Business Angels Open Office in Northwest Croatia

By 21 January 2019

ZAGREB, January 21, 2019 - A World Business Angels Investment Forum (WBAF) office was opened in Zabok, northwestern Croatia as of Monday and it will gather business angels from all over the European Union.

The office makes Krapina-Zagorje County part of the world's financial and business network aimed at facilitating access to capital for startups and scaleups, it was said at the opening.

The WBAF is an international organisation helping new companies finance their business endeavours and the people that are part of it are called business angels.

WBAF president Baybars Altuntas said at the inauguration that last year 340,000 business angels in Europe invested 9.8 billion euro in startups.

Today innovation is important. The challenge for entrepreneurs in the 21st century is to find investors, but they need the know-how, mentoring and networking. Money can be found in a number of sources, but only business angels can provide the rest, he said.

Altuntas said he chose to open an office in a small country while watching the 2018 FIFA World Cup in which, he said, small Croatia played. It doesn't matter how big a country is but how big the dream is, he added.

Among those attending the opening was the Macedonian minister without a portfolio in charge of investments, Zoran Šapurić, who hopes a regional office will be opened in Skopje too. We expect that to be an incentive to economic cooperation in the region, including between Macedonia and Croatia, bearing in mind that our relations are excellent in every sense, he said.

Šapurić, Kosovo Innovation and Entrepreneurship Minister Besim Beqaj, Ghanaian Business Development Minister Ibrahim Mohammed Awal, and Croatian Deputy Parliament Speaker Siniša Hajdaš Dončić took part in a panel on global cooperation in facilitating access to international financing for startups and scaleups.

Hajdaš Dončić said support institutions today were expected to help the 5-7% of the population which had the entrepreneurship gene. They are formal and informal social networks which operate in contemporary economy through innovation, investment and integration, and Krapina-Zagorje County has now provided one of those networks, he added.

The opening of the WBAF office in Zabok has also been supported by Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović. She will receive a WBAF delegation in Zagreb on Tuesday.

More news on doing business in Croatia can be found in our special section.