FMO partners with African Angel Academy to accelerate angel investing

FMO announced a strategic partnership with The African Angel Academy (AAA) and DGGF (Dutch Good Growth Fund), an investment initiative from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As sponsors, FMO and DGGF will join forces to bolster the capacity of early-stage investors in 5 growing African startup ecosystems through AAA’s 8th programme cohort.

Initiated in 2021, AAA and DGGF embarked on a three-year project to expand and accelerate the angel investing networks in African countries, selected according to their existing support services, startup pipeline and potential for growth. This catalytic investment by DGGF has enabled the African Angel Academy to scale significantly, bring new partners on board and build long-term sustainability. The inclusion of FMO as a programme partner and sponsors adds further momentum to this initiative, expanding its reach to two additional countries in 2023.

Alina Vinogradova, Program Manager SCBD / Dutch Good Growth Fund: ”At DGGF, we’ve observed a tremendous growth in the number of angel networks across the African continent, but there’s work to be done to help these networks professionalize and to grow the capacity of individual members. This is where AAA’s programme comes along, with follow-on opportunity for these networks to graduate into SCBD’s portfolio.”

This joint effort will provide comprehensive training and networking opportunities for 100 emerging angel investors from Ghana, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia from July to October 2023. Applications for the programme are currently open and ecosystem leaders are encouraged to share with relevant individuals and networks.  AAA will select participants based on their previous investment experience and their professional experience (10+ years minimum), striving for 50% participation by women investors.

The African Angel Academy was established in 2021 by Viridian and ViKtoria Ventures, and has trained and networked 400+ angels from 15 African countries since inception. The core programme consists of an online course; as well as live virtual masterclasses and Q&A’s featuring the continent’s top angels as guest contributors. It culminates with startup showcase events, an opportunity for participants to meet investor-ready startups nominated by the cohort and AAA’s broader community.  To help accelerate local angel networks, the programme also offers leaders of new groups mentorship from an experienced angel investor. This cohort is presented in partnership with the African Business Angel Network (ABAN).

Alex Fraser, Director, African Angel Academy project and CEO, Viridian: “We are excited to join forces with FMO and DGGF to expand our impact in Africa. By empowering angel investors, we are fostering an ecosystem that supports innovative startups, drives economic growth, and unlocks the continent’s immense potential.”

The programme covers the entire investing process – from sourcing, due diligence and valuations to investee team relations and investment management. All participants will join AAA’s continent-wide alumni community on completion of the programme for access to further deal and training opportunities.

FMO will also be sponsoring AAA’s cohort 9, which will enable 20 emerging angel investors from Morocco to participate in the programme later in 2023. This partnership is funded through the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Building component of the FMO Ventures Program Technical Assistance Facility, co-funded by the Dutch Government and European Union. This component seeks to foster the maturity of the venture capital sector in targeted emerging markets by improving services of incubators, accelerators and other entrepreneurial support organizations, as well as enabling more early-stage financing for ventures.

Andrew Shaw, Impact and Technical Assistance Manager, FMO: “We are thrilled to partner with AAA and DGGF in the ongoing effort to support more early-stage investors across Africa and help address the financing gap for scaling ventures. Angel investors play an instrumental role in the VC ecosystem in funding, mentoring, and connecting entrepreneurs to grow their businesses.”

With the support of FMO and DGGF, AAA will continue to play a pivotal role in advancing the capacity of local early-stage investors in Africa. Learn more about the African Angel Academy and apply for the programme here. Applications for cohort 8 will close on 7 July 2023.

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