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UK EIS scheme is ‘widely respected’ in Europe

The UK’s Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) is one of the most successful and widely respected venture capital relief schemes in Europe, according to David Gauke MP, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury.

Gauke was a keynote speaker at the EIS Association’s Chairman’s Annual Reception at the House of Lords on Wednesday night. He spoke on the importance of EIS investment as a tool for economic recovery and how, since the mid 1990's, EIS and VCT schemes have raised over GBP13.3bn investment for 20,000 companies.

Gauke went on to explain how the UK EIS scheme is the envy of Europe and how maintaining the reputation of EIS is important to the Government.
“EIS is one of, if not the most, successful and widely respected venture capital relief scheme in Europe,” said Gauke. “We regularly engage with officials from across the continent who are interested in our scheme and how it works.
“We are committed to supporting the UK's brightest and most ambitious entrepreneurs to drive our recovery. That means ensuring they have access to finance at all stages of development. EISA are a vital part of the venture capital ecosystem and this ecosystem is a vital part of tomorrow's economic prosperity.”
Lord Howard Flight, chairman of the EISA, said: “The standards of excellence amongst our members increase year on year.  From humble entrepreneurial beginnings, the EIS Awards have now become a striven-for accolade within the industry.  That the voting is restricted to one’s peers makes each award all the more valued.”
As well as the keynote speaker, the evening saw the EISA present its annual awards to those who have played a significant role within the EIS industry over the past 12 months.
The main award of the evening went to Bovill. The financial services regulatory consultancy was awarded the “Best Overall Corporate Contribution to EIS” award for its work liaising with the public sector to help forge an appropriate regulatory regime for the industry.
Ben Blackett-Ord, chief executive, Bovill, says: “The fact that we have won this award demonstrates the extent to which the EIS community continues to struggle with both domestic and European regulatory initiatives which often appear to be in conflict with stated government policy of encouraging investment in early stage companies.”

Also among the winners of the evening were Kuber Ventures, which was accredited as the “Best EIS Newcomer” thanks to the development of the industry's first platform for comparing, reporting and investing in EIS portfolios under one roof.
John Williams, managing partner of Kuber Ventures, says: “These awards are symbolic of the evolving industry that we find ourselves in. While advisers, investors and commentators wait to find out how EIS will be classified and subsequently governed, those that want to see the industry become a success are striving to develop and improve the way we operate in order to ensure its on-going success whatever the outcome.”

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