Scott Anderson

Watch the Replay of our Latest Google Hangout: ANDE’s Randall Kempner on what’s ahead for SGBs

UPDATED : Watch the Hangout below

If you’re into social enterprise as an investor, as a business person or a media type, as I am, you know about the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs. I learned that my first week as NB managing editor back in 2010 when I took in ANDE’s annual conference.

Indeed, I think the best definition of ANDE is provided in this “Stanford Social Innovation Review” article: “It’s a hybrid entity that combines elements of a think tank with elements of a trade association.”

Last month, ANDE celebrated its fifth anniversary. The organization was founded to identify common challenges and opportunities facing entrepreneurs – particularly those running small and growing businesses (SGBs) serving emerging markets – and brings together corporations, impact investing funds, academia, NGOs and a host of others to help support them. In those five years, ANDE’s expansion has been impressive:

  • Starting out with 34 members, it now has more than 200 in 150-plus countries
  • It has provided $2.1 million in grants to 39 projects through its Capacity Development Fund
  • More than 2,000 people have participated in a variety ANDE events, including those focused on women’s entrepreneurship, sustainable agriculture, and metrics and research
  • It has set up six regional chapters serving Brazil, Central America/Mexico, East Africa, India, South Africa, West Africa, and is forming a new East and Southeast Asia Chapter this year.

But it’s not all sunshine and roses. Stubborn challenges persist, from the perennial access to capital to a lack of strong leadership behind SGBs, to political and regulatory instability in the places where ANDE hopes to build alliances, partners and deals. So where does the SGB/investment community go from here and what will be ANDE’s role in getting us there? I’ll ask those, and hopefully some of your probing questions, to ANDE Executive Director Randall Kempner in another of our Google Hangout chats. Join us at 12:30 p.m. EST on April 23 for the live discussion. We will embed the video window into this page, so please share and bookmark it.

Click here to schedule the event in your calendar. And please leave a question or two in the comments section below and/or send them to NB places on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. Finally, check out the video below from ANDE for more on their history and direction.

Scott Anderson is NextBillion’s managing editor.