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Angels Den to be launched in Qatar soon

AILYN AGONIA

DOHA ANGELS Den, one of the top business networks in the world, has entered into a partnership with Qatari social enterprise Silatech to launch into the Middle East, Qatar Tribune has learnt. Angels Den is known for its targeted approach in linking potential investors with entrepreneurs.

The Qatar Angel Network (QAN), likely to kick start sometime in May, is a collaboration aimed at revitalising the entrepreneurial culture in the country by directing international and local ‘Business Angels’ to local entrepreneurs in need of funds to get their bright business ideas off ground, Angels Den Founder Bill Morrow said.

Qatar is the first Middle East venture of Angels Den, which already has a strong presence across UK, Scotland, Singapore and Hong Kong, and the partnership is in line with Qatar National Vision 2030 to improve Qatar’s human capital base and make it a knowledgebased economy, he said.

Angels Den Co-Founder Lois Cook said that their ultimate plan is to roll out the network across all 22 MENA countries, “but we want to get it right first in Qatar.” The organisation is bringing into the country its massive network of Business Angels from all around the world to meet with local entrepreneurs. It will also run a series of awareness sessions to inform Business Angels on the business climate in the Arab world on the one hand, and train the entrepreneurs on how to pitch business ideas to potential investors.

“One thing that really struck us about Qatar was that the whole population is looking at enterprise. The Qatari leadership understands that enterprise and creating jobs in diverse sectors is really important,” said Morrow.

Silatech was founded in 2008 by Her Highness Sheikha Moza to address the need to create more jobs and economic opportunities for the young in the Arab world and beyond.

Pointing out that unlike other networks, Angels Den’s approach is targeted and efficient, he said, “Our vision fitted nicely with that of Qatar.

Our focus is stimulating the Qatari economy. We are very lucky we have partnered with Silatech. Together we have researched the market place to such a great extent and among the gaps we realised is the lack of knowledge on how to properly set-up a business. We can help as guardians of the marketplace,” he added.

Though Angels Den is ‘agnostic’ in terms of sector preference it is keen on women entrepreneurs, he said.

“We’ve met so many Qatari women or Women Angels who are keen to help other women. There is something very Arab about women wanting to help and give their time and energy to this kind of initiative. We don’t find that in Europe or in Asia,” he said.

Angels Den has been in talks with women organisations in Qatar such as the Qatar Businesswomen Association and the Qatar Professional Women’s Network , he said adding, “This venture between us and Silatech is not necessarily just another investment. This is something where people can help Qatar. We are not only looking for Business Angels who have the money but also those having the passion in entrepreneurship.” Cook said that their ultimate plan was to roll out the network across all 22 MENA countries, “but we want to get it right first here in Qatar.” “We understand that it’s going to be different in the Arab world. Angels Den is inspired by a great business model. We know its going to looking different here in Qatar than in London or Singapore,” she said.

“We want to use the Qatari experience for other nations in the region to get it right. Local entrepreneurs should come and talk to us no matter at what stage of business development they are at. Those who have the money and love entrepreneurship don’t necessarily have to start with ten businesses as they can actually invest in other businesses through us,” she concluded.


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