4th Best national practice and experience from Lithuania

General information

Name of the good practice: WA4E - Women Business Angels for Europe's Entrepreneurs
Name of the organisations in charge: BUSINESS ANGELS EUROPE (BAE)
Website of the organisation https://www.businessangelseurope.com/wa4e
E-mail of the organisation secretariat@businessangelseurope.com
City Brussels
Country Belgium
Year 2017-2018
Length of the project/practice 2 years
Is the project/practice ongoing? No
Link to the training program -
Language of the practice/program English

Presentation/Description of the method:

Business Angels Europe, WEP and its partners set out to increase the number of Women Business Angels (WBA) by 10% and to generate 2.5 million € fresh investment in start-ups across Europe. The WA4E project deploys awareness raising, training and mentoring actions (event based and on-line) to reach out to over 3000 women, identify, engage, coach and accompany women business angels, both new and already active.

The project worked on the demand side with 480+ women entrepreneurs to access early finance, and improve their pitch. WA4E provided 200+ quality deal opportunities to women angels and facilitate 30 deals. The Women Business Angels for Europe's Entrepreneurs WA4E presented a report on women investors and business leaders. In the framework of the WA4E project, partners from six EU countries surveyed 640 women to map out their motivators and obstacles to become female business angels. The research study has shown to be crucial ammunition to raise awareness among women that they too can become an angel, and crucially, demystifying the investment process: what does angel investing really entail?

The whole WA4E report you could find here: https://www.businessangelseurope.com/wa4e.

General objectives

  • To increase the number of women business angels (WBAs) in 6 target countries (Belgium, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, UK);
  • to increase the investments made by WBAs in the target countries;
  • to improve the presence and action of women in the business angels financing, improving competences and skills of Women Angels and Women Entrepreneurs to better operate in this market;
  • to promote the collaboration of WBAs across Europe.

Why it has been selected as good practice

This project was selected as an example of good practice because of its outcomes and key figures:
  • 20+ million € generated in angel financing by women (10 times the initial target);
  • 115 projects financed (4 times the target);
  • Over 500 WBA trained off line, 267 accessing on line training material (double the targets)
  • 279 WBAs mentored (more than twice the target);
  • 1436 WBAs attending 74 pitching events (again, above target);
  • Increased participation of women angels in networks involved: numbers at least doubled in each of the (mixed) partners’ networks; the net increase in the women only network is 12%.

Final comments:

The WA4E project has helped in installing a structural legacy in partners' countries:
  • In Italy, IBAN supported in creating a women Business Angel called club called  Angels for Women (website - https://angels4women.com/);
  • WA4E helped create a new group of Women Business Angels - WA4STEAM (website - https://wa4steam.com/);
  • BeAngels - consolidated and now enlarges its women angel club, becoming a reference in Belgium and inspiring others beyond borders (website - https://www.beangels.eu/en);
  • FBA - the well-developed French network of Femmes Business Angels was able to developing regional antennae (most notably by creating a subsidiary FBA network in Lyon) and has become a cornerstone of early stage investment landscape in France, as shown by the support for the final Winday conference in Paris, political and on the ground (website - https://www.femmesbusinessangels.org/en/women-business-angels/about-us/);
  • In Portugal, the women entrepreneur network Women Win Win now has a track for potential investors from within but also continues to bridge activities with those of the angel network. More than a dozen Women Business Angels have integrated in the network and now fully support the women entrepreneurs in access to finance matters (website - https://www.womenwinwin.com/);
The WA4E programme has delivered impressive results over the two years, meeting great expectations for action on the ground to stimulate women angel investing. Our actions filled a gap detrimental to the financing of the European start-up economy, and women entrepreneurs.