The Regional Angels Programme (the “Programme”) was announced as part of the Autumn Budget 2017, in response to the feedback received during the consultation on Financing growth in innovative firms1, which highlighted how there continue to be difficulties in accessing early stage capital in parts of the UK2.
Angel investors play a vital role in the economy, bringing patient capital, business experience and skills to support the growth of smaller businesses.
With the business angel market maturing, the experience of the investors and the volume and value of investments made has been increasing in recent years, with syndicates becoming an increasingly common route to investment.
The UK continues to be a world-leading place to start a business, but some of the UK’s highest potential, most innovative businesses can struggle to start up and scale up because of a lack of finance. Evidence suggests that there is a lack of effective supply of long-term investment in innovative firms led by ambitious entrepreneurs who want to build large-scale businesses in the UK.
The UK also suffers regional imbalances in both the demand and supply of early stage finance for growth businesses. The supply of early stage equity finance typically comes from angel investors who are largely concentrated in London, and therefore other UK areas are not as well represented by such finance offerings.
The Regional Angels Programme has been set up within British Business Investments (“BBI”) to help reduce regional imbalances in access for smaller businesses3 to early stage equity finance. The Programme aims to increase the availability, supply and awareness of early stage, angel equity investments across the UK. BBI’s investment should unlock additional private capital to the above asset class.
The Programme, which has been allocated £100 million of funding, will aim to provide early stage equity capital by participating in investments viadelivery partners that can offer managed solutions (see Section 3.8 for an explanation of this particular criterion).