Angel Networks in Emerging Markets

Entrepreneurship is a key driver of economic development – when new businesses launch and grow, they create jobs, address customer needs through market-based solutions, and drive demand for other products and services from a supply chain. With this knowledge in mind, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and other development institutions have increasingly dedicated resources to bolstering entrepreneurial ecosystems in order to fuel these economic ripple effects.

A critical component of strong entrepreneurial ecosystems are angel investors – individual investors who make relatively small, private investments to support enterprises through their more high-risk early stages. While angel investors often invest individually, they may collaborate with each other through angel networks, which bring together member investors for mutual benefit.

In 2018, USAID’s Partnering to Accelerate Entrepreneurship (PACE) Initiative engaged CASE to investigate angel network models to analyze strategies and best practices, as well as make recommendations for how development institutions can leverage angel networks to reach their economic development goals. CASE was happy to partner with Millbrook Impact and the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business on this initiative. The research team explored angel networks in parts of Latin America, Middle East/North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa.

The results of this project are:

  • Angel Networks in Emerging Markets: A Guide For Development Institutions, which provides the framework and tools for USAID and other development institutions to assess angel investor networks, gauge their strengths and strategies, understand challenges they face, and identify how to support them.
  • Five Angel Network Spotlights – case studies of angel networks to provide concrete illustrations of network variables, business models, strategies in action, and opportunities for support.

This work aims to go beyond simply sharing knowledge about angel networks. We hope this guide and case studies galvanize development institutions and other funders to select from a set of specific support mechanisms to help angel networks succeed.


Angel Networks In Emerging Markets: A Guide for Development Institutions

Provides five specific recommendations and three tools for USAID, development institutions, bilateral and multilateral donors, and other investors to engage with and support angel networks in emerging markets in order to leverage local, private capital to fuel early-stage enterprises. Read the full guide

Angel Network Spotlights

Angels Nest

Angels Nest operates one of the most active angel networks in Latin America. With no membership fees, an online platform for angels, and international partnerships that activate additional capital, it lowers entry barriers to angel investing and aligns its goals and revenue with the interests of investors and entrepreneurs. Read the case study


Colaborativo runs several, connected entrepreneurial services to promote sustainable development in Latin America – an accelerator, an online community platform, an angel network, and a recently launched fund. Read the case study

Lagos Angel Network (LAN)

Lagos Angel Network was founded by high-profile Nigerian entrepreneurs and angel investors. With the help of development funding and key partnerships, they have leveraged their reputations and skills to build one of the most active angel investor networks on the continent. Read the case study

iungo capital

Born out of ViKtoria Ventures, a start-up supporter in East Africa, VBAN uses its deep networks to attract angel network members and build quaiungo capital’s innovative approach aligns the motivations of a for-profit fund, non-profit technical assistance provider, and local angel investors to meet the finance and support needs of East African Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Read the case study

ViKtoria Business Angel Network (VBAN)

Born out of ViKtoria Ventures, a start-up supporter in East Africa, VBAN uses its deep networks to attract angel network members and build quality pipeline for investors. With a dedicated Network Manager, VBAN provides hands-on support to members at every step of the investment process. Read the case study