EISA: The record-breaking results of the 21/22 tax year were always going to be tough to trump in this year’s data. However, the figures for the tax year 22/23 indicate some green shoots of growth in key regions.

The 2022/23 data, whilst lower than the 2021/22 record breaking numbers, is now returning to pre-pandemic levels.

Today’s data is showing significant growth in the number of businesses using the Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) in the North East and Northern Ireland. The East of England has bucked the trend and seen an increase in EIS investment compared to 21-22, likely influenced by the Cambridge science and technology hubs, as has Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland stands out in particular with an 11% growth in the number of businesses using the EIS and a 57% increase in the amount of EIS investment raised.

The North West continues to show growth in early stage businesses, with the number of start ups benefiting from the Seed EIS (SEIS) increasing by 20%, and SEIS investment growing by 38%. This is particularly significant compared to the overall regional decline of 24%, but does align with the Gender Index Data which cites the North West as having the largest number of businesses in England outside of London and the South East.

The Enterprise Investment Scheme, established in 1994, alongside the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) have been instrumental in driving innovation and fuelling economic growth, driving £32 billion of investment into more than 56,000 start ups nationwide. They have served as catalysts for entrepreneurial success and investment opportunities across various sectors.

EISA is committed to increasing the number of businesses benefitting from the EIS and SEIS across the whole of the UK and EISA’s Ready Steady Grow! outreach campaign sheds light on the prospects ahead. The EIS Association created the Ready, Steady, Grow! series to provide entrepreneurs, investors, and advisers around the UK with a forum to better understand and engage with the SEIS and the EIS (Enterprise Investment Scheme), ensuring they have the necessary information to provide and secure the vital investments that will allow SMEs to grow and scale their businesses.

Referencing the geographical distribution startups using EIS in 22/23, Director General Christiana Stewart-Lockhart has commented that “We note that the percentage of companies using the EIS in London and the South East remained unchanged at 65%, despite significant growth over recent years. The percentage of companies in London and the South East using SEIS actually dropped to 65% in 22/23 from 67% in the year prior. That the UK’s regions and devolved nations have held their proportions and, in the case of SEIS, slightly improved their share, is an important indication of the growth momentum outside London and the South East. [Source: Sections 3.5 and 4.5 21/22 HMRC stats.]

The EIS and SEIS have been used by thousands of fast growth start-ups across the UK working in areas ranging from life science companies looking at new ways to diagnose cancer, development of AI to help improve efficiency and productivity in the workplace, to plastic free food packaging helping to reduce waste and new clean technologies playing a key role in reducing carbon emissions.”

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