UKBAA CEO Jenny Tooth’s bi-weekly update

Author

UK Business Angels Association

18 April 2019

Last week saw an agreement reached to potentially delay Brexit until the 31st October.

As negotiations continue to drag on and eat into the transition period, which was put in place to help businesses prepare for the imminent loss of EU support, we are at risk of running out of time to plan and make changes. Funding for SMEs in the regions has been somewhat forgotten about recently. This will subsequently impact regional SMEs more than larger businesses that can take the hit, or areas such as London or the Golden Triangle which receive the majority of domestic investment.

The potential loss of investment from the continent including the European Regional Development Fund, Horizon 2020 and the Jeremie fund could create a huge investment gap in the UK. This is concerning not only for the loss of EU money, but the risk that Government support for finance to replace this EU funding may take time to have an impact on the ground.

Our Connected Investing event series being held across the regions in May and June will bring some of the key funding partners together to discuss how we can come together to support our local businesses now and in a future filled with uncertainty.

I made our views on the impact on small businesses clear to BBC News with Ben Brown along with the role that angel investors will have within the future of SME funding and also discussed the topic with The Guardian, focusing on the European Regional Development and Jeremie Funds.

One of the ways in which business funding and angel investing can be further utilised is through increased support for women investors. This week, Forbes has featured research from the UKBAA which highlights the increased support female founders receive from female angel investors.

Our research has found that around 20 percent of female angels have invested in companies led by women, while only a very few of their male counterparts have done the same. We estimate that women comprise only 15 percent of the angel community so increasing the number of women investors can have a meaningful impact on our ecosystem.

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