UK: EDITORIAL - WHERE ARE THE NEW BUSINES ANGELS?

UK: EDITORIAL - WHERE ARE THE NEW BUSINES ANGELS? - Is there a genuine shortage of funds for budding entrepreneurs seeking to create their own businesses from scratch? All too often there seems to be, and the blame is laid at the door of the venture capi

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Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

Is there a genuine shortage of funds for budding entrepreneurs seeking to create their own businesses from scratch? All too often there seems to be, and the blame is laid at the door of the venture capitalists. But such blame is misplaced. Venture capital in the UK means investment in unquoted companies. Apart from a few specialists, the UK venture capital industry lacks the expertise - as well as the inclination - to provide capital and support to completely new ventures.

In the US, the business angel, typically a successful businessman, has long been the first port of call for those seeking to follow his example. Tax breaks have been put in place to encourage a similar pattern in the UK. Senior executives, currently being lambasted for their spiralling pay-packets, should seize the opportunity. Instead of stuffing their already distended personal pension funds further, they might choose to display their commercial judgment (and ability at picking people) by investing personally in small and start-up businesses. Those not prepared to back their business judgment with their own money can hardly justify extravagant salaries.

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