The number of startups in the East Midlands raising funds through the government’s tax relief schemes for investors is back to pre-pandemic levels. 

The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) offers tax relief to individuals who invest in startup sand early-stage companies.

The latest figures show that 50 companies in our region received SEIS investment in 2020-2021, compared with 45 businesses in 2019-20. These startups raised a combined £4m.

For comparison, the West Midlands saw 70 firms receive a combined £4m and London 1,055 got £93m investment through the scheme

The East Midlands sits around fourth out of 12 regions in the UK.

Nationally, investment through both EIS and SEIS reached an all-time high, with total investment last year amounting to more than £2.5 billion.

Commenting on the figures, Christiana Stewart-Lockhart, Director General of the EIS Association said:

“These figures demonstrate the continued success of the EIS and SEIS in driving innovation and entrepreneurship across the UK by encouraging investment in small and early-stage businesses. It is fantastic to see such significant growth in investment across the regions and devolved nations and this has been a key priority for EISA.

The SEIS recently received a boost with increased limits from 6 April 2023.

Under the SEIS, companies up to three years old (previously two years old) can receive a maximum of £250,000 (previously £150,000) of investment.

Companies wishing to benefit from the SEIS must not have gross assets over £350,000 (previously £200,000) when the shares are issued and have fewer than 25 full-time employees.