Rob Katz

Serving the Missing Middle, ANDE Marks its Official Launch

To paraphrase Frank Costanza, “finally, a trade association for the rest of us.” When you look at the official launch of the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) – announced today at the Skoll World Forum – that’s what it boils down to for the organizations working with small and medium enterprises in developing countries. Or, as ally Cat Laine notes (quoting from the Stanford Social Innovation Review):

high impact organizations help their peers succeed, building networks of nonprofit allies and devoting remarkable time and energy to advancing their fields. They freely share wealth, expertise, talent, and power with other nonprofits not because they are saints, but because it’s in their self-interest to do so.

Yes, it is in their self interest. The development through enterprise idea is a young one, and a number of organizations have sprung up in recent years to support the development of small enterprises, each taking a slightly different approach and generally learning a lot from success and even more from failure. Sharing those successes – and failures – along with portfolio data, talent and pipeline development, seems to make sense, but there needs to be an independent arbitrator. Enter ANDE.

The Network brings 35 member organizations to the table, harnessing a collective pool of $750M in investment capital. There’s also a $1M innovation fund available to in-network members to incentivize collaboration. We are excited to see Randall Kempner take the ’official’ reins at ANDE and will keep a close eye on this new trade association for the missing middle.

ANDE founding members, in alphabetical order:

Acumen Fund
African Agricultural Capital
The Aspen Institute
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Citi Foundation
Dalberg Global Development Advisors
Frontier Market Advisors
Grassroots Business Fund
IGNIA Partners, LLC
InvesteQ Capital Ltd.
JCS Investments
The Lemelson Foundation
Lundin for Africa
McKinsey & Company
Mercy Corps
Omidyar Network
Rianta Capital
The Rockefeller Foundation
Root Capital
Small Enterprise Assistance Funds (SEAF)
Shared Interest
Shell Foundation
Skoll Foundation
SNV-Netherlands Development Organization
Social Equity Venture Fund (SE.VEN Fund)
TechnoServe Inc.
William Davidson Institute, University of Michigan
World Resources Institute – New Ventures

See additional coverage in the Chronicle of Philanthropy.