RENEW Strategies

Angel Investor Trip Update

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Matthew Davis, CFA
| February 22, 2013



“Are Americans serious about investing in Ethiopia?” questioned an entrepreneur attending RENEW’s recent Unwritten Rules workshop. We think so. After a year of testing the market, RENEW has attracted interested private capital including more than $10M from U.S. angels, $10M from impact funds, and a potential $5M from NGOs and foundations looking to invest in Ethiopian SMEs. And this is only the beginning…

The RENEW team recently concluded another successful week hosting several angel investors from North Carolina here in Ethiopia. The group is part of a growing network of Impact Angels from the United States and Europe that RENEW has been building since 2007. So far this year, we have hosted two groups, and several more are scheduled in the coming months. These investors are coming to Ethiopia in search of opportunities to create impact and returns beyond what traditional aid and charity models or investment funds currently offer them.

As our list of visiting investors continues to grow, we would like to share some feedback we captured from the most recent group to help encourage and guide businesses and development partners who are eager to engage with this growing class of investors for Africa.

We’ve learned that it’s necessary to clarify what an angel investor is. These are sophisticated investors who make direct investments into promising businesses. Impact angels are different from a fund, and very different from a charity or grant making entity. In the words of one of our impact angels, “We’re making investments. This is not charity and it’s not a grant. We’re here to do real investments with a profit and values motive.”

These angels are looking for good returns and good impact - such as helping empower women in leadership roles, creating jobs and sustainability, and lowering Africa’s dependence on charity and aid. They are well-connected and experienced in growing and running successful companies. RENEW facilitates investment from these impact angels into promising businesses in Ethiopia and across Africa.

Check back next week for more details and photos about what our angel investors were up to last week!

Contact us at renew@renewstrategies.com or follow us on Twitter @RENEWLLC to find out more.