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Budget 2011: Do we need a venture tsar?

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As part of its 2011 Budget submission, the British Venture Capital Association (BVCA) is urging the government to nominate a venture tsar to attract more private sector investors into private VC funds.

This is needed to send a clear message about the government’s commitment to economic growth, and to ensure that the UK remains the centre of entrepreneurship in Europe, says BVCA chief executive Simon Walker.

“As Budget day approaches, the one thing we can all agree on is the need to restore strong sustainable growth to the UK economy,” he says. “Private equity and venture capital can help bring this about by investing in new businesses and growing existing ones.”

Entrepreneurs have welcomed the BVCA’s recommendation.

“We need someone who understands the needs of both investors and entrepreneurs and how they work together,” says Jos White, co-founder of Notion Capital.

“If the government actively encourages early-stage investment in small businesses, it will encourage a ‘recycling’ ecosystem, where UK entrepreneurs reinvest their capital and expertise in British startups.

“This new breed of investors are more engaged in the businesses they invest in and share their knowledge, skills and contacts. This constant recycling of capital and knowledge is what makes an entrepreneurial ecosystem thrive – and this is what a venture tsar should be focused on driving forwards.”

What do you think? Would a venture tsar help entrepreneurs?

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