Finance · 4 July 2017

Enterprise Investment Scheme launches new regional events programme

The Ready, Steady, Grow! programme will begin in Liverpool in September
The Ready, Steady, Grow! programme will begin in Liverpool in September

The Enterprise Investment Scheme Association (EISA), the official trade body for the government’s Enterprise Investment Scheme, has launched a new programme of regional funding information and workshops for small UK businesses and entrepreneurs.

The Ready, Steady, Grow! programme of workshops will begin in Liverpool on 26 September 2017, followed by dates in Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Belfast, Bristol and Leeds through October and November.

The workshops will be free to attend and are meant to give local entrepreneurs and business owners, investors and professional service providers an opportunity to network and grow their book of local and regional contacts.

Aspiring entrepreneurs as well as existing small business owners will be able to find out about the various different government-backed funding options available to them, and get the chance to learn from entrepreneurs who’ve successfully obtained funding, and gather advice and information about financing and growing a business more broadly.

Investors from all backgrounds and experience levels will also be able to learn more about the different ways to invest in small businesses, gain tips and guidance on what to look for in prospective investments, whilst meeting those entrepreneurs seeking investment.

According to the EISA, the Ready, Steady, Grow! programme will also offer important benefits to accountants, lawyers and other professional service providers, who’ll be able the entrepreneurs starting to operate in their local area.

Commenting on the launch of the new programme, EISA director general, Mark Brownridge, said that Ready, Steady, Grow! was about collaborating to help small businesses across the UK overcome some of the major barriers to growth.

“These barriers include a perceived lack of access to financing, which forms an important part of the Ready, Steady, Grow! agenda, but we’ll also be tackling many other challenges faced by SMEs and entrepreneurs as they try to grow their businesses,” he added.

“[The programme] is about empowering the SME ecosystem of entrepreneurs, investors and professional service providers to do all the they can to help businesses across the UK to reach their true potential.”

EISA works closely with HMRC and MPs in Westminster to deliver funding to small UK business and SMEs via the Enterprise Investment Scheme and the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme, two government-backed schemes to encourage investment in Britain’s seed, startup and early-growth stage companies.

The Enterprise Investment Scheme was originally launched in 1994 to encourage investment in smaller firms and help founders raise finance. Investors are able to receive a 30 per cent tax break off a maximum £1m yearly investment.

In April this year, statistics from HMRC revealed that income raised by small companies through the EIS scheme dropped by £200m – a fifth of the total – during 2016, with some commentators blaming the government for making changes that overcomplicated the terms if the scheme.

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Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.

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