UKBAA statement on industrial strategy proposals

Author

UK Business Angels Association

24 January 2017

Creating a new dynamic environment to support the growth of investment and business across the UK is key to success in the post-Brexit era, so UKBAA welcomes the government’s new proposals for a modern and multifaceted industrial strategy.

Angels have provided a huge pool of capital to back many of the UK’s fantastic startups, but we lack sufficient capability here in the UK to bring significant sums of patient capital to support later-stage business growth. If we do not ensure this capacity, then the best of the UK’s high-growth companies will be looking to the US or other international sources to find the investment they need to complete their high-growth ambitions, with the UK’s economy losing out on these companies’ further growth.

We therefore endorse the measures proposed by the government to ensure that high-potential growth businesses can achieve effective scale. We especially welcome the appointment of small business minister Margot James as a ‘Scale-up Champion’, as well as the enhanced role assigned to the Scale-up Institute to ensure a strong focus on scale-up across the UK. We look forward to working with Margot James and the Scale-up Institute to ensure the UK’s businesses can achieve their full potential.

There is a strong need to ensure that businesses across all regions of the UK – far beyond London and the South East – can benefit from access to finance and support including skills, infrastructure and networks. We look forward to collaborating with key players in the UK’s regions, as well as the investment community and the new Powerhouse Funds supported by the British Business Bank, to significantly increase the level of equity investment available for regional entrepreneurial growth.

We also welcome the government’s focus on investing in the UK’s strengths in science and innovation and ensuring that research can be successfully commercialised. We endorse the need to invest in the UK’s great innovators and look forward working alongside UK Research and Innovation, Catapult centres and universities as well as the new Industrial Strategy Challenge Funds to build our core strengths.

Angel investing clearly has a vital role to play in this new industrial strategy, supporting the UK’s talented entrepreneurs and startups to achieve their future growth ambitions. UKBAA looks forward to working with all key players in the ecosystem to support a clear programme of action to turbo-charge the UK’s growth in the post-Brexit era.

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