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Angel start-ups

BEF pushing new style of investing

Funding for start-up businesses remain an area of challenge for many aspiring entrepreneurs with viable business ideas. And the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation (BEF) is seeking to bridge that gap with a new funding model ––  angel investment.

This is being offered through its Trident Angel investor network set up about three months ago. So far, four entrepreneurs have been paired with local and regional angel investors.

BEF chairperson Melanie Jones told Barbados TODAY that she believed angel investment would play a critical role in the development of entrepreneurship in Barbados.

“I think it is a part of the future that cannot be divided from our success. I think that there is a whole entrepreneurship ecosystem which we need to have in place in Barbados, and that that entire ecosystem is the future. The Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation is working on developing the various elements of the entrepreneurship ecosystem but angel funding for seed investees is an absolutely critical part of that ecosystem. It just really hasn’t existed in Barbados before,” said Jones.

She said the BEF recognized that most start-ups in Barbados would get seed capital from loved ones, but in many ventures if there was not enough early success “at the right speed” that money would run out.

“And you would hope that then the entrepreneur would be able to go off to the bank and get a loan. Unfortunately, the way that traditional lending happens in Barbados is that in order to get a loan you need to qualify by having some sort of asset that you can charge in the bank’s favour, and what that means is if the business fails the bank’s position is protected because they can take your asset, but you lose everything. And obviously that is not a viable or sustainable model for start-up funding. So that is where angel investment comes in,” explained Jones.

Saying that angel investment was “a wonderful” way of helping small businesses, Jones added that the BEF realized there were many educated individuals in Barbados with brilliant ideas that could be turned into workable, investable businesses that could bring returns.

“The prevailing belief in the past is that there are lots of bright young people who have ideas, but not ideas that can be translated into viable business. But we have seen already, just in the first few months of having set up this angel investor network, that there are in fact viable projects that can be attractive to investors and that this is a very important and unprecedented way in which we can provide start-up funding for young entrepreneurs,” said Jones.

Investees are able to load their information about their perspective business on the BEF’s online platform, which would be reviewed by the investors. Investors have anonymity when they review the information. They then indicate to the BEF if they are interested in meeting with any of the investees.

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3 Responses to Angel start-ups

  1. Angel OfThunder
    Angel OfThunder October 1, 2014 at 12:11 am

    See this is so important too the economy y because all of us don’t have the same opportunities,u might have the greatest abilities but not the help needed an living on a island people that have the $$$ I guess they feel away that others can become just as wealthy as them so they don’t invest in they own home land,y be rich an still greedy pick one an what people miss is this point,THE RICHER THE ISLAND THE STRONGER THE ECONOMY THINK ABOUT IT,I’m a simple man but with knowledge people don’t have I see what people don’t,but who do u trust with IDEAS OF GOLD the rich greedy man or the investment for a brighter future for all….

  2. Angel OfThunder
    Angel OfThunder October 1, 2014 at 12:34 am

    One must use wisdom because Ideas or raw uncut information unknown to others,ideas or common sense logical knowledge that should get testing for accuracy an stop look down on people because we all didn’t have the same opportunities as each other, but we all or under the same laws same government etc we need each other as foolish as that sounds its a fact,from the garbage man to the Doctor man to the farmer man its a common sense things,people over look it because of this thing call I think I’m better then the next person because he/she ain’t rich that’s just foolishness we all have a duty too our Nation….

  3. Daniel Polonis
    Daniel Polonis October 1, 2014 at 6:29 am

    One must be very careful going down this road..these “Angel Investors ” are rife with wealthy people who will sit listen to you pitch an idea.. then if it looks like a good idea and you have failed to patent it or legally secure it you will be walking down Broad street and see it for sale. make sure you get a noncompete nondisclosure and its even worth the money to secure a lawyer before any such meetings. I was naive once as well…”Angel” is the wrong term…”Demon network” is more applicable.


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