Making the most of international travel

Linda Rottenberg, CEO and co-founder of Endeavor travels around the world to pair budding businesspeople with funding and knowledge.

By Sheridan Prasso, contributor

(Fortune Magazine) -- It's called "mentor capitalism": Through her nonprofit Endeavor, Linda Rottenberg pairs budding businesspeople in countries such as Brazil, Egypt, and South Africa with global expertise and sources of funding (her board includes the likes of Edgar Bronfman Jr. and venture capitalist Tim Draper).

To date, Rottenberg's organization has helped nearly 300 companies, with combined annual revenues of more than $3 billion.

In the process Endeavor has inspired a Harvard Business School case study and was called the "best antipoverty program of all" in Thomas Friedman's book The World Is Flat.

We caught up with Rottenberg in New York City where she and Endeavor are based.

1. Time on the road: Five international and four domestic trips per year.

2. Plane must-haves: I always wear MBT shoes on planes - it stands for Masai Barefoot Technology. They help with your posture and protect your back. Then I change into Stuart Weitzmans. They fit me perfectly. Even though I am 5-foot-6, I actually always wear pretty high heels.

3. Plane reading: I love flying to Africa because I can read a whole book - which I can't at home because I have 4-year-old identical twin daughters. I've just finished The Age of the Unthinkable, which talks about, among other things, how Hezbollah is as entrepreneurial as Google, and we have to think about foreign policy in an entrepreneurial manner, which our current institutions aren't set up to do.

4. Stay-in-shape strategy: I always make extra space in my suitcase for my Pilates magic circle.

5. Packing tip: I'm a devotee of the Worth Collection, founded by a woman whose husband told her the vacuum cleaner she wanted was too expensive, so she started her own store. I buy almost all my clothing there, and everything comes in these clear plastic bags. So when I pack, I pack all my clothes in Worth bags, and layer each one with a different outfit.

6. Local shopping: I always carry an extra empty suitcase. I love bringing back stuff from my travels. Like in Turkey, one of our entrepreneurs, Tania Eskinazi, is doing incredible work using traditional Ottoman designs [takawear.net].

7. Favorite destinations: Buenos Aires and Istanbul. In Argentina you have the passion and feel of Latin America in a very European setting. In Istanbul you have Asia on one side and Europe on another. Some of the best restaurants I've ever been to are in Istanbul - such as Tike, a famous kebab place, and 360, named after the view from its penthouse overlooking Embassy Row.

8. Wine worth flying for: Dominio del Plata from Argentina.

9. Hidden gem: The Good Fork in Red Hook, Brooklyn. It's an old diner with 10 tables and a limited menu. It's an undiscovered gem in an unexpected part of town.  To top of page

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