The African Business Angel Network (ABAN) is a Pan-African non-profit association. ABAN was founded in early 2015 to support the development of early stage investor networks across the continent and to grow the cohort of early stage investors excited about the opportunities in Africa.
Promoting a Culture of Angel Investing
ABAN seeks to promote a culture of angel investing across Africa. With networks of Angel Investors emerging across the continent, ABAN serves to connect them and works to collect knowledge and develop best practices in order to share this with African investors. At its core, ABAN exists to create a contact point for existing networks, to support stakeholders involved in building the ecosystem, and to promote the creation of new Angel Investor networks. ABAN also engages private sector investors and serves as a source of thought leadership on investing in African born innovation. In turn, ABAN ultimately seeks to build the SME economy and improve the climate for entrepreneurs.
How It All Started
ABAN began as a consortium of independent investor networks including Lagos Angels Network (LAN), Cameroon Angel Network (CAN), Ghana Angel Investor Network (GAIN), Venture Capital for Africa (VC4Africa), and Silicon Cape; supported by the European Business Angel Network (EBAN), the LIONS Africa Partnership and DEMO Africa. In the interest of connecting these African networks, supporting new investors and networks to maximise their impact, and connecting African investors to their global counterparts, the need to form a Pan-African association of Angel Investor networks and other early stage investors became clear, and ABAN was born.
This idea of a Pan-African network was first discussed at the 5th EU-Africa Forum held in Brussels in February 2014. An outcome thereof was the decision to organise an Africa Angel Investor Summit that would bring together the numerous African networks to explore the creation of a Pan-African network. In September 2014 VC4Africa and LAN hosted the first Pan-African Angel Investor Summit as part of the DEMO Africa 2014 event in Lagos, Nigeria. Participants at the summit included Business Angels, impact investors, venture capital funds, and corporate venture capital managers. Many of these stakeholders expressed a common desire for an organised structure through which to connect with counterparts across the continent and around the world. Soon thereafter, at the EBAN 2014 Conference held in Helsinki, Finland, ABAN was officially launched.