SMEs suffer £1 billion funding gap, despite £126 billion in untapped private investor finance

More than a third of investors with £100,000 would invest in the UK’s SMEs but do know enough about funding to do so


According to a report from IW Capital, 34% of the UK’s serious investors would invest in SMEs but do not have the knowledge about funding to do so. This equates to £126 billion in untapped private investment funds.

The lack of awareness is despite the fact that 71% of private investors with more than £40,000 worth of investments feel confident in the growth capabilities of UK SMEs and 54% are looking to the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) for the new tax year.

This is despite David Cameron’s 2015 pledge to fill a £1 billion funding gap that is preventing the growth of UK SMEs, caused in part by institutional lending reducing at a rate of £5.7 million a day.

George Osborne’s latest Spring Budget focused heavily on the micro-businesses of Britain’s private sector, but did not do enough to educate high-net-worth individuals as to how they can invest in upscaling SMEs.

Given the high levels of confidence and subsequent intentions ahead of the imminent new tax year on April 6th, the research further analysed investor sentiment towards one of the last private equity initiatives supporting SMEs – EIS.

There are 64% of investors who intend to invest between £100,001 and £250,000 looking to this scheme for their investment plans. Moreover, 54% of investors with more than £40,000 in portfolio size (not including their mortgage or pensionable assets) will do so imminently for the 2016/17 financial year.

Accounting for 16% of the UK taxpayer population, this high-earner group contributes a disproportionate 67% of the country’s income tax bill. IW Capital’s research of 2,000 relevant people examines just how much income tax the UK’s high-earners pay in comparison to the national average, with a focus on specific investor sentiment towards EIS.

Safety tech now in half of UK’s new cars sold

A new study says that more than 1.5 million British new car buyers benefit from semi-autonomous safety technology including autonomous braking.

safetySafety and the nature of driving is changing and so are we. While self-driving cars are probably further away than the marketeers would like, more than 1.5 million UK motorists a year now own cars that feature self-activating safety systems.

New data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and JATO Dynamics says that more than half of new cars registered in 2015 were fitted with safety-enhancing collision warning systems, with other technologies such as adaptive cruise control, autonomous emergency braking and blind spot monitoring also surging in popularity.

While many, including this writer, would prefer to drive rather than be driven, they are becoming the minority. Features such as collision warning systems, were fitted to 58.1% of Britain’s record new car market in 2015, whether as standard or a cost option. In contrast, just five years ago collision warning featured on only 6.8% of new cars registered.

Autonomous emergency braking, which automatically applies the brakes to avoid or reduce the effects of an impact should the driver fail to react, was fitted to more than 1 million (39%) of all new cars registered – with 18% of buyers getting the safety tech as standard.

Blind spot monitoring was a feature of more than a third of new cars, while adaptive cruise control, which automatically adjusts the car’s speed to maintain a safe distance from vehicles ahead, was fitted to almost a third (31.7%) of new cars registered, either as standard or an option. Just five years ago, less than 10% of new cars were available with this technology.

“Connected and autonomous cars will transform our society, vastly improving safety and reducing congestion and emissions, and will contribute billions to the economy. The UK is already earning a reputation as a global development hub in this field, thanks to significant industry and government investment, and the ability to trial these cars on the roads right now,” said Mike Hawes, SMMT CEO.

Summer… America… music festival… life with no name



* There was no money, no Bitcoin or shit, or time, or whatever currency

* There were no schedules or pension payments

* You had a to-be-hired motorbike on call… a really cool motorbike

* You never looked at the time, just noted the sundial at appropriate times

* You didn’t worry about mortgages and school fees

* You didn’t care about your work projects

* You woke up when you wanted to, not when your wife, or son, did

* And your constant insomnia had nothing to do with you not cycling or not doing tai chi, it just crept in because your head was a screen, the machines were abrading you, via spreadsheets or software, but they were now definitely the masters…

… and you woke up one morning in the Uk, or whatever, and saw this:

* Around the same time that your boxset-binge jumped its inevitable shark

* And you thought to yourself

* As much as I love my my home, my girl and our boy

* I might just fuck off and see this

* It might take £5K out of the family budget, money that might be ‘better spent’ on a new sofa or garden addition, maybe something designed out of chrome

* A place to go where you’re unlikely to meet anybody, however random, who might do you a business deal that might cover the £5K for the trip and cover the dosh for your happiness

* And, let’s be honest, it’s not SXSW… or Austin

* But look, there’s Neutral Milk Hotel

* There’s the Strokes

* There’s even that English wannabe Neil Young that used to be in Oasis

* Lo, not LOL, lo, there’s the Old Crow Medicine Show, last seen live in North London

* Hang on, Wilco, seen early at the Hammersmith Apollo in 1999 before they were famous, and way before they dissed Tom Waits’ pro-Semitic song Road to Peace on BBC Radio 6

* Fuck, the Pixies as well

* Jesus, Tame Impala, those Perth dudes that are like Floyd when they were touring Mother around the Marquee in the 1960s

* Even James Blake, he’s interesting… and English

* And the rest of the bands that you’ve never heard of, but might just discover on the rubbish stage on the first afternoon of the festival, not pissed enough, no way of finding vitamins for at least 12 hours, and knackered from riding the bike to the show

Would you think that this might just be the best festival you’ve ever seen and a red-hot poker up your sagging, middle-aged, middle class, middle-waisted arse, even if Atlanta reminded you of Ted Turner, CNN, Coca-Cola, the Masters and Tiger Woods…

… would you contemplate saying, fuck it, I’m going?

And would you, shock-horror, post it on your blog, WITHOUT SEO, WITHOUT tags, WITHOUT categories or that really annoying ‘Meta description’ bit that should be the intro…

… and you didn’t post it to those six/seven ‘sharey’ sites that you constantly do with your other stuff.

Would you?

Yeah, baby, fuck I would.