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“Equity economy” can reverse slip in UK’s entrepreneur rankings

13 Nov 2015

The Institute of Directors has said that the launch of the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute’s Global Entrepreneurship Index which saw Britain slip from 4th in the world to 9th shows the importance of unlocking the ‘equity economy’ for new firms and investors.

Jimmy McLoughlin, Deputy Head of Policy at the Institute of Directors said:

“While it is disappointing to see Britain slip back in the Global Entrepreneurship Index, we should not forget the significant progress which has been made in recent years. The entrepreneurial revolution has taken hold in Britain, more and more young people are starting up their own businesses and Britain leads the world when it comes to the strength of our internet economy. We need to build on them, but they are sturdy foundations.

“The key will be transforming Britain from a start-up economy to a scale-up economy. To do this, Britain cannot rest on its laurels and take comfort from our numerous strengths – start-up opportunities, competition and cultural support. We must attack the areas holding us back and make sure businesses have access to the finance and skilled people they need to grow.

“There are small steps which government and businesses can take to help achieve this. For instance, promoting government initiatives like the Enterprise and Seed Enterprise Investment Schemes will go a big way to making investors and entrepreneurs more aware of them. It should be much easier for small-stakes investors to take shares in new and growing companies to give firms access to new sources of capital and let more people around the country benefit from this wave of enterprise.”

The Institute of Directors recent report, Opening the Equity Economy lists a series of proposals to help boost entrepreneurialism in the UK. They include:

  • The creation and promotion of EIS/SEIS aggregator funds
  • The inclusion of EIS/SEIS investments in a new Super-ISA wrapper
  • An online-only claims process for tax relief on investments worth less than £2,000
  • A new ‘lecturer SEIS’ with a higher rate of tax relief for university teachers who invest in companies launched by their students
  • Abolition of rules which prohibit parents and close family members from claiming tax relief on investments in companies started by their children.

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