By Joanna Herrmann
More than 150 members and friends of the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) gathered at the Shell Foundation in London to celebrate ANDE's 2nd anniversary, March 29. ANDE, an Aspen Institute policy program founded in 2008, is a global network bringing together organizations that propel entrepreneurship in emerging markets. ANDE’s members provide financing, capacity development, and other services to small and growing businesses (SGBs) that create significant economic, environmental, and social impacts in developing countries.
Since formally launching in March 2009 in London, we return each year to celebrate ANDE’s anniversary. The event this year kicked off with the premiere of the new ANDE video and an overview of the just-released 2010 Impact Report. The video provides an 8-minute introduction to the work ANDE and its members do on a daily basis, containing footage from Brazil, India, and South Africa.
The 2010 Impact Report contains new statistics and findings about the SGB sector and ANDE's developments to date. In 2010, 199 funds in emerging markets were in the process of raising a collective $1.5 billion to invest in SGBs. Investment in the SGB sector is still dwarfed by investment in microfinance and private equity. ANDE members alone have supported more than 11,100 SGBs over the past ten years and our network is growing by the week. Two years ago, ANDE launched with 34 members and today, the 118 ANDE members operate in more than 150 countries.
The London event culminated with a spirited conversation between ANDE Executive Director Randall Kempner and Judith Rodin, the President of the Rockefeller Foundation. The Rockefeller Foundation was one of the eight founding funders of ANDE and providing start-up seed capital. They have continued to provide grant support for various projects since ANDE's founding. Dr. Rodin gave discussed the growth of investment in these important businesses and Rockefeller’s continued support of ANDE, noting that "ANDE is a phenomenal network for stimulating the SGB sector."