Entrepreneurs - the route to economic success - Business Works
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Entrepreneurs - the route to economic success

James King and Mark Hanington, Founders, FIG venture capital group that invests in businesses founded by students and recent graduates, has released a manifesto that sets out its ideas for boosting British business. The manifesto, from Find Invest Grow (FIG), proposes a number of specific changes that will transform entrepreneurship in the UK, making it easier for individuals to start their own businesses, create their own jobs, contribute to future wealth generation and cultivate economic growth.

FIG believes more can be done to harness the potential of Britainís entrepreneurs and is calling for the government and the private sector to build upon existing policies to create a better environment where young businesses can thrive. Specifically FIG is calling for:

  • More opportunities to get in and out of early-stage investments

    Finance is the beginning, and all too often the end, for start-up businesses. Support is available from a variety of sources and not necessarily the most obvious places. We want to make it clearer what those sources are and easier for start-ups to access available funds. We also want to make it simpler for both investor and investee to secure a profitable return by making it easier to get money out.

  • Enhanced education for ALL stakeholders on the risks and rewards of start-ups

    The treasury tells us that the investorsí tax relief under the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) has more than paid for itself by the increased income tax revenue it has generated through increased employment. The reduction of benefits payments and the multiplier effect of having someone in work with the ability to make purchases and contribute income tax as well as National Insurance (NI), makes EIS pay for itself, and then some. We want to broaden the application of EIS so the start-up and investor derive maximum value from it by recognising the value of different types of investments.

  • Educating for business

    There is no point creating more liquid markets if we donít have the right people underpinning it. Business has traditionally taken the product of education, but hasnít always contributed to its creation. The country invests heavily in education and if we are to secure a better return on that investment through wealth creation and economic growth we need closer, direct relationships between commerce and education.

  • A culture enhanced by government policy that celebrates and champions start-up businesses

    In the US, investors are gods and those who start the companies are rock stars. There is more we can do to celebrate our successful entrepreneurs and create an environment where everyone involved is fêted Ė not just the celebrity few. Of course, culture isnít created by legislation and it isnít changed overnight. Itís more organic than that. But having the government focus on the things that really help entrepreneurs is a necessary and positive step.

"If the UK is serious about getting its economy back on track, changes can be made to promote entrepreneurship and stimulate investment in start-ups," says James King, Founder of FIG. "Our manifesto sets out a pragmatic approach that, if adopted, will set Britainís early-stage businesses on course for a better future. The government has already made good progress and we welcome many of the initiatives it runs, but more can and should be done to foster Britainís entrepreneurial spirit."

"In the manifesto, we put forward ten practical changes, from extensions to current tax reliefs to increasingly flexible investment mandates and more efficient grant systems that will make a real difference to those starting up and investing in new British businesses. Our aim is to develop the particular skills necessary to build a successful business, free up funding and create better incentives to both set up and invest. The manifesto also warns against certain investment models that FIG believes present a number of intrinsic risks for start-up businesses and their investors."

Mark Hanington, another founder of FIG added, "The FIG manifesto provides a clear and practical way forward to boost British businesses. We recognise this is part of a broader programme of change to bolster the economy, but initiatives like this, from the grass roots of business, can really make a difference. Our proposals are not academic; we are calling for very specific and detailed changes that we know first hand - from our own experience - will truly make a difference."

To download a full copy of the manifesto please visit: www.findinvestgrow.com/the-fig-manifesto

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