DURBAN - Endeavor South Africa announced today after 7 years in of service, Catherine Townshend will be stepping down as Managing Director.  

Townshend will be succeeded by Alison Collier. 

Endeavor South Africa’s Chairman, Herman Bosman said, "during Catherine’s tenure, Endeavor has contributed meaningfully to the entrepreneurial eco-system in South Africa, raising the profile of South Africa’s most promising scale-up companies, launching and supporting the FNB Business Innovation Awards, enabling Endeavor Catalyst’s first investment in Africa and enabling a strong community of business leaders and founders to contribute meaningfully through mentorship, and more recently partnering with Discovery Business Insurance to create healthier businesses".

Bosman added, "Endeavor is in a good space and Catherine will be handing over a company that is ready to reach new altitudes in its next season". 

During Catherine’s tenure she cultivated a strong team which reviewed in excess of 3500 companies, of which 28 earned the title of Endeavor Entrepreneur at the Endeavor International Selection Panels.  Endeavor’s support programmes have mobilised the local and international business community to support companies as they scale locally and internationally.  Through Endeavor’s support, the companies in the support programmes employ in excess of 5000 people and create in excess of 1000 new full time jobs per annum.

Catherine said, "I am extremely proud of our team and what we have accomplished. I feel it is time to transition and start a new chapter.  It has been the most rewarding and remarkable journey.  A rare privilege to work with such a committed team, donors, community and founders who are South Africa’s future employers and change makers.  I look forward to joining the Endeavor Venture Corp and wish Alison much success as she leads the organisation onwards and upwards". 

The new Managing Director, Alison Collier, will continue to drive the high-impact entrepreneurship strategy to achieve the growth plans of the organisation.

Alison has deep expertise in global partnerships and brings a wealth of expertise to Endeavor South Africa.  After graduating from UCT, she joined McKinsey as a strategy consultant where she focused on the FMCG industry working across the African continent with many global brands, including Coca Cola. More recently, Alison worked for SABMiller and Unilever in strategy and global procurement roles, and thus understands how entrepreneurs can gain support from corporates in the supply chain. 

Alison has been close to and benefited from Endeavor’s support in a different capacity after leading Endeavor Company, BOS’s international business development.  Alison’s familiarity with the challenges and thrills of building a scale-able business strategy leaves her in good stead to serve her community well.

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