Global Leaders Unite Behind UN SDG Dreams: Urgent Call For Development Finance To Elevate Small Business Ecosystems
— Richenda Van Leeuwen
ACCRA, GREATER ACCRA, GHANA, September 15, 2023/EINPresswire.com/ — As the world prepares for the United Nations General Assembly, thought leaders and organizations from around the world dedicated to advancing entrepreneurship convened for the Annual Global Conference hosted by the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE). This prestigious gathering marked a significant milestone, strategically timed to signify the halfway point toward achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
“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 included:
1. Development Banks, DFIs and Bilateral meetings – global Development partners and finance institutions were hosted for a series of meetings and roundtables hosted by Development Bank of Ghana with a clear call to action – Development Banks need to do much more to close the gaps between small businesses, Private Financial Institutions and Entrepreneurship Support Ecosystems on the ground.
In order to increase the impact of social and environmental Entrepreneurship, networks like Reach For Change, Impact Investing Ghana and ANDE are essential partners.
2. Somachi Chris-Asoluka, the CEO of the Tony Elumelu Foundation, showcased the growing body of evidence on African Entrepreneurship support in relation to the SDGs and impact measurement. She shared various case studies from the Foundation with a call for more support and partnerships with specialist African ecosystem actors – she ended her keynote by sharing the wildly successful impact story of innovation space, CC Hub, led by Bosun Tijani, which was initially seeded by TEF. The Foundation also hosted a session exploring ways to measure the impact of entrepreneurship on climate change and gender equity.
3. Charles Abani, the United Nation’s Resident Coordinator, Ghana “The SDGs will fail without the private sector and innovation.”
4. Trigmatic—celebrated Ghanaian musician, vocal philanthropist, and agribusiness entrepreneur showcased his projects to change narratives, create employment, build up new skills through the creative economy.
5. H.E. Harriet Thompson, British High Commissioner to Ghana opened the West Africa Day, showcasing entrepreneurship ingenuity from Duaba Serwaa, Heel The World, TEKURA furniture and others. The entrepreneurial spirit in Africa is alive and thriving: “The entrepreneurs that you’ll hear from today are catalyzing economic growth and job creation.” She announced that “ British International Investment (BII) is stepping in to support Ghanaian MSEs. BII has created a new fund totaling $50 million to distribute funds ranging from $50,000 to $5 million to Ghanaian SMEs. This initiative underscores the belief that The very best champions for Ghana’s growth are its businesses, both big and small.”
6. UN International Trade Center and USAID’ “Meet The Makers” Showcase – Local startups were given the platform to showcase their innovations and social businesses working on climate, gender economic empowerment, e-mobility and livelihood initiatives with Climate and menstrual health manufacturing startup, Kudu Technology winning a cash prize in the startup pitch competition. . Delegates were also given the chance to try out WAHU’s e-bikes, manufactured in Ghana.Valerie Labi, CEO of Wahu! “We’re a mission-driven electric motorbike production and services company here in Ghana and it’s been great to have global funders come here to learn more about our challenges and opportunities for social businesses to drive sustainable development. We have been showcasing our battery swap program and approach to creating local jobs and opportunities for young delivery drivers.”
About the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE):
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.