Angel Investing for Everyone: Mike Lebus on Creating an Angel Investment Paradise in the UK

Our co-founder Mike Lebus was recently interviewed for an article in Digital Frontier discussing how the UK could become an angel investment paradise by lowering barriers to investment and also supporting more diversity in angel investment.

Lowering the Barriers

Mike Lebus, co-founder and director of Angel Investment Network, argued that the current system unfairly excludes many potential investors. Lebus proposes a non-means-based approach that focuses on education and informed decision-making.

“Anyone can sign up to a crypto trading site or a stock trading website without being either [a sophisticated investor or HNWI]. Anyone can take out an insurance policy without being either,” Lebus commented. “As long as you’re explained what you’re signing up to and the risks of what you’re signing up to, that’s generally accepted to be OK, except in the startup world where they pose these barriers to people. And really, it’s very frustrating.”

Building a Diverse Angel Community

Sarah King, co-founder and CEO of Obu Invest, an angel investment platform designed for women, echoed Lebus’ concerns about the lack of diversity in angel investing. King pointed out that diverse founders are more likely to build impactful businesses, making a strong case for a more inclusive investor pool.

“We know that diverse founders are more likely to build impact-led businesses,” King says. “So it’s not an overstatement to say that our environment is impacted by the lack of diversity in investment.”

Obu Invest is working to address this imbalance by creating educational content and building a diverse angel investor community. Their goal is to dispel the myth that angel investing is only for the wealthy and encourage more women to get involved.

Spreading the Knowledge

King also highlighted the importance of education for potential investors. Obu Invest’s micro-learning content aims to break down the complexities of angel investing and make it more accessible to everyone.

“The more that we can close the know-how gap, close the inspiration gap, the more we will build people’s confidence to take their first steps into angel investing,” King says.

Tax Incentives and the Power of Impact

Many people, particularly from diverse backgrounds, are unaware of the tax breaks available to angel investors in the UK. Angel Investment Network’s Lebus believes these incentives could be a powerful tool for attracting new investors.

“There is also a variety of tax incentives that many people, particularly from diverse backgrounds don’t know about,” Lebus says. “In the UK these could encourage a lot more people to become investors, but typically only people who happen to be in the investment industry or have an accountant know about them.”

Join the Movement

The future of angel investing in the UK is bright. By lowering barriers, promoting education, and fostering a more diverse community, we can create an environment where everyone has the opportunity to participate in fueling innovation and growth.

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