The renamed and rebranded UK Business Angel Association held another highly successful National Investment Summit and Awards dinner which I attended in London earlier this week. Anthony Clarke, who has been the driving force behind the organisation for the past six years, has stepped down from the chair to be replaced by Sir Nigel Rudd.
The national trade association for the promotion of angel investment in the UK is privileged to have such a well respected and high-profile new chairman. He spoke at the conference and shared a platform with Lord Jonathan Graffham who is the Prime Minister’s Enterprise “guru”. For those of us at the coalface every day, it is good to know that we now have the attention of a Government which really understands the importance of starting and building new businesses and the a role which is played by angel finance when we are likely to be faced with a banking drought for years to come.
The re-named and re-branded UK BAA has appointedJenny Tooth as Chief Executive with a number of strategic sponsors including the British Bankers’ Association, Lloyds Banking Group, the Business Growth Fund and NESTA.
Recalling my visit to Downing Street back earlier this in year, the Government has indicated that it would like to see the number of angel investors doubled over the next three years. As returns from the stock market, real estate and other asset classes continue to disappoint, investors are increasingly looking to angel investment as a new asset class and they now have the best tax incentives in the world to encourage this type of investment. If that could be achieved, we could make structural unemployment a thing of the past.
I am currently reading a book of published research about the impact of MIT Entrepreneurship on the Massachusetts, American and international stage. The conclusion of a long detailed research project is that MIT Alumni who are alive today are responsible for creating 25,800 companies; employ 3.3 Million and generating US $2 Trillion in sales!
Just think what we might achieve in the UK if we could harness more angel investment to commercialise the world leading new ideas coming out of our universities.
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