The Australian Association of Angel Investors (AAAI) this week joined with nine counterparts, including organisations from the USA and China, to found the World Business Angels Association (WBAA). "WBAA, as a platform for exchange of information and development of the angel investor market around the world, will provide an entry point for investors and entrepreneurs looking for angel groups worldwide," said AAAI chairman John Mactaggart. The global association is the result of several years' collaboration to address the common challenge of the funding gap for early stage businesses. The WBAA is designed to connect parties supporting this asset class across international borders. "Entrepreneurial businesses and innovation are seen as critical contributors to economic recovery and international competitiveness. These vital contributors are in danger of failure due to the challenges in accessing early-stage finance," said Mactaggart. "Angel investors ... are one of the few classes of investor still able and willing to support innovation on a national and global scale." The 10 charter members are: Australia, Chile, China, France, India, Italy, Spain, United Arab Emirates, UK, USA, with the Portuguese National Federation of Business Angel Groups and European Trade Association for Business Angels and Early Stage Investors honorary members.