In Western countries, “Business Angels” are networks of very experienced entrepreneurs and business managers who, after handing over their own business to the next generation, still feel active and are thus willing to support enterprise startups and young entrepreneurs. They contribute their management experience, their customer and political connections, and often even their own money.
In most cases, a business angel is not only philanthropic. He also enjoys the thrill of a new challenge, he likes to make good use of his well-developed skills, and by investing in a new and promising enterprise, he also aims at making some profit. Therefore, business angels networks not only help to increase the success quota of business startups, they also help senior personages to keep participating actively in social life and to receive commendation from society for it.
Governments and international organizations recognize the valuable role of business angels networks for an efficient and honorable change of generations both in economy and society in general. Many of them support the networks (thus not the individual business angels) financially.
In China, there are no such business angels networks as in the USA or in Europe. But senior personages contributing with their experience to important decisions after their retirement is a tradition here, too. This usually happens on an individual and informal basis, and its focus is on the family and close friends.
Since the history of private entrepreneurship is short (starting in the mid-eighties), the number of retired entrepreneurs who would be ideal business angels is very small. However, many still energetic government leaders were ruled into retirement during recent years, and more to come. Although they don’t have much money to invest in business startups, their connections and managerial skills could be extremely valuable for many young enterprises.
Business startups in China need mentors such as business angels just as urgently as their colleagues in the West. Senior personages in China need the respect of society for their truly valuable contributions after retirement even more then their colleagues in the West. As a platform for society’s commendations and to serve these two demands, China needs to establish a network for business angels.
We currently help to prepare such a network. We are aiming for a platform mainly to be used within China, but also allowing for foreign business angels to support business startups in China and vice versa. Our format will be trilingual Chinese, English, and German. If you are interested in contributing to the establishing of this business angels network in China, please contact us. Become a business angel for “China Business Angels!”