The Chairman, World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF), Baybars Altuntas, recently hosted a virtual World Press Conference where key findings of a global survey that included business owners from more than 81 countries and across multiple industries were announced.
He said that the WBAF has taken active roles in the ongoing global pandemic, key among which was the submission of a comprehensive policy recommendations report to the G20 leadership in order to alert policymakers about the urgent needs of startups.
Altuntas, a former Senior Advisor to the London Stock Exchange Group, said “we are convinced that we will be able to present a better road map of post-pandemic times for startups, scaleups, entrepreneurs, small & medium enterprises and investors if a greater emphasis is placed on knowledge, which is central to the transition debate to a ‘new normal’. We believe that simply keeping physical distance, washing hands and staying at home is not enough to solve the challenging problems that entrepreneurs and the young generation will face after COVID-19 ceases to be a problem. We need better policies that are developed in the light of knowledge that can only come from the entrepreneurship and investment ecosystem.”
“Smart entrepreneurs will be the winners in post-pandemic economies! As the COVID-19 crisis continues but geographies around the world begin to reopen, consumer behaviours have started to change. Entrepreneurs who are quicker to read the changing customer behaviours will take more active and profitable roles in the post-pandemic business environments. Business transformation is a must, but… new combinations of talent and technology will deliver decisive advances in customer experience, operational efficiency and competitive edge in post-pandemic times.”
‘Business transformation will be a must for all businesses, from the smallest to the biggest. Digital transformation should drive positive outcomes: whether it is streamlining processes, harnessing data or shaping entirely new ways of doing business. This is about uniting every part of the enterprise in a common purpose but we must draw attention to an important fact; that, business transformation is not a cheap process. If startups are suffering financially and unable to meet even their basic expenses in the short term, how can we expect them to allocate budgets for business transformation now? In today’s unparalleled circumstances, organisations are discussing ways to slow digital transformation and preserve capital. However, history has proven that companies that took strategic future-focused investment approaches were ready when the global economy rebounded.’
Altuntas stated that ‘traditional money is on its way to becoming smart money after COVID-19 as many traditional business owners from construction, tourism, etc companies were seeking opportunities to become Angel Investors, known for making smarter investments.
“This shows that traditional money is trying to discover opportunities in the startup economy and early-stage equity markets after COVID-19. Traditional entrepreneurs are looking for ways to turn themselves to millennium entrepreneurs too while career paths are changing for the young generation now not looking for jobs but business ideas.’
“We are entering a new career environment where digitalisation and workforce should cooperate instead of competing. The replacement of human pilots with drones might be a good example of this. Some pilots have lost their jobs, but other jobs have been created in maintenance, remote control, data analysis and cybersecurity. But what about smart watering systems replacing millions of uneducated people? COVID-19 accelerated the process of developing good policies for equal rights in education. It has become common practice to deliver education online to all corners of the earth – if there are computers and internet connection available for students.’
“It is about refitting our labour markets and our social-protection and welfare systems and making sure everyone has the ability to realise the human right to social security in the post-COVID-19 digital era. No society and no organised democracy can afford to ignore the vulnerable workers who have few social protections yet whose contributions to the workforce are critical in crises.”
‘We are inviting all countries to consider the situation of 2 billion unbanked people in the world. Given the chance to study again at university, my field of choice would be computer and software engineering, a field that would facilitate establishing my own business as early as possible, instead of providing me job opportunities. COVID-19 may close the era of shared economy, which featured co-working spaces, shared cars, shared bikes, hotels, and the like with the post-pandemic Award for Excellence likely going to smarter cities, online education, healthcare and financial technologies’.
‘An affiliated partner of the G20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI), the World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF) is an international organisation contributing immensely towards easing access to finance for businesses from startup to scaleup, with the ultimate goal of generating more jobs and more social justice worldwide.
It is committed to collaborating globally to empower world economic development by creating innovative financial instruments for innovators, startups, and Small & Medium Enterprises.
The Forum interacts with global leaders in all areas of society, first and foremost in business and political spheres, to help assess needs and establish goals, bearing in mind that the public interest is of importance. It engages a wide range of institutions, both public and private, local and international, commercial and academic to help shape the global agenda.’
WBAF’s operating structure presently comprises a Board, 30 High Commissioners, 119 Senators, 57 International Partners and 47 Faculty Members from 96 countries.