The ANDE West Africa regional conference, which was piloted in 2017, is a gathering of ANDE Members and partners in the region including leading investors, capacity development providers, foundations, banks, corporations, and research institutions.
This year, the 2-day, highly interactive conference featured sessions on solutions to common challenges, networking meetings, and plenaries with leading thinkers in the small and growing business (SGB) space.
The event which held in Lagos between 24th-25th 2018, had participating development organisations zero in their conversations into how entrepreneurs can access finance and the various necessary technical steps needed to attract the right funders. This is largely hinged on plugging in the right systems and structure into their operations and LEAP championed this conversation represented by Temitope Richard-Banji; BizLEAP Manager. Impact investment and measurement was a big ball rolling in the room as participating organisations realised that investing in the success stories of entrepreneurs and measuring their growth is a panacea for addressing the issues that concern them.
One other major conversation stemming from the conference was the importance of inclusion; and this time, persons living with disabilities and gender inclusiveness specifically in the IT industry. The conversation was around how to properly get women to participate more in technology related project. According to one of the organisation who stood in defense of the women folks claims that the women who are domesticated find it hard to cope with the demand of the tech industry.
Afterward, there was a networking event to assemble organisations/development partners who could not make it to the conference with those who did to a dinner to launch a report from the findings from ANDE’s research titled -Accelerating Youth-Led Enterprises in Nigeria. Accelerators and incubators were also available to speak to the report and to chart a way forward.