Background

In Barbados, entrepreneurs are hindered by inadequate access to finance and limited business development services. In order to assist in unlocking the island’s entrepreneurial talent, the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation (BEF) identified the establishment of an angel investor network as an immediate priority. While banks are willing to finance ventures where entrepreneurs can demonstrate that they have assets as collateral, significant barriers still exist for new ventures which do not have security acceptable to the traditional banking sector.

In 2014, the BEF engaged a highly qualified consultant to advise on the mechanics of getting the angel network up and running.  The consultant met with potential angels and entrepreneurs to explain how a network functions and the benefits and pitfalls of angel investment. From that event, the Trident Angels Network was formed and is now up and running with over thirty angel investors who are looking to invest in potential high-growth start-ups.

Additionally, a Harvard report[1] provides evidence that angel-funded startups have historically been less likely to fail than companies that rely on other forms of initial financing. This is particularly due to the involvement of the investors’ time, experience and networks into the venture. The Automotive Art entrepreneurship competitions over the past two years also revealed that Barbadian entrepreneurs would benefit greatly from the guidance of successful business leaders in order to transform their idea and passion into thriving enterprises, thereby creating employments in the local economy.

[1] “The Consequences of Entrepreneurial Finance: A Regression Discontinuity Analysis – HBS Working Knowledge, Hbswk.hbs.edu. Retrieved 2012-12-01.