Start-ups want support for investors in budget
Business leaders representing more than 2,000 start-ups in Dublin want the Government to introduce a scheme in the Budget to encourage more investors to back early-stage firms.
In its pre-Budget submission, the Dublin Startup Leaders Group calls on the Government to introduce an equivalent to the UK's Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS).
The group, founded by Dublin Commissioner for Startups, Niamh Bushnell (pictured), consists of representatives from more than 40 organisations including the Dublin Chamber of Commerce, the Irish Software Association and the Digital Hub.
The SEIS scheme encourages investors to finance start-ups by providing tax breaks for backing risky projects.
Investors gain income tax relief of 50pc on a maximum investment of £100,000 (€142,000) and also benefit from 50pc capital gains tax relief on any reinvestment of assets in an SEIS qualifying company. The combined tax reliefs limit the exposure of higher-rate taxpayers to 22.5pc of their investments.
Since its launch in April 2012, more than 2,700 companies have received investment through the scheme, raising £240m (€341m) in capital, according to the UK Treasury. The scheme was made permanent in 2014.
The Startup Leaders Group here said it wants the Government to "unlock" funding for high-growth companies by introducting a scheme like the UK's.
"Currently the environment in Ireland doesn't encourage the average man or woman on the street to get involved in investing or start-ups," Bushnell said.