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Aspen network of development entrepreneurs releases findings of annual impact report

Today the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE), a global network of more than 80 high-profile organizations that propels entrepreneurship in emerging markets, will announce the findings of its 2009 Impact Report at its one year anniversary gathering in London, England. The Impact Report is the first publication of its type -- aggregating sector impact and demonstrating the successes of ANDE members over the past year. This report will serve as a benchmark as ANDE continues to move forward and chart its progress. The complete report will be disseminated at ANDE's one year anniversary celebration today at the Shell Foundation, though advance copies are available at http://www.aspeninstitute.org/publications/ande-2009-impact-report. ANDE members are part of a growing movement that is focused on small and growing businesses (SGBs) that create economic, environmental, and social benefits for developing countries. The report includes research that identified:
  • 192 funds which are investing in SGBs, with a cumulative target size of over US$7 billion.
  • Since 2006, the number of new funds launched per year has jumped to over 20.
  • These funds are investing throughout the developing world, with Africa (58%), Asia (20%), and Latin America (18%) receiving the most attention.

Notably, the report highlights the impact of ANDE members, who, to date, have made 2,500 investments in SGBs, totaling US$830 million. In the last year alone, ANDE members spent over US$96.8 million on technical-assistance activities to build and support the ecosystem needed for these businesses to thrive. In turn, these companies transform the funding and capacity-building support into benefits for employees, customers, and suppliers. In 2009, ANDE-supported SGBs employed nearly 305,000 people and served 74.4 million customers. In addition, ANDE will announce the recipients of its second round of Capacity Development Fund (CDF) grants. The CDF is an ANDE-administered US$1 million effort designed to support capacity development, innovation and collaboration within the ANDE membership. The fund is designed to facilitate the creation of tools, curricula and new service models that will support the entire SGB sector. This second round of funding granted US$485,000 to seven projects proposed by fourteen international economic development organizations. Funding for the grants was provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The Lemelson Foundation, and the Shell Foundation. Organizations selected to receive grants were: African Agricultural Capital, Agora Partnerships, E+Co, the Center for Creative Leadership, Financial Alliance for Sustainable Trade, the Grassroots Business Fund, Mercy Corps, Root Capital, Root Change, the Small Enterprise Assistance Fund, ShoreCap Exchange, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, and TechnoServe. To learn more about the winning proposals, please visit http://www.aspeninstitute.org/policy-work/aspen-network-development-entrepreneurs/capacity-development-fund. About ANDE: Housed at the Aspen Institute, ANDE is a global network of organizations that invest money and expertise to propel entrepreneurship in emerging markets. Since the official launch in March 2009, ANDE's membership has grown to include more than 85 organizations, including the Citi Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google.org, the Lemelson Foundation, the Omidyar Network, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Shell Foundation, and the Skoll Foundation. For more information and a full list of members, please visit www.aspeninstitute.org/ande. 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. It also has an international network of partners. Shell Foundation was established by the Shell Group in 2000 as an independent, UK registered charity operating with a global mandate. It focuses on enterprise-based solutions to poverty and environmental challenges linked to the impact of energy and globalization. It acts like an investor, identifying financially sustainable solutions to these challenges that can be taken to scale and replicated to achieve global impact. By 2010 the Foundation will have used US$75 million to leverage US $350 million from other organizations. Visit www.shellfoundation.org for further information. Note to media: Several senior executives of the firms that have joined the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs are available for interviews to discuss their work and to offer examples of small and growing businesses being funded in the developing world.

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