ICC WCF signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the network of Business Angel organizations – Global Business Angels Network (GBAN), The European Trade Association For Early Stage Investment Market and Business Angels (EBAN), The MENA Business Angels Network (MBAN) and The African Business Angels Network (ABAN) – during the World Business Angels Investment Forum 2016, held 22-23 February in Istanbul, Turkey.
Business angel (BA) investors are high net worth individuals who provide capital (€25,000 to €500,000) to entrepreneurs and play a major role in the economy. In many countries, they constitute the largest source of external funding, after family and friends, in newly established ventures. BAs are increasingly crucial in providing risk capital as well as contributing to economic growth and technological advances. Moreover, the supply of start-up and early-stage equity finance has to some extent, become more dependent on BAs, as venture capital funds are not able to accommodate a large number of small deals. Bank lending, the traditional source of financing, is limited due to perceived risk and handling costs.
BAs provide both financing and managerial experience, which increase the likelihood of start-up enterprises to survive. Given the importance of informal investors for the creation and maintenance of an entrepreneurial economy, fostering their investment could have a significant leverage effect.
“There are scatterings of chambers working with business angels in various parts of the world and it is hoped that through this MOU, further local collaborations can be established between our local chambers, their entrepreneurs and business angels.
WCF Director Anthony Parks said: “There are scatterings of chambers working with business angels in various parts of the world and it is hoped that through this MOU, further local collaborations can be established between our local chambers, their entrepreneurs and business angels. Increasing the awareness of the respective activities of both types of organizations to learn about policies and programmes available for entrepreneurs can only positively impact SME financing and local economic development.”
The forum panel was led by Mr Parkes and consisted of BA networks, Junior Chamber International and the Chamber of Commerce Industry and Agriculture of Beirut and Mount Lebanon. They discussed how a chamber could assist their business leaders in becoming BAs themselves and how they can build a business angel network within their respective organizations that would encourage and support local entrepreneurs.
“This will put in place a global structure for all of us to work together and unleash the power of global investors around the world.
Candace Johnson, President of EBAN, shared the significance of this partnership: “This will put in place a global structure for all of us to work together and unleash the power of global investors around the world,” he said. Jonathan Ortmans ,Founder and Co-chair of GBAN added: “It’s Angel investors that give talent, intellect and help bring ideas to life.”
Signatories to the MOU include Baybar Altuntas, Vice President, EBAN & Chair of the World Business Angels Investment Forum 2016; Jonathon Ortmans, GBAN; Adbelmalek Al-Jaber, President, MBAN and Tomi Davis, President, ABAN.