The Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS), a cornerstone of the UK’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Since its inception in 1994, the EIS has played a pivotal role in nurturing innovation and fostering economic growth. Alongside its sister scheme, the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS), it has facilitated over £30 billion in private investment into 53,000 startups across the nation.

The EIS Association (EISA), representing more than 400 entrepreneurs, investors and advisers from across the EIS community, marks this significant milestone with reflections on the scheme’s enduring impact on the UK economy and society. The EISA will also be bringing together key representatives from across the ecosystem to celebrate at an event in September.

“Thirty years ago, the UK government launched the EIS with the vision of catalysing investment into early-stage ventures and driving innovation forward. Today, as we celebrate its three-decade journey, we witness a vibrant ecosystem of startups and entrepreneurs thriving, thanks in no small part to the support provided through the EIS,” remarked Christiana Stewart-Lockhart, Director General of the EIS Association.

The success stories borne out of EIS investment serve as compelling testaments to the scheme’s efficacy in fostering entrepreneurship and fuelling growth. Notable startups that have flourished with the backing of SEIS or EIS investment include household names such as Revolut, Monzo, Gousto, Curve, Deliveroo, Just Eat, Bloom & Wild, Trinny London, and Homethings. These companies, among many others, have not only transformed their respective industries but have also created thousands of jobs and contributed significantly to the UK’s economic landscape.

Many EIS funded companies are working to tackle major health challenges including Cambridge based Arecor, working to enable more effective management of diabetes; Belfast based GenoMe Diagnostics, developing a test for earlier and more accurate diagnosis of ovarian cancer; and Edinburgh based Carcinotech, manufacturing 3D printed living tumours to provide a platform for drug discovery.

Stewart-Lockhart added, “The journey of the EIS over the past three decades underscores its cross-party support and fundamental role in supporting the UK’s ever-evolving startup ecosystem. As we look ahead, the EIS remains critical to investment in the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs, driving forward the UK’s position as a global leader in technology and innovation.”

In addition to its economic impact, the EIS has been instrumental in fostering a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation across the UK, empowering individuals to pursue their entrepreneurial aspirations and turn their ideas into reality. By incentivising private investment through tax reliefs, the scheme has democratised access to funding for early-stage ventures, enabling them to pursue ambitious growth strategies and scale their operations.

As the EIS embarks on its fourth decade, the EISA reaffirms its commitment to championing UK startups and advocating for policies that foster a conducive environment for entrepreneurship and investment. With a steadfast dedication to promoting innovation and driving economic prosperity, the EIS remains a cornerstone of the UK’s entrepreneurial journey.

About EISA:

The Enterprise Investment Scheme Association (EISA) is the official trade body for the Enterprise Investment Scheme. EISA is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to assisting Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in obtaining the funding required to expand and drive economic growth.


Email: christiana@eisa.org.uk
Phone: +44 20 8132 6199
Website: www.eisa.org.uk

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