8 Apr 2004

What is it?
EBAN stands for the European Business Angels Networks. Nothing to do with the paranormal, business angels are private/informal investors who invest in small and medium-sized businesses at the early stage of business development when equity is a vital factor. A non-profit association, EBAN encourages the exchange of experience among business angels networks and encouraging ‘best practice’, promotes recognition of business angels networks and contributes to working out and carrying out local, regional and national programmes of assistance to the creation and development of a positive environment for business angels activities.

What does it do?
The website presents an overview on business angels networks throughout Europe. It’s a must see for start-up companies setting up shop as investment pools of available business angels finance is estimated at €3bn in the UK, €1.5bn in the Netherlands, €300m in Finland and €20m in Ireland.

Visitors can also consult the site for notice of upcoming events and related activities. For example, the next seminar on the topic coming up is the Fourth Annual EBAN Congress in Milan on 13-14 November, themed ‘Business Angels and Seed Capital Finance: A Key to Access Entrepreneurship in Europe?’

Since the current number of active investors in Europe is estimated at 125,000 and the number of potential investors at one million, finding a lead or potential investor is made easier with the EBAN member search section on the site, which uses a clickable map. Some examples of how business angels have lead to the success of companies in Denmark and Germany can also be read on the site.

Those interested in finding further information on the management of a business angel network can download the EBAN Yellow Knowledge Book, a directory of business angels throughout Europe.

What does it look like?
Apart from the webpage template of lots of stars and blurred images of smiling people, the EBAN wouldn’t be nominated for the web design industry’s equivalent of an Oscar any time soon. However, the layout is straightforward and there is a site map available to assist navigation. Plenty of easy-to-find links and information to keep one logged on and interested.

By Brian Skelly