November 20 is Global Business Angels Day (GBAD), an opportunity for angels to build and strengthen their regional entrepreneurial ecosystems, helping to enhance connections with startup communities and policymakers alike, while providing invaluable knowledge sharing and resources for all those who work with entrepreneurs. GBAD is a chance for all early-stage investors to connect with community leaders as well as local media through events and competitions, local programs for entrepreneurs, policy research and growing regional networks.
“Angels are often a hidden hero of the startup and innovation economy,” said Marianne Hudson,angel investor and executive director of the Angel Capital Association in a recent Forbes article. “It is important to unveil and celebrate the important contributions angels make.”
Adds Hudson, “The measuring stick of any good angel is financial return on their investment portfolio – but it is amazing how many angel investors I talk to are also excited about other non-financial returns. The thing I hear the most about is helping create jobs and innovation in their communities.”
GEW has worked with business angels for years, often at the host level. In Bahrain, our host organization is Tenmou, Bahrain’s first business angel organization. In Italy, our host organization, and the co-host of this spring’s Global Entrepreneurship Congress, is META Group. META Group’s CEO, Luigi Amati, is also the co-founder of Italian Angels for Growth and the Vice President of Business Angels Europe.
“Global Business Angels Day is being celebrated in Canada, Latin America, Europe, Asia/ Pacific Rim, Middle East and Africa,” said Hudson. “There are some outstanding angel investors (and angel-backed companies) in places like Chile, Italy, New Zealand, and India. New angel groups have been established recently in Barbados and Egypt.”
As part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, GBAD is being promoted in all 150 countries celebrating entrepreneurship this week. In Canada, the National Angel Capital Organization is launching a cross-Canada campaign to champion angel investors and the successful entrepreneurs they work with. 14 Angels from the west coast to the east coast will be speaking to media about angel investing. In the United States, numerous events will be happening including discussions with angel investors on financing options, pitch parties and bootcamps. In Belgium, Be Angels, under the direction of CEOClaire Munck, is hosting an angel investment forum. The Turkish Business Angels Association is hosting a dinner with business angel networks in Istanbul. Conferência Nacional da Anjos do Brasil, a conference on angel investing, is taking place in Brazil as part of GBAD and in Cameroon, GBAD celebrations will be tied into the local hosts GEW campaign.
Also happening this week is Business Angels Week, the world’s largest cross-border angel investment awareness initiative featuring business angels and entrepreneurs from Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The week is run by the European Business Angels Network, Middle Eastern Business Angels Network, African Business Angels Network and Business Angels Europe.