The Lebanese Women Angel Fund (LWAF) is an impact initiative redefining the role of women in business beyond social and economic boundaries, empowering women to become seed investors.
A partnership between IM Capital and LLWB, LWAF 2017-18 gathers 23 women in a class and take them through a ‘learn & earn’ methodology consisting of education and investment. Education wise, enrolled women will enhance their know-how through training opportunities via a curriculum covering all aspects of angel investing, delivered via educational videos, webinars, and in-person sessions by international expert business angels and coaches. Training topics will include early-stage investing overview, investor portfolio returns and liquidity, company valuation, deal terms, financials, due diligence, impact investing, investing strategy, follow-on rounds, and exit investments.
Investment wise, and so as to democratize angel investing and make it accessible to women from all walks of life, multiples of $10K entry tickets would be pooled from every participant and placed into a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) with investment tickets in a range of $40K-80K.
LWAF also has an education track to benefit Women Entrepreneurs. Female business owners will be pre-screened and prepared to pitch in investment meetings organized every 6-8 weeks, whereby 3 to 4 female entrepreneurs will present their businesses. By the end of the year, 3 to 4 investments would be made using a portfolio investment approach.
Beneficiaries include enrolled women investors on the one hand, as well as entrepreneurs of SMEs registered in Lebanon on the other, namely women entrepreneurs. Also to be noted is that jobs will directly be created by angel investments in the businesses.
Every year, around 25 women novice investors will be enabled to become qualified business angels, holding a small portfolio to maximize and earn returns, leverage community intelligence, and invest small tickets to learn and spread risk to deliver returns for their own portfolio and for the entrepreneurs they are funding. The adopted approach would turn angel investing into an asset class for business women, allowing them to become “qualified” investors vis-à-vis existing co-equity funds.
The ultimate beneficiaries of the project are potential and existing women entrepreneurs with new commercial ideas and existing startups that are on the verge of expansion, and this number would amount to around 32 women entrepreneurs for every LWAF class. The project seeks to fill funding gaps faced by these firms due to the nature of the products or services they offer, which cannot yet be collateralized and are seen as too risky by commercial banks.
Secondary beneficiaries are various ecosystem enablers such as incubators, accelerators, etc…whose own capacity to produce investable and fundable startups will increase by tapping into projects that went through pitching processes for LWAF, even if the investing decision was negative by the latter.
LWAF 's objective is to make investment decisions and offer companies coaching and mentorship, networking opportunities, and access to follow-on funding and/or matching capital from IM Capital.