3 Ways Women can Start Angel Investing—An Insight from Yemi Keri

Angel investing isn’t just about capital; it’s a team endeavour.

Yemi Keri, a co-founder of Rising Tide Africa, a woman’s movement started with a vision to increase women’s participation in angel investing and investor mentoring across Africa, emphasizes how this isn’t a new concept in Africa.

Historically, many Africans have supported entrepreneurial ideas, like when a family member pitches an idea seeking financial backing. Once formalized with structures, this mutual support becomes “angel investing”. Beyond merely investing capital, it encompasses mentoring, coaching, and expanding the founder’s network.

Angel investing requires a genuine interest in the industry, founders, business, and overall ecosystem. The true value you offer transcends the equity you inject. This realm resonates with women, who inherently seek to contribute value, create a positive impact, and leave a lasting mark – not only monetarily but also through mentoring, networking, and coaching.

So why are there not more female angel investors in the continent helping to bridge the funding gap of their fellow female founders?

In a recent webinar, Practical Steps to Angel Investing organised by Africa Women CEOs Network (AWCN), Yemi Keri outlines three avenues for African women to begin their angel investing journey and make more funds available to female start-up founders.

Join a female-focused network like Rising Tide Africa: This female-owned and focused group has a pool of women that spans various sectors and expertise levels.

As Yemi shares, “We offer numerous masterclasses addressing essential queries about angel investing from understanding ROI and valuation nuances to recognizing promising deals, when to exit, how to carry out due diligence. We learn and unlearn from different people within the ecosystem to ensure our members are well-equipped.”

Lagos Angel Network (or any state/local network available at your location): Her second suggestion is for those who are not exactly investing with a gender lens. Whether one leans towards a specific sector like healthcare or prefers investing in all-male startups, there’s a fit for every investment philosophy. As Yemi points out, being on the board of the African Business Angel Network (ABAN) has given her insights into various networks across Africa, making her adept at guiding potential investors.

Africa Angel Academy: Topping her recommendation list, this academy promises a comprehensive understanding of angel investing.

Yemi’s overarching advice for budding angel investors is clear: Join a network. The joy of angel investing amplifies when done collectively. Start where you resonate, in an environment that feels like community-building, because angel investing isn’t a sprint but a marathon.

A gentle reminder: Prior to joining any angel network, it’s advisable to understand their minimum investment requirements.

Yemi Keri is a chair, non-executive director and award-winning, commercially minded technologist with 23 years of experience in the Information Technology and Telecommunications industries serving in both the public and private sectors. She is at the forefront of digital transformation to tackle business and social problems and is recognized as one of the foremost women in technology in Nigeria with demonstrable evidence of delivering innovative business solutions through technology.

Yemi Keri is the co-founder of Rising Tide Africa, a women’s movement initiated with a vision to increase women’s participation in angel investing as an asset class and promote education, cross-border investing, and investor-mentoring across Africa. She serves on the board of governors of the Lagos Angel Network and the board of Africa Business Angel Network (ABAN) as well as the Investment Committee of Acumen Resilient Agriculture Fund (ARAF), managed by Acumen Capital Partners. She is a mentor to various digital and technology-enabled start-ups; an Expert in Residence (EIR) at the Enterprise Development Centre (EDC) and a Facilitator on Corporate Governance and Digital Technology & Trends at the Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos.

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