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Endeavor picks First Circle founders

/ 05:08 AM December 17, 2018

The founders of fintech firm First Circle, a digital lender that helps Philippine small and medium enterprises, have been selected to join New York-based Endeavor’s prestigious network of “high-impact” entrepreneurs around the world.

First Circle’s Irish co-founders Patrick Lynch and Tony Ennis—who started First Circle in 2016 to fill the financing gap for SMEs—were among the 25 “high-impact” entrepreneurs handpicked by Endeavor this year.

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The international selection panel held in Stellenbosch, South Africa, on Dec. 11 to 13 was the culmination of Endeavor’s rigorous multistep selection process to identify innovative and driven entrepreneurs who were committed to advancing an ecosystem of entrepreneurship.

Endeavor aims to identify innovative and driven entrepreneurs from across the world who are committed to building big businesses that have a positive economic impact. The global organization has screened more than 80,000 businesses from 33 markets worldwide to date.

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SMEs comprise 99.6 percent of businesses in the Philippines but rarely grow due to inadequate financing. First Circle seeks to close the $50-billion financing gap by providing SMEs with working capital through a fintech platform that can swiftly approve and disburse unsecured loans.

Recently, First Circle teamed up with the Department of Trade and Industry to expand its digital lending platform and make available P1.5 billion in fresh funding for SMEs nationwide.

Top business leaders and investors from around the globe served as panelists at the Stellenbosch event. —DORIS DUMLAO-ABADILLA

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