Land of Hope and Technology February 2016 - Page 10

ISSUE 1 Government is doing its best Recent years has seen growing support for entrepreneurial business via tax incentives. EIS, which itself grew out of the older Business Start-Up Scheme, was launched in late 1993/early 1994. At the time of launch the then Chief Secretary of The Treasury, Michael Portillo said “The purpose of Enterprise Investment Schemes is to recognise that unquoted trading companies can often face considerable difficulties in realising relatively small amounts of share capital. The new scheme is intended to provide a well-targeted means for some of those problems to be overcome.” In April 2012, the UK government introduced the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS), offering significant tax breaks to investors in start-up businesses. According to a report, Nation of Angels, in 2014 55 per cent of the total investments in angels’ investment portfolios were made-up of EIS schemes and 24 per cent SEIS. More recently, the UK chancellor has announced that people will be able to cash all of their pensions, once they pass a certain age, rather than just 25 per cent as used to be the case. This may well lead to a rise in older entrepreneurs looking to use some of the money that they had accumulated in their pension to fund a business that can occupy them and generate an income in the latter years of their working life.