Britain: A Nation of Angels?

The Centre for Entrepreneurs (CFE) think tank and the UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA) have launched a major research project to identify the level and impact of business angel investment in the UK, and the country’s leading angels are calling upon their peers to get involved.

With record numbers of new businesses registered in 2013, there has been much talk of Britain turning into a nation of entrepreneurs.  More broadly, popular commentary has labelled entrepreneurs the new rock-stars and they are rightly credited by politicians for Britain’s astounding economic recovery and record levels of job creation. But hidden behind many successful entrepreneurs are angel investors who provide crucial funding and expertise. It is these unsung heros that the Centre and UKBAA wish to better understand and support.

The Nation of Angels campaign is an ambitious research project that will seek to understand the scale of angel activity across the UK, the impact of angel investing on growing companies, the motivations of angels and the effect of recent technological and policy developments on angel activity.

Through a unique partnership between Maserati and the Centre for Entrepreneurs, angels who participate in the research will have the opportunity to win six months use of Maserati’s new sports saloon – the Maserati Ghibli, among other exclusive prizes.

The six month Nation of Angels research campaign is being funded by Barclays, the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, Deloitte, and the Economic and Social Research Council and the research is being undertaken by the Enterprise Research Centre.

Centre for Entrepreneurs chairman and serial investor, Luke Johnson comments:
“With an explosion in startups in recent years, Britain is certainly a nation of entrepreneurs. But is there a nation of angels behind them to provide the vital funding and expertise to achieve growth?”

“By all accounts the number of angel investors is higher than ever, with SEIS and digital platforms making it ever more appealing, but it is vital that we get a better understanding of the size of activity and our collective impact.”

“I encourage all angels, big or small, experienced or new, to engage in our research survey via”.

UK Business Angels Association Chief Executive, Jenny Tooth comments:
“Angel investing in the UK continues to grow with many diverse models and backed by fantastic tax breaks under EIS and SEIS, as well as the Angel CoFund. Yet we still lack robust data on the angel market and what outcomes it brings for both the investors and their portfolio businesses. This evidence is vital to support the growth of the industry and encourage more individuals to get involved in angel investing”.

“The Nation of Angels offers a chance for angel investors to stand up and be counted for the great work they are doing”.

Enterprise Research Centre deputy director, Prof Mark Hart comments:
“Angels should feel confident in sharing information on their portfolio for this research. With the Enterprise Research Centre conducting the research on behalf of CFE and UKBAA, all data will remain confidential and anonymous.”