Block: Sam Smith fears women will be excluded
The Government could backtrack on changes to rules promoting startups after critics warned they could exclude female investors.
Bim Afolami, the city minister, said this week that the Government had taken note of the “major concerns”.
Angel investors invest money in startup companies.
Under current rules, companies need approval from city regulators before they can market themselves to investors.
But promotions aimed at high-net-worth individuals (which would include most angels) are exempt.
A row has broken out over measures adopted on January 31 raising the high net worth threshold to £170,000 a year – from £100,000 previously – because only 72,500 women in the UK earn that amount. It has raised fears that women will be excluded.
Sam Smith, founder and former boss of broker FinnCap, said: “This change is putting blockers where they don’t need to be.
“People from underrepresented backgrounds tend to back companies founded by other people from underrepresented backgrounds.”
Emma Sinclair, founder of digital marketplace EnterpriseAlumni, added: “Fewer women being able to invest in female founders is catastrophic and paternalistic.”