UK start-up finance 'at risk of drying up' post Brexit, says report

UK start-up finance 'at risk of drying up' post Brexit, says report
Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events

Posted: Mon 10th Dec 2018

With Brext looming, investment in early-stage businesses in the UK looks set to reduce, it has been claimed.

The comment was made by Frances O'Brien, head of private markets at equity crowdfunding platform Syndicate Room, in a new report outling Britain's 100 fastest growing businesses.

"The European Investment Bank (EIB), which promotes innovation and ensures growing businesses have access to finance when they need it most, has invested more than €117bn into British SMEs," she said.

"Herein lies the problem: the EIB invests solely into European ventures.

"There's no getting away from the fact that EU venture funding is the single largest source of startup capital on the continent and with Brexit looming, UK early-stage finance is at risk of drying up.

"In 2016, the EIB invested 27% of its remit into UK businesses. In 2017, following the vote to leave, this figure fell to 8%."

O'Brien added that EIB's contribution to business growth isn't just about money as it also "offers klout, spurring further funding from family offices, pension funds and those otherwise less willing to take a chance on younger ventures".

She said if Britain wants to remain innovative, "we need to find a new way to collaborate".

The report follows a call by MPs last week for the government to explain how EU small business funding will be replaced post-Brexit.

Britain's fastest growing businesses

Energy business Bulb tops the list of Britain's fastest growing companies with a 350% growth over the past three years.

Fashion search engine Lyst (135%) is second and biotech firm ReViral (59%) comes in third.

In 18th place with 24% growth is market research firm Streetbees.

CEO and co-founder Tugce Bulut is a keynote speaker at Enterprise Nation's StartUp 2019 event in London on 19 January. She's one of more than 100 speakers across 11 interactive zones.

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Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events
I'm a freelance content creator and event host who helps small businesses and the organisations that support them. I have 18 years of experience as a small business journalist having interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs from billionaires like Sir Richard Branson to the founders behind brand new start-ups. I've worked for a range of leading small business publications and support groups, most recently as head of content at Enterprise Nation where I was responsible for the prolific output of content on the company's blog and social media. I'm based in Bristol where I run and host regular events with the local small business community and have strong connections to major business organisations in the south west region. In total, I've hosted over 50 events; from intimate meet-ups to conferences with an audience of hundreds including events for international brands like Facebook and Xero. I'm also a big fan of podcasts having hosted Enterprise Nation's Small Business Sessions as well as lots of online events including Facebook Live interviews, webinars and three live web chats from inside 10 Downing Street. With my partner, I co-run Lifestyle District, a lifestyle blog focused on culture, art, theatre and photography. I'm here to help. I'm volunteering free advice calls of up to an hour as part of the Recovery Advice for Business scheme, over the next 6 months. Please get in touch to see how I can help your business. 

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