ANDE’s Annual Global Conference to address entrepreneurship and SDGs


Thought leaders and organizations from around the world dedicated to advancing entrepreneurship will convene in Accra, Ghana, for the annual Global Conference hosted by the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE). This prestigious gathering, scheduled for September 12-13, 2023, marks a significant milestone as it is strategically timed to signify the halfway point toward achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

The Aspen Institute and ANDE have been long engaged in Africa with many international convenings and programs, but this is the first time the Global Conference is set outside of the US. The event is the pioneering platform that brings together intermediary institutions focused on nurturing entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Among the attendees are representatives from development banks, philanthropic foundations, universities, research institutions, venture capitalists, angel investors, accelerators, incubators, and capacity developers. This global gathering presents an invaluable opportunity for participants to engage in discussions on industry trends, access the latest reports, foster networking connections, and conduct business.

“We are delighted to host the ANDE Global Conference in Accra, Ghana, in 2023,” said Richenda Van Leeuwen of ANDE. “This event underscores our commitment to fostering entrepreneurship and small business growth in developing economies, a crucial component of achieving the SDGs. Our theme for this year, ‘Accelerating Action: Small Business Solutions and the SDGs,’ underscores the urgency of our mission and highlights the critical need for innovative measures to support small and growing business ecosystems effectively.”

Key highlights of the conference include:

1. The keynote speaker is Somachi Chris-Asoluka, the CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation a prominent figure in the world of African entrepreneurship.
2. The feature speakers: Trigmatic—celebrated Ghanaian musician, vocal philanthropist, and agribusiness entrepreneur–and Charles Abani from UN Ghana, a seasoned international development practitioner
3. On Thursday, important business figures will open West Africa Day, which will be showcasing entrepreneurship ingenuity.

Plus sessions focusing on:

1. Decent Job Creation: Discussing strategies to promote job opportunities and economic growth through entrepreneurship.
2. Climate and Gender Equity Impact Measurement: Exploring ways to measure the impact of entrepreneurship on climate change and gender equity.
3. SGB Finance/Impact Investment: Examining the role of finance and impact investment in supporting small and growing businesses (SGBs) or small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in developing economies.

For a comprehensive overview of the conference agenda, please visit the Conference page or directly on the schedule at WhovaApp.

LIVE event sessions taking place:

Tuesday, September 12

Welcoming Remarks

9:00 AM – 9:30 AM

Omanye Hall

Speaker:  Richenda Van Leeuwen, Executive Director, TheAspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs

Wednesday, September 13

Opening Remarks

9:00 AM – 9:15 AM

Omanye Hall

Kick-start day two with inspiring opening comments to set the tone for an enriching and productive conference experience.

Speaker: Elliot Gerson, Executive Vice President, Policy and Public Programs, International Partners Aspen Institute

9:15 AM – 10:00 AM

Keynote Speaker: Somachi Chris-Asoluka

Omanye Hall

Join us for visionary insights and strategic wisdom as SomachiChris-Asoluka, Chief Executive Officer Tony ElumeluFoundation, delivers empowering keynote remarks that inspire transformative impact and drive positive change.

Thursday, September 14

9:15 AM – 9:45 AM

Omanye Hall

Driving economic growth and collaboration across the continent.

Speaker:  H.E. Wamkele Mene Secretary-GeneralAfricanContinental Free Trade Area Secretariat

Startup Awards Ceremony

3:25 PM – 4:15 PM

Omanye Hall

Get set for an electrifying session where we’ll roll out the red carpet to celebrate and honor the remarkable achievements of small and growing businesses during an exhilarating startup awards ceremony.

Please contact Lizette Olmos Godfrey at lizett[email protected] to schedule a media interview.


The Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) is a global network of organizations that propel entrepreneurship in developing economies. ANDE members provide critical financial, educational, and business support services to small and growing businesses (SGBs) based on the conviction that SGBs create jobs, stimulate long-term economic growth, and produce environmental and social benefits.

As the leading global voice of the SGB sector, ANDE believes that SGBs are a powerful yet underleveraged tool in addressing social and environmental challenges. Since 2009, we have grown into a trusted network of nearly 300 collaborative members that operate in almost every developing economy. ANDE grows the body of knowledge, mobilizes resources, and connects the institutions that support the small business entrepreneurs who build inclusive prosperity in the developing world.

ANDE is part of the Aspen Institute, a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society.

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