World Trade Exchange is actively seeking growth of investment potential by inviting new business owners to join our network of angel investors.

Instead of investing using cash, you can offer your businesses own products or services as a barter for share capital in a new start up enterprise.

Where a start-up does not need your product or service directly, we can barter it for goods and services they do need. This is done by selling your product or service for trade credits through the World Trade Exchange Commerce Network. You invest your “trade credits” you have earned by selling your product or service in the closed World Trade Exchange network and the start-up can use those credits to buy goods and services they need.

Regardless if you have spare time, excess space, unsold inventory, empty hotel rooms, empty venue seats or just about anything else – you can convert these into shares in small businesses; either directly, or indirectly. The World Trade Exchange process is simple and quick and allows access to a full range of investment opportunities that can help diversify your own asset base by turning your excesses into shares.

Periodically, presentations will be made to the members of World Trade Exchange, each of whom will then make an individual investment decision based upon the opportunity presented. Our focus is on providing a systematic process to evaluate opportunities and assist our angels in making the best possible investment decisions. Investments begin at $10,000 in barter / in-kind values and may exceed $500,000 or more.

To become an angel investor, we ask that you complete an investor application. The information you provide will simply acknowledge that you are interested in swapping your excess capacity, products or services for shares in new companies and are now willing to receive information kits from those start-ups seeking this type of investment. You will be under no obligation to complete a transaction after completing the form, however you will be able to investor meetings to learn more about how the World Trade Exchange Commerce Network angel venture capital programme operates and start receiving angel investment opportunities available through the World Trade Exchange Commerce Network.

If you would like to continue with the application process, please click here. Please note that you will be taken to our secure website, where you will be asked to register by creating a user name and password. The whole process should take no more than 15 minutes.


The world’s population is growing at a time when traditional, stable labor markets are shrinking. More than 1 billion people today are between 15 and 24 years of age and nearly 40 per cent of the world’s population is below the age of 20. The World Bank estimates that 47 per cent of all unemployed persons globally are young women and men and 660 million young people will either be working or looking for work in 2015.

Reducing youth unemployment is one of the major challenges facing most governments in the world for decades to come. With an estimated 88 million young women and men worldwide unemployed, the need for employment creation efforts focusing on youth is undeniable.

Within the framework of potential efforts and strategies to boost employment and job creation for young people, entrepreneurship is increasingly accepted as an important means and a valuable additional strategy to create jobs and improve livelihoods and economic independence of young people. It is an innovative approach to integrating youth into today’s changing labour markets.

Entrepreneurial skills and attitudes are not sufficiently encouraged amongst young people. This has a negative impact on the long-term success of many local economies. World Trade Exchange initiated its angel investment / in-kind funding program to provide concrete pathways by which businesses could support entrepreneurship education and the creation of a more entrepreneurial mindset.

By offering in-kind funding to new start-ups business owners can leverage their existing excess capacities, time, space or surplus inventories. The exchange of these goods and services for shares benefits the start-up by affording them easy-access to funding which may not otherwise be available in cash. Businesses also benefit as they are able to convert that which was unused into shares which may return valuable cash profits by way of dividends or the eventual sale of the shares to other outside investors or via an IPO.

Did you know?

Small and medium-sized enterprises provide two-thirds of jobs in the private sector and the large majority of new jobs are created by SMEs

The proportion of workers who are nascent entrepreneurs or owner-managers of a new business varies from 2% to 9.6%

60% of young people today say they are interested in entrepreneurship but less than 5% of them have access to entrepreneurship education or support

Globally, less than half of the youth available for work had jobs in 2004.

Global labour force participation rates for young people decreased by almost four percentage points as a whole between 1993 and 2003, mainly the result of an increasing number of young people attending school, staying longer in education and training, and withdrawing from or never entering the labour force.

The youth unemployment rate is increasing in many regions and is persistently high throughout the world. In 2003, the youth unemployment rate reached the historical peak of 14.4 per cent, 88 million young people or 47 per cent of the global unemployed without a job.

Youth unemployment rates are higher than adult unemployment rates in all regions of the world. In every country for which ILO data is available, youth unemployment rates significantly exceed adult unemployment rates. The world youth to adult unemployment ratio was 3.5 in 2003.

In 2015, approximately 660 million young people will either be working or looking for work – an increase of 7.5 per cent over the 2003 figure.

Ignoring the youth employment challenge imposes not only widespread unhappiness and social discontent among youth, but also carries tremendous economic and social costs. Youth unemployment is an immense waste of human resources that could contribute to economic and social progress. An increase in youth employment would have multiplier effects throughout the economy, boosting consumer demand and adding tax revenue. World Trade Exchange enables communities to build upon their natural assets by supporting these young entrepreneurs to grow sustainable businesses which can return value to the communities where they are based.


World Trade Exchange angel investors must meet the following criteria:

You own your own business

You have excess capacity, time, space, gift vouchers, inventory of manufacturing capabilities which you wish to barter in return for shares in a new enterprise

You have a track record in managing and building successful companies, either as an entrepreneur or operating executive

You wish to support young entrepreneurs in building their businesses

You are willing and able to do your own due diligence, structure investments and coach entrepreneurs

You wish to work with your peer network of domain expertise and contacts for subsequent funding, talent and technology

You are willing to dedicate some time to the venture capital programme activities, including screening sessions and the identification and analysis of investment opportunities

Individual Responsibility

World Trade Exchange is not a fund and does not invest as a group. The World Trade Exchange angel investors collaborate on due diligence, but make individual investment decisions and understand that investments in early-stage, privately-held ventures are risky and can be highly illiquid, so it can be several years before capital is returned, if ever. Serving on corporate boards can also expose an individual to substantial personal liability.

Membership Process

Membership in the World Trade Exchange angel investment programme is by invitation only. If you wish to be considered for membership, complete and submit our membership inquiry form. If you seem to be a good fit, you will be promptly contacted by our program director, who will discuss our program with you and set up an interview with members of the World Trade Exchange membership committee.


Besides the potential for cash returns and increases in share prices, there are a number of reasons for the importance of supporting youth entrepreneurship through in-kind investment:

Creating employment opportunities for self-employed youth as well as the other young people they employ;

Bringing alienated and marginalized youth back into the economic mainstream and giving them a sense of meaning and belonging

Helping address some of the socio-psychological problems and delinquency that arises from joblessness;

Helping youth develop new skills and experiences that can then be applied to other challenges in life;

Promoting innovation and resilience in youth;

Promoting the revitalisation of the local community by providing valuable goods and services;

Capitalising on the fact that young entrepreneurs may be particularly responsive to new economic opportunities and trends

Entrepreneurship and self-employment can be a source of new jobs and economic dynamism in developed countries, and can improve youth livelihoods and economic independence in developing countries. For young people in the informal economy, microentrepreneurism is a bottom-up method for generating an income, self-reliance and a new innovative path to earning a living and caring for oneself.


In order to get the best performance out of your in-kind investments you might consider the following:

Due diligence time – Investors experienced better returns in the deals where they exercised more due diligence. Sixty-five percent of the exits with below-average time spent on due diligence reported a return that was less than their original investment. Losses occurred in only 45 percent of the deals where investors did above-average due diligence.

Industry expertise – Analysis indicated that expertise has a material impact on angel investors’ returns. Returns were nearly double for investments in ventures where the investor had related industry expertise.

Participation – After an angel makes an investment, his or her participation in the venture – through mentoring, coaching, and financial monitoring – is significantly related to that venture’s returns, according to the study.

Follow-on investing – Deals where the angel investor made follow-on investments generated significantly lower returns. In ventures where follow-on investments were made, nearly 70 percent of the exits occurred at a loss. The study recommended additional research to determine the impact of other factors in these results.


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