Maggie O’Carroll, CEO of Liverpool-based The Women’s Organisation, offers a cautious welcome for the Government’s £1.25bn rescue package for start-ups
This package of support is positive news for Britain’s start-ups, particularly those which are not yet profitable. It is a 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 businesses 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, such as 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.