System change through angel investing
On the 1st of June 2022 the city of Luanda hosted its first-ever angel investment conference entitled “Angel Investment for Social Good Conference”, organized by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Luanda, GP (Gestão Profissinal), Clube Angolano de Investidores Anjos (CAIA) and Orange Corners. CAIA, recently formally established with the support of Orange Corners, took the initiative to organize this conference to put angel investing on the map in Angola. Their ambition was also to break with the stigma of angel investors simply being rich people trying to get richer. They also wanted to highlight the job growth, spurt of innovation and social impact angel investors can generate. The Embassy of the Netherlands in Luanda fully supported them in this effort.
Finding investors is a structural problem for young starting entrepreneurs. This hinders them to accelerate their business and bring it to the next level. A possible solution to this problem are angel investors. And luckily, angel investing is booming in Africa. Nowadays more than 100 active networks are connecting angel investors to promising startups. Angel investors typically invest in high-growth companies that have a strong business case, address a new market or have an innovative product or service they are launching. Angel investors not only support the companies they invest in financially, but also with coaching, mentoring and access to their networks. They are often successful entrepreneurs themselves who now want to support a next generation of entrepreneurs and quite literally, put their money where their mouth is.
During this one-day event, keynote speakers addressed the history and future of angel investment in Africa and it’s possible impact in Angola. The ambassador of the kingdom of the Netherlands Tsjeard Hoekstra expressed the Netherlands’ commitment to investing in the private sector of Angola through initiatives such as Orange Corners and the support to CAIA. Alexandra Fraser, founder of the African Angel Academy and Dazzle Angels, captivated the audience with her overview of angel investing in Africa and used a case study of the Nairobi Business Angel Network to show how a small investment by conducting the African Angel Academy, unlocked an enormous amount of local investments in Kenia. Zachariah George, managing partner of Launch Africa Ventures, one of Africa’s most prominent VC investors, with investments in 100 of the leading tech startups in Africa Launch Africa, gave a crash course in successful investment strategies in Africa. The audience was fascinated when he coined his, loosely based on George Orwell’s Animal Farm: “Alle revenue is equal, but some is more equal than others”. Akiules Neto, Director of CAIA presented his vision and purpose in Angola. Being the first official Angel Network in Angola they feel they have the honor and obligation to spearhead this sector and be a trailblazer for current and future angels in Angola. He also spoke about their important role in improving the ecosystem for young entrepreneurs and shared the experience of the CAIA’s current investments in Angolan startups.
The conference was a big success with over 150 people attending the event. Besides the keynote speakers, Edilson Almeida from Tech 21 Africa moderated an interactive panel discussion, Alexa Tomás, Founder of Fleur Birds was interviewed on stage and Edna Reis, former Orange Corners incubatee held a presentation. The conference ended with the presentation by the young artist Jesualdo Muvuma, who managed to capture the whole event in a digital artwork he had made during the day.
Orange Corners (OC) aims to improve job prospects for youth between the ages of 18 and 35, in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. OC is a public-private initiative, active in 14 countries, with 17 hubs and counting. The programme strengthens ecosystems for youth entrepreneurship and youth employment. Furthermore, Orange Corners stimulates the entrepreneurial mindset of young people. It offers incubation, acceleration, access to finance, education and training, better policies and business challenges, with a strong involvement of the Embassies of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and partners from the private sector. Herewith, Orange Corners actively contributes to creating sustainable and inclusive economic growth and decent work for all (SDG8).
Orange Corners Angola is an initiative of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Luanda, implemented by GP (Gestão Profissinal).
Richard van Hoolwerff