THE NEXT SOCIETY and EBAN recently launched the EU-MENA task force that consults on the topic of enabling cross-border early-stage investing in Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia through a Soft Landing instrument in Europe. The programme is co-led by MDBAN and Med Angels, the former being the proprietary network of Angel Investors from the Maghreb Diaspora, looking to invest in and support the development of Maghreb-born startups; while the latter is a network of networks focused on facilitating cross-border investing and syndicating deals among participating Mediterranean angel networks.
The idea of this Soft landing programme is to have MENA lead investors introduce and pitch projects existing in their portfolio to their EU-diaspora counterparts; and for them to co-organise a Soft Landing in Europe in order to support the startup in its business creation. During the months of Soft Landing, the project will get guidance in market analysis, introduction to potential partners and possibly co-investment.
This pilot programme took shape after the task force – that gathers 20 EU and MENA investors – discussed practical information about deal structures that facilitate European investment and highlighted the problems for cross-border investments: a lack of trust from EU markets, the not-so-matured start-ups generally introduced, and legal issues that could undermine investments. On top of the Soft Landing, the EU-MENA task force aims to deliver information and use pilot cases and best practices in a guidebook presenting the lessons learned from the pilot programmes, share key contacts and best-practices on incorporating MENA scaleups in Europe to facilitate co-investment and internationalization. Ultimately, THE NEXT SOCIETY along with EBAN and MDBAN aims at creating a European investment vehicle for the Maghreb diaspora.
The Task Force will have its next steering committee on June 29 in Barcelona and online during the 4YFN event to introduce its program and run a session on the topic : "Using Soft Landing to de-risk cross border investments".
This programme is supported by the Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) and ITIDA.