Arab Business Angels

Business Angels nurture your Business Ideas...

A Close Look at the Arab Business Angels Network

Based in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, the Arab Business Angels Network or ABAN operates a Business Angel network for the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. This network serves as a perfect platform for considering rousing investment opportunities with those desirous of making such investments, either in their personal capacities or as part of larger consortiums.

18 nations of the Arab region are part of the Arab Business Angels Network, namingly:

  • Algeria
  • Bahrain
  • Egypt
  • Iraq
  • Jordan
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Morocco
  • Oman
  • Palestine
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Sudan
  • Syria
  • Tunisia
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Yemen

The Arab Business Angels Network intends to become:

  • The largest Business Angel network in the aforementioned region;
  • The foremost choice for those seeking seed capital;
  • A well entrenched driver of Corporate Social Responsibility for Dubai International Capital or DIC.

By becoming a member of the Arab Business Angels Network, one can look forward to obtaining the following benefits:

  • Gaining access to an environment in which individuals who are interested in investing in early stage companies with high growth potential can easily identify entrepreneurs with relevant business propositions who have been carefully selected for their investment potential;
  • Gaining access to dealflow and regular events where investors can see selected companies present their proposals;
  • The provision of an environment that is conducive for social networking as well as for opportunities to make new business contacts;
  • The provision of guidance and support to entrepreneurs seeking investment, including training and support for selected entrepreneurs to present their proposals to investors;
  • The facilitation of cooperation and syndication among investors where applicable which can also be a useful means of maximising investment opportunities and spreading risks;
  • The provision of direct support with structuring deals including support for due diligence and relevant documentation to ensure fostering of relationships between investors and entrepreneurs in the interest of both the entities;
  • The provision of free consultancy and sustainance to any business entity that intends to establish a Business Angels Network within the MENA region cities.

Brief History

ABAN was set up in 2007 and is a subsidiary of Dubai International Capital (DIC) which is a Dubai-based international investment company primarily focused on private equity.

ABAN operates as a Business Angel Network for the region and manages early stage funds.

People behind the Arab Business Angels Network

The Arab Business Angels Network is headed by its Chairman, Mr. Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, Chairman and CEO of Mashreq Bank, who is also a renowned business leader, not only in the MENA region but across the world.

Advisory Board Members of the Arab Business Angels Network include:

  • H.H Sheikha Hanadi Nasser bin Khaled Al Thani from Qatar
  • H.H Prince Mohammed Al Faisal from KSA
  • Mr. Majdi Al Yasin from Jordan
  • Mr. Sameer Al Ansari Executive Chairman and CEO of DIC

The Management team of ABAN is headed by Walid Hanna, CEO, who has been with the network since its inception.

Membership Criteria

Membership can be gained into the Arab Business Angels Network, on satisfactory fulfillment of the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated experience in managing and building thriving companies either as entrepreneurs or functioning executives.
  • The ability to showcase at least some prior investment know-how in early-stage companies, or have experience of business development, licensing in corporate positions.
  • Good networks within the business and/or venture commune in the area.
  • Willingness to screen investment prospects that equal stated interests and, if pursued, to analyze the investment opportunity and risks before investing.
  • Subject to availability, members may be mandated to participate in ABAN organized events.

Annual membership fees for being a part of the Arab Business Angels Network is US$ 1,000 for individuals and US$10,000 for corporates/institutions.

Benefits of Membership

A member of the Arab Business Angels Network stands to benefit in the following ways:

  • Gain access to all information that is deemed pertinent on the ABAN systems, essential to measure and appraise prospective investments in entrepreneurial projects on the ABAN system;
  • Be invited to all events and symposiums organized by the company in relation to ABAN;
  • Obtain customary notifications of business proposals and forwarding of business plans that may be of specific interest to Angel Investors, in accordance with preferences informed by the Angel Investor to the company at regular intervals.

Existing ABAN Members

The Arab Business Angels Network counts both organisations and individual Angel Investors among its members.

Some of the distinguished corporate members include:

  • Intel Capital
  • Dubai Silicon Oasis
  • Microsoft

Some of the distinguished individual Angel Investor members of ABAN include:

  • Mr. Hossam Shobokshi
  • Ms. Judith Barton
  • Mr. William John Chappell
  • Ms. Shahla Bastaki
  • Mr. Fahmi Al Shawa
  • Mr. Armen Vartanian
  • Mr. Fadi Moussalli
  • Ms. Mariam Ghobash
  • Mr. Abdel Salam Qatshan
  • Mr. Feroz Sanaulla
  • Ms. Nour Sweid
  • Mr. Roger Karam
  • Mr. John Filla
  • Mr. Robin Cutts

In addition, the Arab Business Angels Network counts some other distinguished business angel networks among its partners, and they include:

  • Riyada Ventures
  • GLE Growth Capital
  • Gulf Venture Capital Association or GVCA
  • TechWadi
  • London Business Angels
  • Young Arab Leaders
  • The Sindibad

A Look at the Arab Business Angels Network’s CSR Initiatives

ABAN looks at its initiative of funding early stage businesses also as a CSR or Corporate Social Responsibility drive, since funding of these businesses creates employment opportunities among those who are otherwise left out of the overall economic growth that has been witnessed in the region off late. Opportunities notwithstanding, much of the human capital in the region particularly women and less qualified men are often left jobless and this is a state of affairs that the Arab Business Angels Network is actively seeking to do away with. It is aware that such initiatives would have broad reaching implications for the economic prosperity of the entire region as a whole.

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