Are you at a stage in your life/business where you want to give back? Where you want to share your talent, your time and your treasure? If your answer is yes– have you considered becoming an Angel Investor?
There are many business owners and want-to-be-business owners — women especially— who don’t and won’t qualify for traditional bank loans. Maybe you were in that position when you started your business? You probably don’t have to look far to find a business owner who could use your help. Think about your vendors. Is there anyone who stands out that could use your help? How about that recent college graduate who you know is talented and who can’t find a job? Would she make a great entrepreneur?
Yes, there is a process to becoming a legitimate Angel Investor and yes, you should get accredited. The good news is that it’s not that difficult and there are ways to protect you and your investments that you can (and should) put in place as you are exploring the idea.
Here are a few things to consider:
- Get accredited. There are lots of resources that explain the accreditation process. A simple google search will get you started. I found this site to be very helpful: https://www.angelcapitalassociation.org/
- Find and more importantly, join Angel Groups. Connect with other Angel Investors based on demographics, trades, industries and/or investment levels.
- Follow your passion. Do you have a particular talent or expertise? Do you want to do more than mentor entrepreneurs in your field? Or, have you always had a passion that you now want to explore more deeply? For example, are you interested in social enterprises? Sustainability? Art and creativity? Working in the developing world? Following your passion will open doors, not only for you, but to entrepreneurs who need your help.
- Be strategic. Investments are often long term propositions and there is always some measure of risk. Be strategic as you explore this topic. Knowing how much you want to invest of your time, talent and treasure given the risks and rewards is key to your success. The good news is that once you meet the accreditation requirements you are free to set your own agenda!
Here are some more resources to get you started:
- Getting started with Angel Investing: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/52742
- How to become an Angel Investor: https://www.forbes.com/sites/dorieclark/2014/07/23/how-to-become-an-angel-investor/#2c242ee04cfb
- Can I become an Angel Investor? https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/052215/can-i-become-angel-investor.asp