As a global organisation, the WBAF is unique in its focus on a ‘smart’ approach to transforming the world’s economy to a smart economy — one that we believe will produce more jobs and more social justice.
The Forum provides an open environment where key players from equity markets around the world can freely discuss the challenges businesses face in achieving growth and explore ways to empower the world economy.
The Forum is also unique in its focus on five dynamics, all of which embed the ‘smart’ concept.
We help ensure that policymakers, entrepreneurs, startups and SMEs fully appreciate the importance of smart finance, which can be provided only by angel investors.
Different countries may face different challenges, yet as the world’s economies are no longer isolated, their problems are not necessarily country-specific. Solutions therefore need to be sought in the wider, international ecosystem.
Virtually all types of finance sources beyond simple bootstrapping — corporate ventures, angel investors, crowd-funding platforms, accelerators, VCs, banks, public grants, co-investment funds, business plan competitions, technology transfer offices, family offices, private equity investors and stock exchanges — can easily be tapped for smart investing ifthey are paired with the right qualified angel investors and if they look beyond local financial ecosystems.
In a country’s economic development process, an increase in the number of new business ideas is closely related to exit opportunities. We therefore invite stock exchanges to pursue more practical ways to increase liquidity for early-stage investment markets and we encourage corporations to set up their own corporate ventures that will invest in smart entrepreneurs, startups and SMEs.
We focus on the long term, not the emergencies of the day. We understand that real progress takes time and sustained commitment, and that real success is not measured in terms of immediate results.
Smart Entrepreneurs, Startups and SMEs
Identifying the right entrepreneur, startup or SME is crucial for any investor. On the other side of the coin, it is also crucial for entrepreneurs, startups and SMEs to receive investment from the right team of investors. We encourage entrepreneurs to target funds from smartinvestors, such as angel investors, or from financial sources that cooperate with angel investors. The WBAF believes that investment readiness training programmes can turn entrepreneurs, startups and SMEs into smart sources of innovation.
Converting Public Money to Smart Money
The WBAF draws the attention of policymakers to the risks posed by financing entrepreneurs, startups and SMEs. If finance is not backed up by know-how, mentorship and good networking, an investment can easily lead to the border of the proverbial valley of death.
The WBAF therefore invites governments and policymakers to develop strong angel investment schemes to be used alongside public support for entrepreneurs, startups and SMEs.
Policymakers should also develop smart policies to convert public money to smart money in cooperation with qualified angel investors.
By working together across borders, with a common vision, and with these smart dynamics in mind, we are well placed to bring about positive change in the global economy.