Posted on May 27, 2012 by | 0 Comments
By Dug Campbell
In 2010-2011, business angels invested around £850 million in early-stage businesses. That’s around 2.5 times more money than venture capital invested at that stage. Now, just pause to think for a minute - what might happen to the country if that figure (for example) doubled? How would that affect the growth rates for small businesses, job creation and the economic regeneration of the nation as a whole? The answer, I’m sure you’d agree, is obvious.
But where can we possibly find that sort of money?
Today marks the launch of a new campaign by the British Business Angels Association called “Be An Angel” which aims to raise the profile of business angel investing in the UK. Over the years, small businesses seeking investment have sometimes struggled to secure funding in a process that could at times be disjointed. Success was often over-reliant on the right investors being connected with the right business opportunities by chance.
However, as progress continues to be made to streamline communications for existing business angels who are actively seeking businesses to invest in, there is another – potentially more significant – problem which is restricting the amount of money available to early-stage businesses.
The issue? Awareness.
Large numbers of individuals in this country have the wealth to invest in early stage businesses. Yet they either remain unaware of the potential opportunities or, through no fault of their own, lack the knowledge about how to make an investment into a business that catches their eye. For this reason, theBBAA has worked tirelessly over the last few years to publicise these kind of issues and the “Be An Angel” campaign represents the next stage.
So, regardless of whether you are a buddingRon Conway or a founder coming to grips for the first time with some of the more complex issues involved in raising funds for your business, I encourage each and every one of you to spend some time now and go and read through the "Be An Angel" website.
I’m serious – go and read it now. At the very least, go and bookmark the site. It’s that important.
As you might expect, MBM have been involved in the launch with Sandy in his role on the BBAA Technical Committee providing input on the legal side. However, whether my firm had been involved or not is irrelevant. What is relevant is the fact that the launch of “Be An Angel” represents a call to arms for all those who have the money to invest to highlight the opportunities that are out there.
By encouraging those who can to invest in those who create, we can all benefit. And that, to me, is a cause worth supporting.