Putting Britain in the Digital Driving Seat
Gordon & Eden alongside 250 of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs have signed an open letter to the UK government in anticipation of the upcoming general election calling for a commit to policies supporting the tech sector.
The Coalition for a Digital Economy (Coadec), and the The Entrepreneurs Network have come together to produce ‘The Start-Up Manifesto’. The manifesto features 21 policies across three key policy areas: access to talent, access to investment, and regulation to create the perfect set of conditions to fertilise and incubate ambitious companies.
The report was trailed in the Sunday Telegraph (here), and has so far appeared in City AM (here), The Times (here) and the FT Sifted (here), which has published a list of a few of the entrepreneurs who have backed the manifesto:
The summary of policies in the letter are as follows.
Ensure that the Start Up and Innovator Visas are implemented successfully
Reintroduce the Tier 1 General visa ”“ or an equivalent
Reduce the Tier 2 Visa Salary threshold and allow stock options to be considered in visa applications
Extend the Tier 5 Youth Mobility Scheme visa to European citizens
Modernise Enterprise Management Incentives (EMI) by increasing current limits from a Â£30m asset capitalisation to Â£100m, and from 250 to 500 employees
Support more women to start and scale businesses
Utilise private coding schools as lifelong learning providers
Access to Finance
Reform the Tier 1 Investor Visa by lowering the minimum qualifying investment threshold for investment in UK startups, scale-ups and venture capital funds
Reform advance assurance for Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) to unlock more investment in high-growth startups.
Unleash pension fund capital by adjusting the pension charge cap
Encourage the British Business Bank to provide more risk capital
Reform R&D Tax Credits so that they are fit for a modern digital economy
Improve access to Innovate UK grants
Devise a coherent regional startup strategy
Secure a Data Adequacy agreement as soon as possible
Promote innovation in regulated sectors by creating a cross-sector regulatory sandbox
Use Open Banking-style reforms to promote innovation in sectors such as telecoms and energy
Revolutionise the way government collects, stores and shares data
Redraft the Age Appropriate Design Code to be more pragmatic
Work with startups to ensure tech regulation does not create new barriers to entry
Protect encryption from politicised attacks