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Government is failing technology entrepreneurs, say MPs

Derek du Preez | March 14, 2013
Lack of funding and the inability to foster long-term SME growth is stifling the UK’s tech scene.

He added: "The Government needs to look at how it can provide the infrastructure to support innovation by ensuring small technology firms have access to finance, facilities and advice."

The report states that there needs to be a coherent strategy across the whole of UK industry to provide UK business with confidence in where they might expect government support for the medium and long term - whether through fiscal policies or R&D focus.

Ministers need to make choices in terms of which sectors to prioritise when assisting R&D investment, said the committee.

Michael Kent, founder and CEO of social money transfer platform Azimo has set up two fintech companies and is a former advisor to Vince Cable. He believes that much of the problem stems from the government's ongoing plans to curb immigration.

"I don't support more state intervention to support any industry - even technology, as the government tends to screw up most resource allocation decisions. That said, a broadening of the Enterprise Capital Fund schemes whereby sensible investors get a remit to equity invest their own money, which is then turbo-boosted by state funding, is great," said Kent.

"But actually, it's all window dressing. The huge worry right now is the lurch to the right and rhetoric on immigration and Europe."

He added: "Further immigration caps make the UK an unattractive place for the world's brightest and best and cutting off access to the largest global trading block makes the UK a sideshow. That's what will ultimately let down technology and all entrepreneurs in the UK."


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