Commenting on figures released today showing that there have been only 35 additional applications* from companies to use a Government tax incentive for investing in start-ups, Jamie Kerr, Head of Entrepreneurship and Tech Policy at the Institute of Directors, said:
“The number of UK companies applying for permission to receive investment through the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) is rising at a painfully slow pace. This relief, alongside its older brother the Enterprise Investment Scheme, has been a welcome addition for start-ups looking to raise funds, but we believe more value can be squeezed out of the scheme.
“The overall low number of applications for SEIS eligibility will prompt questions about whether more can be done to market their benefits to the wider business community. It is an example of a policy which the next government should push much more heavily after the election if they want to boost entrepreneurship in the UK. The take-up of SEIS and EIS is also still overly skewed towards London and the South East, and if politicians are serious about spreading the growth and company ownership across the UK, they should do more to communicate the benefits of these schemes beyond the usual investor stomping grounds.”
*In 2015-16, there were 3,115 applications to use SEIS, in 2016-17, this had risen only slightly to 3,150. The number of applications has been creeping up slowly from 1,630 from 2012-13.