Our CEO, Maggie O’Carroll, has shared her reaction to the Government’s latest package of COVID-19 related support for start-up business, announced yesterday (20 April 2020).
The £1.25bn rescue package will allow UK-registered companies that have raised at least £250,000 in equity investment the past five years to receive loans of £125,000 to £5m, provided they can find matching private investment.
While this is a welcome intervention for the country’s young businesses, there are some factors which we would urge the Government to consider on how this should work in practice.
|Maggie O’Carroll, CEO of The Women’s Organisation, welcomes the move
but highlights a number of key factors which we would urge the Government to consider
Here is the full statement:
Maggie O’Carroll, CEO of The Women’s Organisation, says: “This package of support is positive news for Britain’s start-ups, particularly those which are not yet profitable, and is welcome recognition of the importance of those young businesses which are driving innovation across the country and shaping the future business landscape.
“We would caution that the requirement for business to secure match funding from private investors could prove to be a potential barrier to accessing the Fund, due to the natural element of risk associated with untested start-ups. For this reason, appraisers who are market savvy should not rely on the numbers alone. There needs to be a more fluid approach to assessing the future potential of businesses to succeed and, more importantly, grow into enterprises of real substance.
“The scheme needs to be localised to ensure that businesses can connect with investment and support locally. Business support programmes, like Enterprise Hub here in the Liverpool City Region, have so far been critical in making sure businesses of all sizes have the tools, resources, and knowledge to weather the current crisis.
“Speed is critical here. We must now see the roll-out of a straightforward application and approval process for this scheme to be truly impactful.”