An exclusive interview with WBAF’s President on increasing liquidity for the global startup economy in post-pandemic times

WBAF is inviting entrepreneurs to establish and lead Economic Development Commissions that will open the way to their becoming a member of the WBAF Economic Development Board. The Economic Development Board aims to serve global economies and to develop policy recommendations that will be presented to the G20 leadership.

The WBAF Economic Development Board is a brand new cluster framework of the World Business Angels Investment Forum  to empower world economies and foster the business transformation of companies through global collaboration and open innovation as a response to COVID-19.

An affiliated partner of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI), the World Business Angels Investment Forum interacts with leaders in all areas of society — first and foremost in business and political spheres — to help assess needs and establish goals, bearing in mind that the public interest is of paramount importance. WBAF engages with a wide range of institutions — public and private, local and international, commercial and academic — to help shape the global agenda. WBAF holds that, with the participation of individuals and institutions from multiple sectors and from all parts of society, real progress can be achieved.

Angel Investor Review interviewed Baybars Altuntas, WBAF’s Executive Chairman, who recently announced the new framework.

AI: Why did WBAF decide to develop such a new framework?

Altuntas: The World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF) is an affiliated partner of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI), and we believe that bringing together various disciplines can help us design innovative solutions to tackle some of the world’s biggest issues—access to finance, gender equality, ethical governance, commercialization of scientific research, business transformation and financial inclusion. This collaborative approach will have a multiplier effect in terms of its impact. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, business transformation has become necessary for virtually all organizations, from the smallest SME to the biggest companies.

WBAF therefore developed a brand new cluster framework to empower world economies and to foster the business transformation of companies through global collaboration and open innovation.

An Economic Development Commission will be a convergence of entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, academics, thinkers, and active citizens from the same industry or from sectors with a similar background.

AI: What was the missing link in the global value chain?

Altuntas: The missing link was a collaborative platform that would connect traditional business entrepreneurs with millennium-minded entrepreneurs, startups and investors. So WBAF decided bring them all together on the same platform in a way that will contribute  to the business transformation of traditional businesses in post-pandemic economic times and that will increase the liquidity in the startup economy by including traditional money. WBAF’s Economic Development Commissions will be a good way to introduce traditional business owners to opportunities in the startup economy. This framework also gives us a great opportunity to introduce the smart dynamics of early-stage equity and capital markets to traditional business owners.

AI: Why now?

Altuntas: WBAF’s recent global survey reveals that, as a result of COVID-19, traditional business owners are now trying to discover opportunities in the startup economy and angel investment. This framework will support the business transformation of traditional business ventures, and at the same time, it will also increase know-how, mentorship, networking and liquidity in the early-stage equity and capital markets.

Each Economic Development Commission will have the opportunity to interact with the 7 main entities of the World Business Angels Investment Forum (the WBAF Business School; the WBAF Angel Investment Fund; WBAF Country Offices; the Global Startup Committee; the Global Woman Leaders Committee; the Global Science, Technology and Innovation Committee; and the Ethical Governance, Standards of Excellence and Quality Leadership Committee.

This brand new framework is a unique approach to connecting millennial entrepreneurs and angel investors with traditional business owners, entrepreneurs and investors so that the needed business transformation will be accelerated. This is what SMEs need urgently.

AI: How can entrepreneurs take an active role in this initiative?

Altuntas: They should consider establishing an Economic Development Commission. This will allow them to use their know-how and entrepreneurial mindset to foster the economic development of the world. Such a global organization—one that includes entrepreneurs, investors, consultants, academics and policymakers from different sectors around the world—will also enable us to formulate better policy recommendations to the G20 leadership.

I believe that, by working together across borders, with a common vision, and with smart dynamics in mind, we are well placed to bring about positive change in the global economy.

WBAF is inviting all entrepreneurs, investors, academics, policymakers, consultants and philanthropists to join our global efforts to ease the business transformation of companies in post-pandemic times, to keep the pre-COVID momentum of the world’s economy, and to continue creating more jobs and social justice. Your efforts to serve the world economy in cooperation with the World Business Angels Investment Forum will be highly valued.


Information on how to establish an Economic Development Commission is downloadable from here:

To watch a video about how WBAF’s international departments will support Economic Development Commissions, click here:

If you are interested in establishing an Economic Development Commission, please email Christina Mc Gimpsey for details.

Christina Mc Gimpsey
Secretary General, Economic Development Board
World Business Angels Investment Forum




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