While the term angel investor may be somewhat new, the concept of supporting growth by investing in a start-up is intrinsic to the way business is done in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). There are a lot of reasons to become an angel investor, whether you are looking to fund the next big idea, want that investment thrill or believe in supporting up-and-coming entrepreneurs from the region.
We believe women in the Gulf represent the next generation of angels with an impact; one-fifth of GCC wealth is controlled by women yet they don’t see most investment opportunities. It is not for lack of interest that these women aren’t there. We know the capital is there for females to be involved in economic growth and WOMENA is about ensuring our regional female investors have the networks, platform, knowledge, and support they need to identify and fund budding entrepreneurs.
Why should you be an angel investor?
We live in region where there is demand for new ideas, concepts and services coupled with a generation of aspiring entrepreneurs who want to be their own boss and succeed at it. This means there are a myriad of untapped opportunities:
- Experts estimate that on a cumulative basis, the level of investments made by angels over the last 30 years is double that of venture capitalists – MENA has untapped potential.
- With the economic crisis and unrest in the region, this generation has taken business into their own hands, creating a shift toward entrepreneurship.
- MENA is home to some of the fastest growing emerging markets and entrepreneurship is at the heart of job creation.
- Each angel investment creates an average of four jobs – this supports job creation and in some cases nationalization.
- 47% of surveyed entrepreneurs say that finding partners is a challenge to expansion – meaning angel investment is the missing link.
- There are gaps in the market and MENA entrepreneurs are taking existing ideas and successful tailoring them to the local market
- If angels keep their portfolios diverse and are diligent about funding the right companies there is real potential for return.
Think of it this way, you probably are already informally an ‘angel investor’ for a family member or a friend who needed capital to get their big idea off the ground. WOMENA can help you grow your investment portfolio through directing your capital to strong regional start-up companies who are playing a fundamental part in changing the business landscape in MENA.