Startup Manifesto Launches with Backing of 250 Entrepreneurs

https://thefintechtimes.com/startup-manifesto/
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Following the raft of announcements from the main parties
designed to woo business leaders – such as overhauling business
rates or a climate apprenticeship programme – The Entrepreneurs
Network and Coadec have identified 21 policies entrepreneurs truly
need from the next government. 

As the
Startup Manifesto
highlights, political uncertainty hasn’t
dented the UK as a global hub of entrepreneurship: since 2010, the
number of people engaged in early-stage entrepreneurial activity
has increased by a third from its previous long-run rate. Over the
last four years we have seen a 35% rise in the number of
high-growth businesses.

Startup Manifesto outlines a three-pronged action plan
to ensure new ventures can survive and thrive: access to
world-class talent; incentives to start, then access to capital to
scale; and a clear, simple set of rules and regulations flexible
enough to encourage new and innovative startup business models to
grow.

In terms of policies, this means reforming our visa
system so startups can attract the best and brightest without
unnecessary bureaucracy; streamlining tax reliefs so we can get
timely investments in ambitious businesses, and reforming pension
regulations to attract more funding into early-stage
businesses.

On Talent, Startup Manifesto notes that our visa
system is not fit for purpose and has acted as a barrier to
entrepreneurs and the talented workers they need to scale.
Of the fastest-growing businesses here in Britain, 49% have at
least one foreign-born co-founder
. We call on the next
government to ensure the Startup and Innovator Visas are
implemented successfully so that more entrepreneurs come to the UK
to start and grow businesses. 

over 250 UK entrepreneurs are lending support to a
Startup Manifesto outlining reforms to make Britain the best place
for startups and scale-ups

We ask that the Tier 1 General Visa be reintroduced.
The salary threshold for the Tier 2 Visa should be reduced, and
government should allow stock options to be considered in visa
applications. These policies have been endorsed by Signal AI
founder Dr Miguel Martinez and toucanBox founder Virginie
Charles-Dear, to help plug the skills shortage. And we suggest that
the Minister for Equalities have female entrepreneurship in their
remit to support more women to start and scale businesses.

On Access to Finance, we call on the next government
to devise a coherent regional startup strategy, to allow defined
contribution pension schemes to invest in new companies, and to
eliminate delays in the advance assurance process for EIS and SEIS
tax relief to unlock more investment in high-growth startups, a
policy endorsed by EnterpriseAlumni founder Emma Sinclair
MBE. 

On Regulation, we ask that government works with
startups to ensure tech regulation does not create new barriers to
entry. The sandbox has helped small companies concentrate on
innovation as well as compliance and should be extended to other
tech sectors in the guise of five-year provisional licences to
innovative companies with business models that conflict with
existing regulations. Not only would this encourage innovation, it
would highlight regulation that is “holding back
innovation”.

What Entrepreneurs Really Need – An Open Letter from 250
Business Leaders

“As founders of some of the UK’s most successful
businesses, we call on the parties seeking to form our next
government to prioritise the needs of Britain’s startups and
scaleups.

Despite Brexit uncertainty, the nation’s
entrepreneurial spirit is undimmed. Since 2010, the number of
people engaged in early-stage entrepreneurial activity has
increased by a third. Total venture capital investment in UK tech
topped £6bn in 2018, more than any other European country. And all
this growth has meant hundreds of thousands of new jobs.

Entrepreneurship is essential to the British economy.
That’s why we support the Startup Manifesto by The Coalition for
a Digital Economy (Coadec) & The Entrepreneurs Network.

What startups need from government to build
world-beating companies is simple. Access to top talent from both
here in the UK and abroad; the right tax incentives to foster and
grow early-stage businesses then access to the capital needed to
scale them; and a clear, simple set of rules and regulations
flexible enough to encourage new and innovative startup business
models.

This means reforming the visa system so startups can
attract the best and brightest without needless bureaucracy,
streamlining tax reliefs so we can get timely investments in
ambitious businesses, and reforming pension regulations to attract
more funding into early-stage businesses.

These policies would be good for startups, but more
importantly, they would be good for the UK. When you support
Britain’s entrepreneurs you support the whole economy. We urge
all the political parties in this election to bear that in mind and
develop a startup and scaleup friendly approach for the years to
come.”

21 Policies to Boost British Business

On Talent

  • Ensure that the Start Up and Innovator Visas are
    implemented successfully; 

  • Reintroduce the Tier 1 General visa – or an
    equivalent;

  • Reduce the Tier 2 Visa Salary threshold and allow
    stock options to be considered in visa applications;

  • Extend the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme visa to
    European citizens;

  • Modernise EMI by increasing current limits from a
    £30M asset capitalisation to £100M, and from 250 to 500
    employees;

  • Support more women to start and scale businesses;

  • Utilise private coding schools as lifelong learning
    providers.

On Access to Finance

  • Reform the Tier 1 Investor Visa by lowering the
    minimum qualifying investment threshold for investment in UK
    startups, scale-ups and venture capital funds;

  • Reform advance assurance for EIS and SEIS to unlock
    more investment in high-growth startups;

  • Unleash pension fund capital by adjusting the pension
    charge cap;

  • Encourage the British Business Bank to provide more
    risk capital;

  • Reform R&D Tax Credits so that they are fit for a
    modern digital economy;

  • Improve access to Innovate UK grants;

  • Devise a coherent regional startup strategy.

Regulation

  • Secure a Data Adequacy agreement as soon as
    possible;

  • Promote innovation in regulated sectors by creating a
    cross-sector regulatory sandbox;

  • Use Open Banking-style reforms to promote innovation
    in sectors such as telecoms and energy;

  • Revolutionise the way government collects, stores and
    shares data;

  • Redraft the Age Appropriate Design Code to be more
    pragmatic;

  • Work with startups to ensure tech regulation does not
    create new barriers to entry;

  • Protect encryption from politicised attacks.

Dom Hallas, Executive Director at Coadec, says:

“Founders consistently tell us that startups need
three things to thrive. Great talent. Access to the capital needed
to grow. And easy to understand, pragmatic regulation. The
manifesto is full of ideas in all three of these areas to make
lives easier for tech entrepreneurs across the UK. We can only hope
that the political parties are listening.”

Philip Salter, Founder of The Entrepreneurs Network,
says:

“The party manifestos have policies that will impact
business owners, but they don’t go far enough in terms of the
reforms needed to boost UK entrepreneurship and ultimately support
economic growth. This Startup Manifesto, which is backed by the
founders of some of Britain’s fastest growing companies, is a
blueprint for how the next government can support Britain’s most
ambitious entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs are creating most of
the UK’s new jobs and building the innovative companies that will
make us all wealthier, healthier and happier.”

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Launches with Backing of 250 Entrepreneurs
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The Fintech Times.

https://thefintechtimes.com/startup-manifesto/