In the framework of the WINGATE project, Women/Business/Angels Association has organized a forum on the evening on 29 June 2021 around the theme of “Me as an investor”, with the support of the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Regional Cooperation. The goal was to show the aspects and details of business angeldom, to introduce newcomers – both entrepreneurs and potential investors – to the domain and to elaborate a bit on the tricks and treats of being an angel.

While Barbara Verő, WBA Club Director opened the forum live from the TRIP ship in Budapest, speakers also joined us via Zoom from all parts of Europe.  

First, Eszter Szabó, President of WBA spoke about WBA’s mission and goals, then Renata Anna Jaksa introduced the WINGATE project, this international collaboration aimed at supporting, training and connecting women entrepreneurs and business angels. Trine Skymoen, Ambassador of Norway reminded us about the place of women – which is “at the helm, in the office, in the lab, in space and so forth” and urged business and society to “play football without benching half of the team – the women”. She urged women to dare to take the lead, dare to step out of the shadow and make their own initiatives.

Then Amparo de San José Riestra, CEO of the prominent Spanish IESE’s Business Angel Network and Board Member of EBAN urged angels and angel networks across Europe to share knowledge and collaborate with each other. Closing the first part of the programme, Ivar Siimar from the Estonian Business Angels Network emphasized the importance of syndicated angel investments – which allows to “combine your knowledge and expertise with other investors” and to learn by doing while risking only a limited amount of funds.

The next panel discussion, moderated by Imre Hild, WBA Training Director, offered a complex view of the dilemmas of angel investing. Participants were: Júlia Sohajda (Vespucci Partners), Bea Bedő (Impact Hub), Zoltán Kovács. The qualified investors pointed out the role of angels – “be part of the team but not the boss”, and the need for openness and curiosity – “it is not the who-knows-best, but the how-can-we-learn”.

The forum was concluded with a lovely networking opportunity on board above the Danube.

// The Wingate project benefits from a € 1,824,320 grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Regional Cooperation.