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ANDE Catalyst Fund Impact

The ANDE Catalyst Fund is a unique grants program (available exclusively for ANDE members) that supports experimentation and encourages collaboration. Since its launch in 2009, grants have financed riskier pilot programs with the greatest potential to benefit the small and growing business (SGB) sector. Grants have typically ranged between $40,000 and $60,000 and often supported joint projects between member organizations with complementary expertise.

By the Numbers

We uncovered the following:

  • Projects are high impact: 50% of the portfolio was scored as being high quality or creating sustained impact beyond the project’s original scope.
  • Projects addressed key issues for the sector: 85% of survey respondents said that their project was still relevant in the sector.
  • Grants catalyzed additional funding: Across the entire portfolio for every $1 granted, projects raised an average additional $0.60 of support. 

The ANDE Catalyst Fund provides ANDE members with high risk capital to develop solutions that aid the growth of the SGB sector. We hear from members every year that this capital is not easily accessible elsewhere but can provide a spark for follow-on ideas and innovative new programming that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. 


The ANDE Catalyst Fund enables ANDE members to build the insights, tools, knowledge, and networks needed to grow the SGB sector and more effectively support SGBs.  


A glimpse at A FEW impactful ANDE Catalyst Fund programs to-date:

Taking ANDE to Latin America: Regional Training and Stakeholder Education (#Networking) 

Agora Partnerships, with support from Root Capital and TechnoServe, designed and implemented a grant to plan a three-day conference in Granada, Nicaragua. The 2010 entrepreneur-led conference was the first ever held by ANDE that brought together practitioners based in the global south. It also featured nearly every participant signing the Granada Declaration, pledging to work to support entrepreneurs building businesses that address social and environmental problems in Latin America.

The gathering had the goals of deepening collaboration among players in the development industry, highlighting regional impact and broadcast new initiatives, boosting ANDE membership and training ANDE member’s local staff, and driving investments into the region. In the short-term the event was a major success with 144 participants representing 77 organizations and 16 countries, many of whom were meeting for the first time.  It was highly collaborative, brought major momentum to ANDE in the region, helped plant the seed for New Ventures Mexico’s Latin American Impact Investing Forum and kick started ANDE’s regional chapters which are now thriving in Brazil, Central America and Mexico, and beyond.

Horizontal Aggregation of Capital to Global SGB Sector (#Research)

Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship’s Global Social Benefit Institute (GSBI®) won funding to research a way to enable horizontal aggregation of funding and trigger a greater flow of interested capital to the SGB sector by suggesting a model for syndication. The result was a report entitled, Coordinating Impact Capital: A New Approach to Investing in Small and Growing Businesses

Findings were presented at leading conferences including SOCAP and Unreasonable Institute, and the report continues to be a reference for thought leadership in the sector. Follow-on funding was then awarded by the Argidius-ANDE Finance Challenge to further develop the concept and the research served as the precursor for developing a new financial vehicle, the Demand Dividend. One issue faced by many social enterprises, especially agricultural or other seasonally based businesses, is that their income isn’t consistent throughout the year. As a result, it’s difficult for these enterprises to adhere to traditionally structured, monthly loan payments. Instead, the demand dividend provides for loan repayments based on their cash flow.

GSBI is a registered trademark of Santa Clara University. All rights reserved.

Capacity Building in the Financial Marketplace (#Tools/Platforms)

Finance Alliance for Sustainable Trade (FAST) was awarded a grant to develop an online information portal, called the FAST Financial Marketplace, to streamline the process of informing SGBs of available credit options. Interest shown on the portal allowed the organization of FAST Financial Fairs in which SGBs received credit for a total amount of $28 million. Oxfam Novib and the Citi Foundation provided follow-on funding. Capitalizing on the success of the financial marketplace, FAST also received funding from the Common Fund for Commodities to develop a more dynamic Online Financial Access Platform that will match social finance to SGBs financial requirements. By summer 2016, 30 credit-ready SGBs and an initial number 30 impact investors will register their profiles and participate on an investment matchmaking process.