EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Business Angels

Phase: Anticipation
  • Access to finance
  • Advice
  • Matching/Networking
  • Support of SMEs
Last modified: 03 August, 2021
Име (на собств. език):

Business Angels

Име на английски:

Business Angels


This measure targets small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Main characteristics

The measure brings together SMEs, business start-ups and private investors, often ex-managers or start-up entrepreneurs who sold their company and who have capital and expertise, gained from running their own company. Networks are set up for the purpose of establishing initial contact between SMEs and investors.

In recent years, several service providers, like platforms, online tools or controlling instruments, have been established to support the framework of Business Angels. The Federal Ministry for Economics and Energy set up a grant to incite the Business Angels programme and invested €150 million in it.  

A good platform example is the Business Angels Network Germany (BAND). BAND organises workshops, exchange of experiences, promotes cooperation and good practices, and provides information about start-up funding. The organisation also awards proven collaborators; the Golden Aurora Award for Europe’s Female Angel Investor, for example, is a recognition that aims to emphasise the role of female investors and their participation in the economy. 


  • National funds
  • European funds
  • Social partners (jointly)
  • Companies
  • Other

Involved actors

National government
Business Angels Netzwerk Deutschland (BAND) is supported by the Federal Ministry for Economics and Energy.
Employer or employee organisations
Some local Chambers of Commerce provide information on Business Angels.
BAND collaborates with the European Investment Fund (EIF) and European Angels Fund (EAF). The instrument is further supported by private funding and networks.


The Centre for Strategy and Evaluation Services estimates that between 5,000 and 10,000 Business Angels are active in Germany. Between 1,000-1,400 of them are organised in Business Angels networks according to the ongoing German Business Angel Panel, established by VDI News. While in 2017 interviewed collaborators invested on average €227,000, the private investments dropped to €45,000 on average in 2019. In 2012, the total amount of investments was between €200 and €300 million (CSES, 2012). The total amount of investments, however, increased significantly between 2015 and 2018, amounting €2.7 billion for this period or €900 million per year on average.

According to the European Confederation for Angel Investing, German Angel Investors are more important early stage investors than for example venture capital firms. 

The Centre of European Research (ZEW) in Mannheim developed a study asking newly-founded companies about their investors. In 2007, 2,700 to 5,400 Business Angels were active. The latest study shows an immense growth with 6,100 to 9,000 angel investors in 2014. In 2007, they invested approximately €190 million per year whereas between 2009 and 2012 figures increased up to €650 million per year. 


Business Angels can invest in many business start-ups that involve innovative ideas and products. The scheme enables many new businesses in the high-technology sector to set up; Business Angels can help by sharing their financing and business knowledge. Business Angels are more flexible than other investors as they invest their own money. Moreover, entrepreneurs do not have to pay high monthly fees.


Fewer Business Angels are active in Germany than in other countries, calculated as the number of average active Angels per one million inhabitants.


The German association of Business Angels awards an annual prize to Business Angels. A list of winners is available on their webpage. Seed4Start is a cross-border platform (France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany) which supports small business with high growth potential by offering coaching to improve their projects with the goal to prepare them for a final pitch to investors.
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