Jenny Tooth reflects on the European Union and the challenges faced post-Brexit


UK Business Angels Association

30 January 2020

On Monday this week, I made my last visit to Brussels as a citizen of the European Union. As the hours tick away towards Brexit at 11pm on Friday 31st, I find myself reflecting on the many years that the UK has been part of the European Project since we joined in 1973 and all the positive things that were achieved during our membership.

I first arrived in Brussels with my husband and two small children in 1989 and where I lived and worked for the next 8 years. It was the year the Berlin Wall came down and a time full of hope and optimism about the expanding European Union and when the UK was taking a leading role in Europe. It’s disappointing to see that the Union failed to achieve our expectations and that we are now walking away.

Nevertheless, we all know that it’s far from over – and there is still much to be done as we negotiate the final deal. There remain many challenges to be addressed to ensure that the trade and migration framework finally agreed will enable our entrepreneurial and investment community to thrive and grow in a post Brexit Britain. We will be doing our best at UKBAA to feed into the discussions and thinking, notably in relation to the forthcoming Budget on 11th March and the subsequent Spending Review to ensure that our Government will continue to maintain a supportive environment for angel and early stage investment in the period to come.

At the same time, as you will see in this newsletter, our market has got off to a highly active start for 2020, perhaps because everyone was holding back in December until after the outcome of the election and final Brexit decision was known. We have also seen the launch of important new developments in the past weeks.

I was delighted to have participated in the launch of the new Creative Scale up Programme being rolled out in the metropolitan regions of Birmingham, Manchester and Bristol. This programme, supported by DCMS, will enable a new model to be piloted that combines a dedicated programme of support and investment readiness for Creative Industries businesses seeking to scale, alongside a new proactive programme of investor capacity building to significantly increase the level of investment in the CI sector. We are very much looking forward to working with the local partners and the Scale-up Institute in the year ahead and do let us know if you are interested in being part of this new investor development programme in the regions.

You may also like to read the fantastic interview that we did with Ian Livingstone, the guru of the games industry last week and active angle investor who spoke about the opportunities for investing in the sector. We’ve also spoken with Gina King, a VC investor in screen content so keep a look out for that interview coming soon.

I have also participated in some exciting initiatives aimed at supporting women founders and to build greater opportunities for women to invest. This included a wonderful fireside chat with an active woman investor in the South West and the launch of a new Inclusive Angels group , set up by two great women lawyers. We do hope that you will also join us in Bristol on 30th April for the next in our series of Women Angel Investment Fora around the UK .

Finally, for those of you interested in the future investment opportunities offered by IOT and 5G to significantly increase connectivity and transfer of data, do make sure you sign up for our forthcoming TechInvest event in partnership with the Mayor of London on 13th February and see 10 great business who are all innovating in this sector.

You might also like to check out below some of our recent media coverage:

See you on the other side of Brexit: Au Revoir et Bonne Chance!

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