Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs

Capacity Development Fund




About the Fund
The ANDE Capacity Development Fund (CDF) fuels initiatives aimed at interorganizational collaboration and capacity building. The goal of the CDF is to increase the productivity and effectiveness of ANDE members, while creating tools and insights that can help the SGB sector as a whole. It was originally seeded in 2009 with $1M in funding from the Lemelson Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Shell Foundation. These funds were disbursed in two rounds of grants in 2009 and 2010.  In 2011 the CDF was replenished with $350,000 of funding from Citi Foundation and the Lemelson Foundation.  This third round had an extra emphasis on proposals with the potential to alleviate human capital constraints. In 2012, the fourth round CDF was replenished with support from MasterCard Worldwide, the Lemelson Foundation, and Citi Foundation. This round funded two types of proposals: those with a youth entrepreneurship focus and traditional innovation/collaboration grants.  

A key ingredient of all funded proposals is the benefit the outcomes will produce for the broader sector.  Projects can be divided into the four categories listed below. Click on any of the categories to view detailed descriptions of past CDF funded projects.

Capacity Development Fund (CDF) 6th Request for Proposals – 2014 

ANDE members may apply to the Capacity Development Fund for grants of up to 18 months; with a maximum total request of US$50,000.  Joint submissions from ANDE members and submissions which demonstrate the broader benefit to the sector are strongly encouraged.  Non-ANDE members may be part of a collaborative grant request; however the ANDE member must be the primary grant recipient.  ANDE members may participate in more than one grant proposal.  Annual membership dues must be current in order to be eligible and organizations must be members for the duration of the granting period.

ANDE seeks to fund around 4 proposals in this sixth round.  Total funds available for this RFP are approximately $200,000.  The Lemelson Foundation and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women have graciously provided the capital for this round of funding.


This CDF round will put additional emphasis on funding proposals targeting women’s entrepreneurship and invention-based enterprises. 

To view the full RFP, Please click here 

Results of the Capacity Development Fund

 In October 2013 The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) announced the winners of the fifth round of the ANDE Capacity Development Fund (CDF). Commenced in 2009, the fund seeks to increase the productivity and effectiveness of ANDE members, while creating tools and insights that can help the small and growing business (SGB) sector as a whole. This round awarded six grants totaling $300,000, with each winner receiving $50,000. Total funds disbursed over the past five years now reaches $2.1 million.  

Support for this year’s fund was provided by The Lemelson Foundation and MasterCard Worldwide. Proposed solutions were evaluated for their clarity; feasibility and internal capacity; and impact on small and growing businesses. This CDF round put additional emphasis on funding proposals targeting women's entrepreneurship and invention-based enterprises. Learn more about the winning proposals.

In September 2012, the CDF Selection Committee awarded $474,000 to nine proposals with 3 ANDE Working Groups (Legal, Women, and Youth) and 16 ANDE member organizations contributing: Acumen Fund, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, Entrepreneurs’ Organization, Fundación Capital, Grassroots Business Fund, I-DEV International, Intellecap, Kauffman Foundation/GEW, New Ventures India, China, and Indonesia, Open Capital Advisors, Oxfam/Value for Women, Root Capital, Synergy Social Ventures, The Prince’s Youth Business International, TransFarm Africa, William Davidson Institute at University of Michigan. Learn more about the round four winning proposals.

In October 2011, the CDF Selection Committee awarded $349,000 to nine proposals with 16 ANDE member organizations contributing: Acumen Fund, B Lab/GIIRS, The Dalberg Group, Dasra, Grassroots Business Fund, Gray Ghost Capital (Village Capital), IFC, IGNIA, New Ventures Mexico, Oxfam America, Oxfam GB, Root Capital, Root Change, RTI Consulting, Technoserve Inc., Villgro, and Yo Emprendedor.  Learn more about round three winning proposals.

In March 2010, we made seven grants for a total of $460,000. Organizations collaborating on these grants were: African Agricultural Capital, Agora Partnerships, E+Co, the Center for Creative Leadership, Financial Alliance for Sustainable Trade (FAST), the Grassroots Business Fund, Mercy Corps, Root Capital, Root Change, the Small Enterprise Assistance Fund (SEAF), CapitalPlus Exchange, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, and TechnoServe. Learn more about round two winning proposals. 

In August 2009, the Selection Committee awarded $522,000 to fund eight proposals. (Read the October 8, 2009 press release). Fifteen ANDE member organizations were part of these grants: Agora Partnerships, the Appropriate Infrastructure Development Group (AIDG), Alitheia Capital, E+Co, Endeavor, Fundacion Bavaria, IGNIA Partners LLC, Root Change, ShoreBank, TechnoServe Inc, Universidad de los Andes, VisionSpring, World Resources Institute, and Villgro. Learn more about the round one winning proposals.