of excellence. AllWorld winners are credentialed as some of the best in the world, and this sends a powerful message to investors.
How do we find the companies? We leverage all forms of social and traditional media and a network of 40+ partners on the ground to get the message out. We are creating systems to reach thousands of entrepreneurs, rigorously credential and rank them based on their revenue growth (not on their size), and generate new data distributed worldwide in print, TV and the digital world. And our system becomes viral as winners champion their AllWorld status through their web site, emails, videos, and blogs. In three years, AllWorld has become a global brand.
How does a company make an AllWorld ranking? By pure performance: they apply on line at AllWorldLive.com, demonstrate strong competitive capacity, and a 3-year history of annual revenue growth of 40% or more documented by audited statements. The fastest growing company earns the #1 spot on the 500, the #2 spot goes to the second fastest, and so on. Younger companies can qualify as Companies to Watch.
AllWorld is also a research engine. We believe data expands prosperity. Available on our web site for free is research on each ranking and a profile of each AllWorld Entrepreneur.
How big can this get? While 500 companies will be annually listed for each region, over time thousands will apply for the visibility benefits. We know this because in the first year of our US Inner City 100 ranking, we had 120 applicants, and ten years later, 8,000 applied or were nominated. With thousands of winners and applicants comes immense real time data. Since AllWorld’s platform is digital, it accessible to anyone to apply with internet or a phone.
When does the Arabia 500 go live? The announcement will be November 16, 2011 at the Arabia 500 Exhibition & Global Summit in Jordan. The other 500s will be launched from there. Already 200 hot companies are credentialed for the Arabia 500 (Click here to read the interim report). These companies that have already secured their Arabia 500 spot are growing a blistering 60% a year and represent a wide range of industries from gaming to construction. Applications are open to any private company and there is no cost. The Arabia 500 application deadline is July 1, 2011.
How are we financed? Our operating revenue comes from sponsors who work with us to build the 25s, 100s or 500s. We also consult to countries on their entrepreneurship strategy. But our asset is the information and audited statements of thousands of growth companies. Our precious asset is the deep relationship we have with each winner and the network we build of their global peers, the AllWorld Network. With them and with our investors, we are pioneering research, investment and business services products for 2012.
If you want to get involved, email any member of the AllWorld Team. We would love to hear form you.
A history of success
We’ve been at this a long time. The AllWorld story began in 1999, when my partners Deirdre Coyle and Professor Porter launched the Inner City 100 with Inc. Magazine. Our goal was to shine a spotlight on successful entrepreneurs in America’s economically distressed inner cities. The rankings were first published in Inc. Magazine in 1998, capturing national headlines, and the Inner City 100 quickly became an American phenomenon. The Inner City 100 continues to this day.
The annual ranking spurred the creation of an investment industry focused on inner cities, and mobilized President Clinton and US city mayors to champion a new wave of inner city economic development. Moreover, the valuable publicity and networking opportunities generated by the Inner City 100 fueled growth for companies and communities.
We also launched Inner City Ventures, a private equity fund that raised three funds with $400 million in capital and that has made 19 investments to date.
The bottom line is that we are setting out to change the way the world does business. We are setting out to create the Facebook of economics.
Anne Habiby is an adventure economist and co-founder of AllWorld Network.
Send me your thoughts at AHabiby@allworldlive.com or follow me on Twitter @annehabiby