Is there enough help for start-ups? Petition launched to help entrepreneurs

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A petition has been launched with the hope of improving help for start-ups in the UK.

It coincides with the news that the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is set to have its budget slashed by more than half over the next four years.

“While the UK media may portray that there is a lot of funding, mentoring and support for start-ups, the reality is less positive,” the petition reads.

“Serial entrepreneurs and those with strong personal networks have done well, but the rest of us are struggling. Several start-ups have shut down due to lack of funding.”

The petition was launched by Ruzbeh Bacha, the founder and CEO of news aggregator CityFALCON.

In his post on LinkedIn, Bacha explains why he feels strongly about the issue.

“Entrepreneurs do NOT get any SEIS/EIS benefits if they hold more than 30% in the company,” he said.

“Currently, if an investor invests money in a company, they receive 30%/50% tax rebate, no capital gains payment on upside and downside protection if the company fails. On the other hand, an entrepreneur who takes the highest risk and who is most likely to hold more than 30% of the company, doesn’t get any benefit for investing in the company, has to pay at least 10% capital gain, and does not receive any benefit if the company fails. The argument we’ve heard is that this is to prevent people from receiving fraudulent benefits, but this can never be a reason to deny benefits to the deserving.”

He also lists slow and cumbersome grant procedures and the SEIS limit being too low, as other problems for start-ups.

The petition hasn’t attracted too many signatures so far (just 16 in fact, at the time of writing) but even the most successful petitions start somewhere.

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