Alleviating global poverty is one of the greatest challenges facing the world today. Despite the progress of the international community to find solutions to help end poverty, it continues to persist. Many will agree that there ought to be more innovative ways of helping the world’s poor beyond providing aid, which has proven in many cases to be ineffective. Put simply, the best way for a poor individual to prosper is to have a decent job. And I believe best way to support job creation is to help the millions of entrepreneurs around the world that manage small and growing businesses (SGBs), as they create jobs and develop their communities.
That is what the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) is working to do. ANDE is a global network of over 115 members that are working together to help propel entrepreneurship in the developing world. We believe that empowering entrepreneurs in poor countries is the best way to provide people with the opportunities to pull themselves out of poverty. Our members work in 150 emerging and developing countries and are making strides to help build an investment community that is committed to both social and financial success. Over the past ten years, ANDE members have invested $900 million across 2,500 investments. We target businesses that have the potential to create jobs and expand—rather than to support a single family. Through capacity development and direct equity or debt investment, ANDE members have supported more than 11,100 SGBs.
In late March, ANDE celebrated the 2nd anniversary of our launch with the release of our 2010 Impact Report and new organizational video that highlights the power of SGBs to transform economies in Africa, and around the world. We will continue to spearhead the movement of investors and funders, capacity development organizations, foundations and other organizations and individuals that want to support entrepreneurs that will one day alleviate poverty throughout the world. We hope you will join us in building this movement.