Join the Movement of Angel Investment in Africa
The rise of The African Millennials (Diaspora) Angel Investors
As we round up the pilot of our Investor Program, we talked to Rahwa Yohannes, the youngest in our investor Program in order to better understand her passion for making an impact in Africa. Rahwa is a 27 year old student of International Relations at the University of Oslo. She has an extensive background in the service industry , with passion and interest in supporting the next generation of African entrepreneurs. She hopes to work with women and children, with specific focus on empowerment and secutrity.
I am an African and Ethiopian, and I joined the program, because it hits home. It´s important to empower entrepreneurs to accelerate so that they can create jobs. And this is what impact means for me in the Pangea context. I believe that Pangea can create impact by accelerating and scaling startups and connecting them to a network of people who can serve as bridge into other markets
What is Angel investment really about?
Angel investment is all about putting money into start-up companies set by entrepreneurs. Investors come at various stages of the startups life cycle. While some people invest at the very beginning of a start-up, when the entrepreneur is starting up and needs funds simply to survive, others invest in start-ups at later stages, when the start-up is gaining traction or growing larger and potentially becoming profitable. In Pangea Investor Program, we focus on the former, as there is lack of early stage investment on the continent.
Could anyone become an investor?
Angel investing used to be this complicated and serendipitous thing you happen to hear about from your network. While that still happens, there are various ways that people can invest in start-ups, and Pangea Accelerator offers some of the most interesting and unique ways in investing in African startups.
Last month, we concluded our pilot of investor program with 31 investors, who has interacted and mentored 40 African startups from Kenya, Nigeria and Egypt in our accelerator program. Being a start-up is all about checking assumptions, and as a startup we have confirmed many of our assumptions and believes in regards to angel investment.
One of our main assumptions is that given the right tools and opportunities, anyone with grit and passion could make an impact through angel investment. In a changing world, where information is now made available at our fingertips, angel investment is now in time of crossing boundaries, where more people than before can invest in Start-ups. We believe that angel investment is not this “Golem” that could only be touched by people with money or people with investment background. The pilot of Pangea Investor Program has validated that assumption. Not only did we have investors with non-investment background in the program, but we also had young people with diverse background. One of our investors that changed the face of your “typical angel investor” is Rahwa Yohannes.
Rahwa Yohannes is a student of International Studies from the University of Oslo, and the youngest in our investor program. Originally from Ethiopia, Rahwa migrated to Norway at the age of 17. She has worked in the service industry, but her passion is to work with women and children, with special focus on empowerment and security.
Angel Investment is also about impact
“I am passionate about job creation on the continent, and I am curious about exploring other alternatives and models that could allow me to learn and make an impact”.
As many of the investors in the Pangea Investor Program, she understands that making an impact must start with African entrepreneurs. While most of invertors put money into start-ups, some put money into startups to make an impact, with the hope of making money in the process. Imagine if you invested a little money in Facebook back in the days, and can now cash out to be millions of dollars. This sounds attractive for most people. However, for individuals such as Rahwa there are other reasons for investing in African startups. Some successful entrepreneurs, for instance, want to invest and provide advice so that they can help other entrepreneurs follow in their footsteps, and others want to want to make an impact with their time and money.
According to Rahwa, the economic situation of Ethiopia has improved in the past five years. However, she believes there are still a huge gap between rich and poor. There are also some challenges in doing business in Ethiopia in terms of imports, export and bureaucracy. She has seen a lot young people succeeded with their businesses in Ethiopia, but there is still “a lot of untapped potential, especially in the service sector and import”. Although she is the youngest in the program, and has no previous investment background, Rahwa has shown the grit and tenacity it takes to be an impact angel investor.
Through the program, “ I have learnt that there are good opportunities on the continent”. The program “did not only allowed me gain insights into the Kenyan investment landscape, it has also made me realised that there are great concepts such as Yusudi and Onesha in other African countries that could be expanded to other part of the continent. These two concepts have the potential to create jobs at a larger scale”.
If you have the grit and tenacity of Rahwa, and the ambition of becoming an angel investor and putting money into African start-ups, then it’s best to spend time learning about angel investing and figuring out how to deal with valuation, due diligence and deal flow. Join our the Pangea Inevstor Program in autumn this year, and learn about how you can create impact on the continent.
The Investment Program enlightens investors on investing in Africa and provides access to a larger community of investors. Investors gain first hand experience by direct interaction with startups in the accelerator. The investment program encourages interaction and cooperation between investors in evaluating startups and learning practical skills to making smart investments. The program comprises of 6 sessions that runs simultaneous to the accelerator program. At the end of the program money is awarded to one or more companies and angel investors become limited partners in a venture fund. Click here to learn more.
Are you African in the diaspora? Join our next batch of investor program. Contact email@example.com for more information.
Written by Dede Koesah, based on a conversation with Rahwa Yohannes.