October 26, 2022
Looking Back on the 2022 Annual Conference

After two years of virtual convenings, we held our 2022 Annual Conference in person in Leesburg, Virginia, USA. This year, we welcomed nearly 200 participants from 115 organizations and 32 countries! We enjoyed 13 workshops, 10 breakout sessions, 8 micro-talks, 2 entrepreneur journeys sessions, a featured speaker, a fireside chat, 2 speed networking sessions, and a gala dinner. See the full agenda here.

This year’s conference theme, “Resilient Entrepreneurship,” captured the strength of global small business entrepreneurs over the last few years while facing many challenges, and the work of our members in supporting them. We have seen the resilience of the small and growing business sector at work in so many ways – responding to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, finding solutions to climate change, encouraging sustainable businesses, unlocking equal opportunity for entrepreneurs, and enabling ecosystems to help address poverty through supporting small businesses to thrive around the world.

Highlights of the 2022 ANDE Annual Conference:

Featured Speaker: Jamille Bigio joined us from USAID’s Senior Coordinator for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in the Office of the Administrator. She showcased USAID’s commitment to advance gender equity and equality and how that contributes to promoting women’s economic security and local economic development, addressing climate change, and making progress on the Sustainable Development Goals.

Fireside Chat: ANDE’s Executive Director, Richenda Van Leeuwen, sat down with Harish Hande, the Magsaysay Award winning CEO of Solar Electric Light Company (SELCO), India’s pioneering and largest solar company, for a conversation about his inspiring journey to build a profitable social enterprise. They discussed how SELCO makes sustainable energy accessible to poor communities including those without prior access to electricity, and how that can be harnessed to sustain livelihoods and small business entrepreneurship. 

Micro-Talks: During eight micro-talks, sector leaders shared their insights on the latest research and reports affecting the small and growing business sector in a range of developing economies.

Workshops and Breakout Sessions: ANDE members and partners gave presentations and led discussions on topics ranging from gender-lens investing, innovative financing for small and growing businesses, the importance of digitalization, sustainability, impact measurement and management, and much more.

Speed networking: One ANDE member Annual Conference favorite is speed networking, and this year was no exception. It is always wonderful to have the opportunity to meet and connect with ANDE members.

Gala dinner: We enjoyed a beautiful gala dinner outside with remarks from Ricardo Michel, Senior Managing Partner at Palladium. Music and dancing rounded out the night!

Thanks to our many sponsors and supporters and see you all next year!