ANDE’s Annual Global Conference in Accra, Ghana, to Address Entrepreneurship and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

September 11, 2023

The Aspen Institute's logo. The illustration depicts the words "aspen institute" laid over an Aspen leaf.

Members of the media are invited to watch public sessions via livestream to be broadcast from ANDE’s LinkedIn page  or apply  to attend in person

Contact: Lizette Olmos Godfrey
Media Relations
The Aspen Institute

Accra, Ghana, September 11, 2023 – Thought leaders and organizations from around the world dedicated to advancing entrepreneurship will convene in Accra, Ghana, for the annual Global Conference hosted by the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE). This prestigious gathering, scheduled for September 12-13, 2023, marks a significant milestone as it is strategically timed to signify the halfway point toward achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

The Aspen Institute and ANDE have been long engaged in Africa with many international convenings and programs, but this is the first time the Global Conference is set outside of the US. The event is the pioneering platform that brings together intermediary institutions focused on nurturing entrepreneurial ecosystems. Among the attendees are representatives from development banks, philanthropic foundations, universities, research institutions, venture capitalists, angel investors, accelerators, incubators, and capacity developers. This global gathering presents an invaluable opportunity for participants to engage in discussions on industry trends, access the latest reports, foster networking connections, and conduct business.

“We are delighted to host the ANDE Global Conference in Accra, Ghana, in 2023,” said Richenda Van Leeuwen of ANDE. “This event underscores our commitment to fostering entrepreneurship and small business growth in developing economies, a crucial component of achieving the SDGs. Our theme for this year, ‘Accelerating Action: Small Business Solutions and the SDGs,’ underscores the urgency of our mission and highlights the critical need for innovative measures to support small and growing business ecosystems effectively.”

Key highlights of the conference include:

  1. The keynote speaker is Somachi Chris-Asoluka, the CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation and a prominent figure in the world of African entrepreneurship.
  2. On Thursday, Harriet Thompson, Resident British High Commissioner to Ghana and nonresident Ambassador for Benin, Togo, and Burkina Faso, with notable business figures, will open West Africa Day, which will be showcasing entrepreneurship ingenuity, including a fireside chat with fashion designer Duaba Serwa and Audrey Forson Tekura Furniture art creators in the blockbuster movie Black Panther.
  3. The featured speaker: Trigmatic—celebrate Ghanaian musician, vocal philanthropist, and agribusiness entrepreneur–and Charles Abani from UN Ghana, a seasoned international development practitioner.

Plus sessions focusing on:

  1. Decent Job Creation: Discussing strategies to promote job opportunities and economic growth through entrepreneurship.
  2. Climate and Gender Equity Impact Measurement: Exploring ways to measure the impact of entrepreneurship on climate change and gender equity.
  3. SGB Finance/Impact Investment: Examining the role of finance and impact investment in supporting small and growing businesses (SGBs) or small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing economies.

For a comprehensive overview of the conference agenda, please visit the Conference page or directly on the schedule at WhovaApp.


Media representatives attending the event in person will have access to on-the-record sessions listed below for live streaming through ANDE’s LinkedIn page and a Zoom live webinar room that will be available in the LinkedIn page and the event’s page. However, it should be noted that programming not explicitly mentioned in this release is intended for members only and will be closed to the press. Exceptions may be made for press attendance upon personal invitation by a speaker or member, subject to the Chatham House Rule.

Media representatives with valid credentials are encouraged to register here to cover in person.

For media inquiries, please contact:


Lizette Olmos Godfrey
Media Relations
The Aspen Institute

 ANDE Consultant & Communications POC in Ghana:
Amma Gyampo                           

Lina Cano +57 300 4909027
About the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE):

The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) is a global network of organizations that promote entrepreneurship and support small and growing businesses in developing economies. ANDE’s mission is to propel entrepreneurship in emerging markets, contributing to sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction.

LIVE event sessions taking place

Tuesday, September 12
Welcoming Remarks
9:00 AM – 9:30 AM
Omanye Hall
Speaker:  Richenda Van Leeuwen, Executive Director, The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs

Wednesday, September 13
Opening Remarks
9:00 AM – 9:15 AM
Omanye Hall
Kick-start day two with inspiring opening comments to set the tone for an enriching and productive conference experience.
Speaker:  Elliot Gerson, Executive Vice President, Policy and Public Programs, International Partners Aspen Institute

9:15 AM – 10:00 AM
Keynote Speaker: Somachi Chris-Asoluka
Omanye Hall
Join us for visionary insights and strategic wisdom as Somachi Chris-Asoluka, Chief Executive Officer Tony Elumelu Foundation, delivers empowering keynote remarks that inspire transformative impact and drive positive change.

Thursday, September 14
9:15 AM – 9:45 AM
Omanye Hall
Driving economic growth and collaboration across the continent.
Speaker:  Harriet Thompson, Resident British High Commissioner
Startup Awards Ceremony

3:25 PM – 4:15 PM
Omanye Hall
Get set for an electrifying session where we’ll roll out the red carpet to celebrate and honor the remarkable achievements of small and growing businesses during an exhilarating startup awards ceremony.

Please contact Lizette Olmos Godfrey at to schedule a media interview.

About ANDE

The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) is a global network of organizations that propel entrepreneurship in developing economies. ANDE members provide critical financial, educational, and business support services to small and growing businesses (SGBs) based on the conviction that SGBs create jobs, stimulate long-term economic growth, and produce environmental and social benefits.

As the leading global voice of the SGB sector, ANDE believes that SGBs are a powerful yet underleveraged tool in addressing social and environmental challenges. Since 2009, we have grown into a trusted network of nearly 300 collaborative members that operate in almost every developing economy. ANDE grows the body of knowledge, mobilizes resources, and connects the institutions that support the small business entrepreneurs who build inclusive prosperity in the developing world.

ANDE is part of the Aspen Institute, a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society.

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. For more information, visit



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