World Business Angel Investors Week 2023 hosted more than 40,000 participants at the Grand Opening Ceremony, and it was celebrated in 132 countries with local events, all under the global theme of Global Collaboration with Higher Education to Increase Financial Inclusion. Twenty-eight countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, North America, Latin America, and MENA organized online and hybrid events to kick off the Week in their countries. Vice Presidents, Ministers, Former Ministers, Mayors, and NGO leaders from 28 countries joined the events online, in person, or with video messages. The Thai government held a special opening ceremony under the auspices of the National Innovation Agency.
Angels Week 2023 concluded with the traditional Global Awards Ceremony on Sunday, 25 June 2023. South Africa was announced as The Best Overall Celebration of the 2023.
The World Business Angels Investment Forum, an affiliated partner of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI), salutes those who stand out in imagining, discussing, and shaping the future of an entrepreneurial world with their outstanding efforts as Country Chairs of the World Business Angel Investors Week. Through the Global Awards Ceremony, the World Business Angels Investment Forum celebrates high performance and success in the country event celebrations – recognising and acknowledging the Country Chairs behind them.
Enjoy an interview with Phillip J Mostert, 2023 South Africa Country Chair for the World Business Angel Investors Week and Senator at the World Business Angels Investment Forum.
AI – You are the South Africa Senator & Country Chair for the World Business Angels Investment Forum – what does it mean to you?
PJM – It is an honour and great privilege to have been elected in this position by the WBAF Global Chairman Baybars Altuntas and I believe the time is right for South Africa to showcase and celebrate it’s huge entrepreneurial market.
South Africa is a great country and the most industrialised country in Africa and we have a diverse developed economy. We have a wide range of business opportunities across various industry sectors, such as mining, manufacturing, technology, services industries, large tourism opportunities and a significant agricultural industry.
South Africa also has a sizable domestic population with more than 60 million people and the median age of Africa’s population, is only 19 years old, providing a huge opportunity to develop this youthful market into great entrepreneurs and leaders of the future.
South Africa is also the gateway to Africa and this allows us cross border export and trade opportunities second to none.
AI – How did you approach this opportunity to chair SA during this event?
PJM – The theme for this year’s WBAF Business Angels Investors Week 2023, was Higher Education and Global Collaboration for Financial Inclusivity.
This is quite a serious topic and could be seen as very academic, so my thoughts were, how do I address this important topic, however, still connect with our larger audience which is predominantly an emerging market at large.
I decided that it was important for us as a panel to ensure that we kept our discussion, topic specific and informative, yet simple, engaging both the international investors markets, while, also appealing to the masses. The World Business Angels Investment Forum cares about all entrepreneurs and people from all walks of life.
AI – What did you think of the Business Angels Investors Week 2023 overall?
PJM – I believe the work of the World Business Angels Investment Forum is important and the WBAF is an enabler to “marry smart money with smart entrepreneurs.” Exposing South Africa and our rainbow nation country to the world of angel investors, venture capitalists, international funders, global entrepreneurs and other countries, is made possible by the platform the WBAF provides, and this is what makes the WBAF unique.
I believe that with the help of our Global Chairman Baybars Altuntas, who is also an avid ambassador for South Africa, the WBAF will open significant doors for us a country and link us with the right people to help develop our entrepreneurial ecosystem in South Africa.
AI – Did you receive any feedback from people around the globe?
PJM – Yes, I been receiving compliments and well wishes from many fellow Senators and counter parts from across the globe, have non-stop, and they are truly excited to visit South Africa soon for the World Business Angels Investment Forum’s International Annual Conference, which is being held in Durban ICC (International Conference Centre) South Africa during the week of the 20th of November 2023.
This event will potentially see thousands of prominent international people and investors coming to South Africa and it is the very first time that South Africa will be hosting such an important event.
Having been awarded the “Best Celebration of the World Award”, during this past Investors Week event, is a huge honour for us and I believe, sets the perfect tone what we as South Africans are capable of, for the International Conference in November.
AI – How do you feel about South Africa’s investment opportunities?
PJM – We have vast resources, resilient and dynamic people in South Africa and don’t need to take the back seat internationally, when it comes to innovation and entrepreneurship. Opportunities abound and we are committed to enabling our entrepreneurial ecosystem through education, training, and mentorship, helping them become bankable and to encourage much more international investment.
AI – What is next for the WBAF South Africa?
PJM – Establishing ourselves as a noteworthy and trustable chapter of the World Business Angels Investment Forum is my first objective and I believe we are succeeding at that, and winning the “Best Celebration of the World Award”, highlighted our ability to compete against the best in the world. This is not a destination, it’s a journey and we are excited to collaborate with all institutions, organisations, investors and entrepreneurial markets and to walk this journey for a better tomorrow.
AI – If you have one message for the world, what would that be?
PJM – As I said during our event discussions: “The world may have invented the watch – but Africa owns the time.” The time to invest in Africa is now.
Africa has experienced significant economic growth in recent years and is expected to be the continent with the largest and youngest median population age in the next few decades. Many African countries have boasted high GDP growth rates and the continent is rich in natural resources, has a massive growing consumer market and offers untapped opportunities across various sectors, including mineral resources and battery minerals, agriculture, energy, infrastructure, manufacturing, technology, and services.
Rapid urbanization is occurring across the continent, and this leads to explosive growth of cities and the emergence of a burgeoning middle class. This expanding middle class has increased purchasing power, creating significant opportunities for consumer-oriented businesses and additional sectors such as new smart cities, retail, finance, real estate, and entertainment.