Vince Cable made an interesting comment at today’s entertaining Real Business Entrepreneurs’ Summit:
“90% 0f angel investment is in Scotland.”
Vince Cable is the business secretary and is in charge of a lot of things that entrepreneurs care about. It is deeply shocking that someone in such a position could come up with such nonsense – maybe he has been spending too much time talking to the SNP or maybe the government just doesn’t have a clue and is making policy on the back of nonsense disguised as data. Whatever the reason, it scares me that someone in such an important position of authority and influence can be making decisions of the back of utterly ridiculous data.
So how is government policy being formed?
Thank God Luke Johnston was there to call bullshit in the way that only he can although Vince Cable certainly didn’t seem to accept that he might be wrong.
Just for the record, the most recent data available for angel investment, based on EIS Claims submitted to HMRC of £503m and only provisional figures for 08/09 claims were:
- Scotland – £32m
- England – £459
- Wales – £8m
- Northern Ireland – £4m
That means Scotland is about 6%.
Get the full data set in pdf format here: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/stats/ent_invest_scheme/table8-4.pdf Note the most recent information available from government sources is provisional data from 2008-09! Maybe Vince has access to more up to date information than us, in which case, it would be great if he could share it. If his numbers are true, every train and plane to Glasgow and Edinburgh will be packed for months. Of course, not all angel investment is EIS but this seems to be a much more likely balance based on anecdotal evidence too.
Come on! If a government wants to support entrepreneurs, can we please have some evidence that they might have a clue that they know what they are talking about?
I don’t think Vince Cable will be speaking at the BLN Growth Forum, 5th July 2011.
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