South Africa will have an angel network of its own as the South African Business Angel Network (SABAN) launches officially on August 24, 2016 in Johannesburg.
The angel network will launch with the sole purpose of galvanizing and growing angel investing in the country.
SABAN will be launching due to the amazing work of one young dude. His name? Chris Campbell, an entrepreneur based in South Africa.
Because he has done loads of pitching and gone through funding rounds, Chris saw the need to make it easier to connect South African entrepreneurs and business angels.
At the EBAN Winter University 2014 in Helsinki, Finland, he saw firsthand what was being done in other countries as per angel networks and he felt it was time to get this thing off the ground.
The “deal” to create an angel network in SA was “signed” at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress 2016 in Medellin, Colombia – several SA entrepreneurs were in attendance and they agreed an angel network would help the ecosystem to grow.
Several angel networks such as the African Business Angel Network, Finnish Business Angels Network and Lagos Angel Network, and companies & individuals played a crucial role in the creation of SABAN.
“To put the South African economy in context – the country is characterized by extremely high unemployment and low GDP growth, so entrepreneurial initiative is sorely needed to boost the economy. And where there are entrepreneurs, there must also be business angels,” EBAN stated in a press release.
It added, “While private angel groups and small syndicates do exist in the country, as mentioned, SABAN will be the first ever national non-profit network. Additionally, there is little data regarding business angel activity in the country, however, their number is surmised to be somewhere between 20 and 50 publically known business angels. On a related note, SABAN also aims to increase the amount of information available on early stage market players in South Africa.”
SABAN is headed by a steering committee comprising Chris Campbell, Bodo Sieber (CEO of Tagmarshal) and Mvikeli Hlophe (fund manager at SA Enterprise).
The launch will take place on the aforementioned date from 7:30 AM to 9:30 AM at the Sandton Area in Johannesburg, South Africa. Everyone can’t attend because it’s invite only!
An even bigger launch will take place in Cape Town in November, and by early 2017, SABAN is expected to be fully operational.
With the launch of SABAN, South Africa will join countries such as Nigeria (Lagos Angel Network), Cameroon (Cameroon Angel Network), and Ghana (Ghana Angel Network) in having an angel network of its own.