SA needs more women Angel Investors

Article by Stephen Timm – Ventureburn

Why are there so few women angel investors in South Africa? It’s a question that continues to puzzle local venture capitalist Andrea Bohmert.

“I would love to have the answer to that question, because I don’t have it,” said Bohmert, a partner in venture capital (VC) fund Knife Capital.

Bohmert was speaking at a women in angel investing event hosted by the SA Business Angels Network (Saban) last night at FNB’s offices in Cape Town.

She pointed out that just one of the 24 investors in Knife Ventures — Knife Capital’s VC company approved by the South African Revenue Service (Sars) in August last year — is a women.

“I am convinced that women have better networks (than men)… but that they are worse at using them,” said Bohmert, who added that women are also not good at asking for advice.

‘Women have better networks than men but that they are worse at using them’

Also speaking at the event, Swiss South African angel investor Nanci Govinder (pictured above), said a lack of knowledge on business angels held women back from becoming angel investors.

She said one of the biggest hurdles is that women believe that they need a lot of money to be an angel investor.

Govinder is a deal leader at angel investing network Rising Tide Europe and head coach at the Swiss Commission of Technology and Innovation (CTI).

The angel investing group’s Swiss chapter has 93 women currently who each invest a minimum of €10 000. The group was set up at the beginning of last year. She said one of the biggest enjoyments of angel investing is seeing entrepreneurs grow and later sell their companies thanks to initial investments from angel investors.

Women in Angel Investing – Cape Town session

Women in Angel investing – JHB session

The “Women in Angel Investing” Session in JHB was hosted by Innovation Summit, GoBeyond Investing and SABAN on May 16th.