Leading the Way to Success for Women Entrepreneurs

Harambean Emma Margetts believes that serving in leadership means rising above oneself and doing something for the greater good. When she realized the challenges entrepreneurs were facing in generating alpha, she decided to take leadership and create a solution. Her company, Alpha Exchange, transformed the capital markets community and led to a client base with $16 trillion in AUM.

“Starting a business demands a vision but turning that vision into a reality requires hard work, facing down the competition, overcoming adversities and seizing opportunities.”

Generating Alpha and Empowering Women Entrepreneurs

THE CHALLENGE. Statistics steadily reveal that the majority of startups fail — with data varying between a 60%-90% failure rate. Statistics also show that the number of businesses in the market has had a steady incline over the past several decades. A consequence of this high volume of enterprises is the increase of market noise and an increasingly disconnected network. As market indexes and benchmarks changed at a rapid rate, historical measures for assessing and generating alpha (an asset’s return on investment compared to the risk adjusted expected return) was becoming more and more difficult to calculate. There was a need for more collaboration and a tighter network, so that entrepreneurs, firms, and business owners from around the world could collectively garner more success. Additionally, when broken down by gender, the stakes were even higher for women entrepreneurs, with only 17% of startups having a female founder.

THE PROCESS. As a South African entrepreneur, Emma Margetts understood both the challenges facing entrepreneurs in general and women entrepreneurs in particular. Her first step was to create The Business Learning Network — the first accelerator for female entrepreneurs in the townships of South Africa. From there, she built upon her success and used her expertise to address the challenges to generating alpha. She realized that an organization that served as a kind of research network for participants in the capital markets could solve the problem or at least eliminate some of the challenges to generating alpha. She co-founded Alpha Exchange as a way to reimagine knowledge sharing for both South African and global entrepreneurs. Applying innovative technology to the way research can be managed, discovered, and shared transformed the way institutional participants interacted and discovered investment insight. Alpha Exchange helped investors cut through market noise to deliver intelligence that drives better-informed investment decisions.

THE RESULT. Alpha Exchange is the first open network and institutional knowledge exchange for the capital markets community. By creating a connected research network, existing businesses and new startups have more opportunities to generate alpha in efficient and effective ways. Recently acquired by Visible Alpha, the company now has a growing client base with $16 trillion in AUM, more than 450 banks contributing content, and over 400 employees globally. Visible Alpha allows people to cut through the noise and access internal and external research reports, corporate access events and analyst models — enabling them to be far more successful as a result. Margetts recently won the Women in Banking and Finance’s Young Professional Award at the 21st WIBF Awards for Achievement, positioning her to serve as an example of success for other women entrepreneurs entering the market.


Founded in 2016, Alpha Exchange transformed the way Wall Street firms collaborate on research, financial models and corporate access events by providing breakthrough tools for discovery, analysis and valuation. Visible Alpha acquired the company in 2017 and is now empowering market participants with technology that brings investment insights to the forefront. Since Visible Alpha’s commercial launch in February 2017, the company has been helping investment firms of all sizes and geographies discover ideas through its deep consensus platform.

Being An Alpha


Showing Women Entrepreneurs the Benefits of Being An Alpha

Emma Margetts completed her economics and finance degree at University of Cape Town, went on to found The Business Learning Network, co-founded Alpha Exchange, and then sold the company to Visible Alpha. She specializes in investment research and insights, in a $20 billion global industry, building financial communication networks and knowledge in the market.

Margetts puts servant leadership above herself, adopts a people-first approach to doing business, and drives education and empowerment for women entrepreneurs through her initiatives and business.

“Starting my own business was by no means easy, but I never felt that I had that choice. There was always something inside me where I knew I would have to start my own business. But no one tells you that starting a business is like giving birth through your nostril.”

Margetts understands the challenges of the market firsthand and the problems associated with its competitive aspects. She believes that investors and research providers are not adversaries, but partners in generating alpha and maximizing value creation. Her goal with her ventures is to create the leading collection of buyers and sellers of frontline expertise across the continent, enabling a way to promote Africa to global investors.


Emma Margetts feels that being a Harambean is an honor:

“The Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance brings a diverse, eclectic mix of leaders all pursuing a goal in social, political, social, economic reforms. All believing that entrepreneurship can solve Africa’s most complex challenges. We truly believe that entrepreneurship can solve some of the most challenging issues across our continent. It’s an honor being part of such unique group of people.”
Subscribe for Updates
Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media