Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs Announces New Grants

October 8, 2009

For Immediate Release

Contact: Jenny Everett


Injection of capital enhances efforts to expand entrepreneurship in the developing world


Glen Cove, NY, October 8, 2009 – Fifteen international economic development organizations have received grants in support of their work to expand small and growing businesses in developing countries. The grants—totaling US $447,000—were announced at the 2009 annual conference of the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs in Glen Cove, New York.

The grants were the first awarded as part of the network’s Capacity Development Fund, a US $1million effort to increase the productivity and effectiveness of organizations that provide investment, training and other resources to small and growing businesses in developing countries. Funding for the grants was provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Lemelson Foundation and Shell Foundation.

Organizations selected to receive grants were Agora Partnerships, the Appropriate Infrastructure Development Group (AIDG), Alitheia Capital, E+Co., Endeavor, Fundacion Bavaria, IGNIA Partners LLC, Root Capital, Root Change, ShoreBank, TechnoServe, Inc., Universidad de Los Andes, VisionSpring, World Resources Institute, and Villgro.

Grants will support projects in developing countries ranging from Nicaragua to India to Nigeria.  One project, for instance, will bring six organizations together to conduct an in-depth analysis of U.S. investors and donors, providing insights needed to attract capital to the small and growing business sector.  Another project creates a platform for identifying high-impact investment opportunities in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Other grants will be used to develop tools to manage business plan competitions and to accelerate small and growing business in developing countries through peer-to-peer learning and mentorships.  For more information about the recipients, please visit:

“Creating prosperity in developing countries is essential for our collective economic future.  Without enhanced entrepreneurship and thriving small and growing businesses, prosperity will only remain a lofty aspiration,” said Randall T. Kempner, executive director, Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs. “These grants are vital because they will strengthen an emerging industry that is singularly focused on building businesses in the developing world.”

Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs

Based at the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C., the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs is a network of investment funds, non-governmental organizations, research institutions and private philanthropic foundations that invest money and expertise to help entrepreneurs grow small businesses in emerging markets.

The Aspen Institute mission is twofold: to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues. The Aspen Institute does this primarily in four ways: seminars, young-leader fellowships around the globe, policy programs and public conferences and events. The Institute is based in Washington, DC, Aspen, Colorado, and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and has an international network of partners.



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