On February 21 – 23, 2016, the first-ever World Business Angel Investment Forum took place in Istanbul, Turkey with delegations from Nigeria, Zambia, Niger, Morocco and Egypt gracing the occasion.
The Forum brought together the best SME, public and corporate early stage market players currently working in collaboration to ease finance access for SMEs and entrepreneurs.
The event focused on developing new financial instruments to help with finance and liquidity for entrepreneurs, SMEs, innovators and start-ups all the way to the early exit stage.
Also, there were discussions by entrepreneurs from around the world, public authorities, angel investors, venture capitalists, executives of stock exchanges, and representatives of financial institutions on what can and should be done to better connect the early stage market ecosystem, necessary regulatory and fiscal changes, and ways to create better understanding and confidence for angel investors in approaching the public markets.
“Being connected to a strong active global ecosystem is a great next step for African investors and African startups,” said David van Dikj, co-founder of African Business Angel Network (ABAN).
He added, “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 opportunity to promote the ‘Africa Opportunity’. We want to get many more investors excited about what is happening on the continent.”
A key highlight of the Forum is the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Chamber of Commerce. ABAN president, Tomi Davies joined in the exercise.
Through the MoU, the International Chamber of Commerce, which has a presence in virtually all African countries, will be actively involved in supporting SMEs in fund raising.
The Forum was presented by the recently formed Global Business Angels Network (GBAN) and organized by the EBAN, the pan-European representative for early stage investors, MBAN, the MENA Business Angels Networks, ABAN and TBAA, the Turkish Business Angels Association.
It was sponsored by Borsa Instanbu, TEB Bank and ITU Teknokent.