This past month, the Impact Angel Network hit an important milestone: It reached 100 members. Only one order of magnitude from our vision of thousands of investors investing into hundreds of companies across 20 countries on the continent of Africa. Perhaps it's worth explaining why this milestone, and RENEW’s vision for a thousand-member network, is so important.
First, there is much more to this story than angel investing.
If we go back in time, to the point when nations start to accelerate beyond their agrarian roots, to industrialized countries and a thriving private sector that pulls many out of poverty into the middle class – it’s entrepreneurs that are at the center of that story. The young and determined that went on to claim the title of captains of industry. While far from perfect, Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Morgan, and then Jobs and Gates, did amazing things for my country. And yes, they all started as an idea, then a garage and then a mid-size company, that they grew into great ones. They were determined, passionate, hard-working and visionary. And they had some help along the way…from investors.
We believe this talent can be found on the continent of Africa. You must seek them out, but they are here, working hard at innovating and bringing value to their markets. They are overlooked by much of the world and definitely underserved by the local capital market. There is virtually no medium-term, risk capital available for these young Edisons. There within lies the problem and the opportunity. RENEW’s Impact Angel Network seeks to find and invest in these future business legends, and unlock the massive economic force inside each nation. In doing so, we create jobs, and provide better access to healthcare, education and clean water for the thousands we employ and eventually the millions living in the communities where these legends build their companies. Read more in our latest
in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Well, I am proud and inspired by the more than 100 amazing families that I have personally gotten to know since the IAN was founded in 2013 that are already taking up this call-to-action. And I am also incredibly proud of the hundreds of amazing entrepreneurs who I personally know who are working day-in and day-out to build companies that bring new products and services to their markets, creating valuable jobs, and acting as good stewards in their communities. Here is a peak at a few of their
. I believe this is exactly what Mr. Guterres is asking for.
Many people have told us that building an angel network dedicated to investing in growth business on the continent of Africa was impossible: we’ve heard “They will ask you too many questions, and it will be awful to manage.” Or “You will have so many problems investing in small and medium sized businesses in Africa; they are too much work.” Thankfully, I find solace in these statements of doubt; it means RENEW and the IAN are onto something disruptive and game-changing! We’re trailblazers.
So, find us when we get to 1,000, or join us now and be part of the adventure. We'll still be here, driving entrepreneurship; playing our part in building Africa's private sector; providing a platform for conscious capitalists to invest good companies; and I believe making a dent in the
Renew Capital is an Africa-focused impact investment firm that backs innovative companies with high-growth potential. Renew Capital manages investments made on behalf of the Renew Capital Angels, a global network of angel investors, foundations and family offices who seek financial returns and sustainable social impact. For the latest on investing in Africa, subscribe and follow us at our social links below.