Building a continent of angel investors

Innovative early stage ventures that have the potential to yield high social impact, but require less than USD 1 million in capital, are the most difficult segment of the SME pipeline to reach. They often times have a minimal track record and lack the collateral needed to secure capital from a local bank. Moreover, African banks and traditional financiers too often do not appreciate the dynamics of the entrepreneur’s specific business and therefore cannot add necessary value beyond capital.

Informal investors or business angels, usually experienced entrepreneurs themselves with domain specific expertise, can play a vital role in the financing of these ventures and mentor entrepreneurs as they launch and grow their companies.

The why and how of ABAN – the African Business Angel Network

ABAN is a pan African non-profit association founded early 2015 to support the development of early stage investor networks across the continent. ABAN began as a consortium of independent investor networks including the Lagos Angels Network (LAN), Cameroon Angel Network (CAN), Ghana Angel Investor Network (GAIN), Venture Capital for Africa (VC4A), Silicon Cape and with the support of the European Business Angel Network (EBAN), the LIONS Africa Partnership and DEMO Africa. In the past 15 months the community has grown to some forty investor networks, groups and syndicates across the African continent.

David van Dijk, ABAN co-founder, comments: “ABAN exists to grow the number of local African informal investors and to help catalyze startup funding. We want to make investing easier and get more deals done. We see ‘capacity building’ as a critical step and build programs to educate and inspire new investors and help existing investors become better investors.”

Announcing the Angel Investor Masterclass Nairobi August 11

After a successful series of angel investor bootcamps and masterclasses last year we look forward to again connect with both novice and experienced investors during our 2016 ABAN investor events, which will take us across the continent from Cairo to Cape Town and from Dakar to Dar es Salaam over the next months.

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To help kick-off the 2016 series award-winning ‘European Angel Investor of the Year 2015’ Brigitte Baumann will return to Nairobi on August 11 to host the 2016 ABAN Angel Investor masterclass. Brigitte is a serial entrepreneur; long time angel investor and President Emeritus of the European Business Angel Network (EBAN). She is the founder and CEO of Go Beyond Early Stage Investing and Chairperson of Global Angel Investing group YPO.

Dr. Jasper Grosskurth, Managing Director of Research Solutions Africa and board member of VC4Africa, will also share the findings of the Venture Finance in Africa 2016 report highlighting the performance of early stage, high growth ventures and the activity of early stage investors in Africa. A selection of local experts will compliment the session. The panel will consist of Harry Hare, Executive Producer of DEMO Africa, Martin Kiilu of Impact Advisory firm Intellecap, Keziah Njieri of Viktoria Ventures, local mentor Robert Yawe and will be moderated by ABAN board member and Viktoria Ventures co-founder Stephen Gugu.

Stephen Gugu comments: “We very much look forward to welcome Brigitte Baumann back to Nairobi. For this year’s masterclass we asked Brigitte to prepare a case that will cover the entire investment spectrum from valuation, due diligence, negotiation, post-investment monitoring and finally, exit – and we cant wait to learn from her experience and discuss this amongst the group.”

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The Nairobi masterclass will take place at the Best Western Hotel from 2pm to 5pm. Audience is ‘investors-only’. Seating is limited. For more information please contact Viktoria Ventures via [email protected] or register here. Next to the event in the afternoon a closed-door hands-on training will take place in the morning for members of the Viktoria Ventures Investor Network.

2016 Series of bootcamps and masterclasses

Through an ongoing series of events, bootcamps and masterclasses, research and op-ed pieces and speaking engagements ABAN continues its efforts to capture best practices as they start to emerge in the ecosystem and to make these more widely available. Dates about next masterclasses will be announced via the ABAN website and our regular mailings. Thinking about hosting an investor bootcamp or masterclass in your city? Get in touch with the ABAN team at: [email protected].

Let’s build a Network of Angel Investors in Africa!


ABAN is a pan African non-profit association founded to support the development of early stage investor networks across the continent, and to get many more (early stage) investors excited about the opportunities in Africa.

Viktoria Ventures: Since 2011, the Viktoria team has been actively supporting the growth of entrepreneurial ecosystems in various sectors in East Africa. Engagements include: Advising investors, providing portfolio management support and developing linkages to successful start-up ecosystems in other countries.