The African continent was well represented at the World Business Angel Investment Forum in Istanbul. The event, which took place this week, saw investors, entrepreneurs, and policy-makers coming from 46 countries from different parts of the world.
This forum was presented by the Global Business Angels Network (GBAN), a recently formed organization and an initiative by the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN); he same organization that is spearheading the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) and the Global Entrepreneurship Week.
The forum was organized by the European Trade Association for early stage investors (EBAN), the Middle East Business Angels Network (MBAN) and the African Business Angels Network (ABAN) in cooperation with the Business Angels Association of Turkey (TBAA).
The president of GEN and founder and co-president of GBAN Jonathan Ortmans explains: “GBAN is a global community of business angel networks and organizations that bring greater public awareness and engagement to the role that business angels play in helping new firms start and scale.” GBAN seeks to provide an inclusive, supportive community of early-stage investors around the world. “We interface with entrepreneurs, policymakers, other early-stage finance actors and leading entrepreneurial support programs to strengthen the global entrepreneurial ecosystem”, Ortman continues.
ABAN, the African Business Angels Network launched early 2015 to catalyze early stage investing in Africa, is a proud founding partner of GBAN. “Being connected to a strong active global ecosystem is a great next step for African investors and African startups”. ABAN co-founder David van Dijk comments from Istanbul. “Successful angel networks do not develop immediately, but rather over time. Being part of GBAN will help networks in Africa learn from experienced investors and established angel syndicates and angel networks. Plus this is simply a great community to promote the ‘African Opportunity’. We want to get many more investors excited about what is happening on the continent.”
The changing role of angel investors
Experienced angel investors continue to widen pools of startup funding in many entrepreneurship ecosystems. “Mentor financing’ not only increases the chances of companies becoming successful but also the critical mass of angel investors that can grow the sector stronger in their startup ecosystems, allowing new waves of startups to emerge. In all parts of the world angel networks work together on activities ranging from research to the setting of professional standards and it is great African networks can now easily tap into this global community of experiences investors.
ABAN joins global partnership with the International Chamber of Commerce.
One of the highlights in Istanbul was ABAN president Tomi Davies joining in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).
The ICC is looking to take a more active in supporting SMEs raise funds and this new global partnership is to further fuel SME growth also across the African continent. The ICC having presence in all African countries means we can grow faster and support early stage investing also in countries where no formal angel networks exists today.