The activities of business angels in N. Macedonia were first noticed in the annual reports of the European Network of Business Angels (EBAN) in 2014. For comparison, we chose three states. One is an EU country that managed to overcome economic crisis through economic measures that stimulate this type of investments and in a few years recorded increase of Business Angels investments by EUR 11 million (Portugal), another is EU and regional country that is stimulating Business Angels investments (Bulgaria), and EU country that has not adopted any significant measures for Business Angels investments (Slovakia).
Among these countries, Portugal has the leading role in terms of the number of business angels and the total amount of investment. There, the first network of business angels appeared in 2000. The invested amount had a growing trend until 2014, we further notice a decline that does not disturb the stability of the number of networks of business angels or the number of investments per year.
In the period 2008 – 2011 the Government created a triple Business Angel Programme:
1.Business Angel Certification
2.Business Angel Tax Break (Fiscal Incentives)
3.Business Angel Co-Investment Fund
The development of business activities of angels in Slovakia is in its infancy. There are three networks of business angels: 42 Angels, a Slovak Business Club of Angels, run by the Young Entrepreneurs Association, and the Tatrabanka Angels Network, run in partnership with Crowdberry. According to Jaroslav Luptak, an investment manager from Neulogy Ventures, ‘there are very few business angel investors who are active in Slovakia, however, more and more successful entrepreneurs are getting involved with startups as mentors and/or investors’. From 2014 onwards, according to EBAN reports, total investments amount to about 2 million euros a year.
The economy in Bulgaria has grown over the last fifteen years, and this has seen a positive development in the activities of business angels in the country. This rapid growth can be attributed to a multitude of factors, although key indicators for Bulgaria’s economic success are its support of SMEs, particularly startups, its support for Business Angel networks and the implementation and use of convertible notes, bonds and loans. In 2013, Bulgaria reported a total investment of about 3 million euros to EBAN. Then, in the following years, there is a steady increase in the number of investments. Most of them are connected with companies from the IT sector.
Read more about the activities of business angels in North Macedonia and the comparative analysis in the research “Business angels investments in North Macedonia: policy and financial analysis”.