UK venture capital investors have called for rule changes to allow them to put more cash into struggling early stage businesses during the pandemic downturn.

Venture capital trusts are listed businesses that invest in start-ups but the owners of VCTs are currently banned under state aid rules from investing their own money in start-ups in their portfolio after a certain stage.

The Venture Capital Trust Association, a trade body, said its members could invest around £500m in small businesses if the restrictions were relaxed, saving thousands of jobs.

Stuart Veale, chairman of the VCTA and managing partner of fund manager Beringea said: “We have the money ready and waiting . . . There are 150 companies that need help with 18,000 employees.”

VCTs pool money from thousands of individuals

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