On the hunt for Portsmouth’s business angels

We are delighted and privileged to have Doug Richard blog for us this week. He is headlining the “Windows of Opportunity” event at the Guildhall on 27th November. More information about this is at the end of the blog.

Ever wondered about starting your own business but dismissed it because you think you’ll never get funding? Or wished there was a better way to make your money work for you than let it sit in a low-interest account?

As we all know, you have to speculate to accumulate but, as the most recent figures have shown, the banks are lending less, not more, young businesses in England.

With banks reluctant to invest and growth in the economy still sluggish, it would be all too easy to hang your head in despair. However out of adversity comes opportunity. Banks never have and never will be the right source of funding for young businesses, and it’s high time the benefits of alternative forms of finance were recognised.

Believe it or not, there are other ways to find the finance you need to get your business idea off the ground. That is why I’m coming to Portsmouth next week, as the final stop on my “Windows of Opportunity” roadshow.

We’re holding a free event at the Guildhall on Tuesday 27th November, where I’ll talk through the different options for wannabe entrepreneurs and small business owners who are looking to expand.

The point I want to emphasise is there are so many ways to get funding for your business ideas that go beyond your bank manager’s chequebook.

There are a growing number of crowdfunding platforms – where entrepreneurs find finance through online networks – and we’ll be joined next week by Jeff Lynn of Seedrs, one of the leading experts in this field.

The other big option is angel investment. Business angels are the investors who put their money behind young businesses without saddling them with debt. Entrepreneurs who secure the support of an angel can also get the advice, wisdom and support of an experienced business owner who is committed to the success of their business.

Angel investors can be the saviours of start-ups in Portsmouth and across England, and a new government initiative means their time has well and truly come.

With the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS), tax relief of up to 50% is available on investments in young start-ups, no older than 2 years, and with a maximum of 25 employees and £200,000 in gross assets.

I want the people of Portsmouth to hear about SEIS, and the opportunities it presents both for those who own or want to start a business and those who are considering investing in startups.

With SEIS, investment can become a realistic option for people, who would never usually think of themselves as the investing type.

I’m delighted to be rounding off my roadshow in Portsmouth, and can’t wait to meet the city’s entrepreneurs, business owners and investors next Thursday.

Doug Richard is hosting the opening “Windows of Opportunity” event at the Guildhall on 27th November. To find out more and register your attendance, visit the Wired Wessex website for details:


Our own hall of fame is open on Wednesday 5th December as we bring together some of our members to talk about their businesses and how Wired Wessex interacts and supports them. Do come along and get involved in an opportunity for a bit of pre-Christmas cheer and shameless self-promotion:


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