By Sandhya D’Mello
Khaleej Times, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) “Women’s Angel Investor Network” founder Heather Henyon said part of the reason for starting (Wain) was to increase financial literacy among women in the hope that it would increase their self-confidence when dealing with financials and money.
The growth of UAE’s entrepreneurial ecosystem over the last few years has been massive, says Heather Henyon, founder, Women’s Angel Investor Network (Wain). “There is an opportunity for the UAE government to support angel groups and entrepreneurs by investing alongside business angels through a sidecar fund, similar to the ones set up in the UK and Australia, which has been very successful and helped to support economic development,” said Henyon.
Wain started as a small group of professional women in Heather’s network. “We now have 30 women angel investors who invest in early stage women-led tech startups [we require at least one female founder] in the region and are about to launch our fourth investment cycle in January 2018,” said Henyon.
Wain pools the funds through an investment vehicle and all invest together based on majority vote by the members.
The members go through an educational programme prior to investing. The network is member-led where the angels learn by investing. The members are involved in the deal screening, due diligence, deal teams and investment memo leading up to the investment decision.
“Our feeling is that being part of a group leads to better investment outcomes. Generally, women prefer to invest together and share the risk and also like the social aspect. I saw this during my time in microfinance with Grameen-Jameel and see it in angel investing and Wain,” added Henyon.
Wain has made seven investments to date and hopes to make two or three more next year.