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Dorset Business Angels Connecting and Partnering with Dorset Chamber of Commerce

Posted on: 19/02/2018

Dorset Business Angels (DBA) directors Peter Eales and Max Wright, met up with Ian Girling, CEO of Dorset Chamber of Commerce (DCCI).

The purpose was to talk about the journey of an Angel investor, investor opportunities and how they could work more effectively and engage with the DCCI community.

DBA was formed in 2013 with the aim to bring investors and entrepreneurs together to accelerate the growth of early stage businesses. DBA provides quality, private equity investment opportunities to local high net worth (HNW) and sophisticated investors (SI). Several times a year DBA investors invite businesses to pitch for investment in a Dragon’s Den style scenario.

Ian enjoyed questioning the Angels on how the Angel Investor network operates, how businesses can pitch, how investors can get involved and how the Angels are trying to encourage more female investors in the UK Business Angels network.

Commenting, Ian advised, “I was really surprised, but encouraged to hear that opportunities for investors start as low as £5,000-10,000, when an investor might team up with other investors – this increases the skills pool available to the pitching business but also reduces the risk involved for an individual investor.”

Seasoned Angel Investor Max Wright commented, “The average term of an investment is anywhere between 3- 5 years, with a potential investment return being achieved of between 30 – 50%. I only invest in sectors that I know and understand and would always state that potential investors should be prepared that their money can be lost too.  However, there are generous Government tax schemes, such as SEIS, which mean that even if an investment is not successful that up to 80% of the investment made can be recouped.  I would say that 3 or 4 investments out of 10 made are successful.”

Female investors…

Peter said, “Attracting women in to Angel Investment is really important for us. Research carried out by the UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA) in 2017 showed that just 14 per cent of angel investors are women.  UKBAA spoke to 200 women – 110 investors and 90 non-investors – to understand the drivers for women to invest and the barriers that they are feeling for investment.  It was interesting that they are  seldom encouraged to invest in startup or growth business opportunites by financial advisors and are being advised to invest in property and stocks and shares which are less risky.  Women are not generally being told about tax breaks and the opportunities for backing great businesses. Yes there are risks, but equally there are exciting opportunities and ways to manage the risks, as with any investment portfolio.”


Ian Girling said, “I think that educating everyone about the excellent and interesting opportunities in the area of Angel Investment is going to be key in order to encourage more individuals to want to become involved.  It’s been hugely enlightening today to learn so much about what they do. The Chamber is looking forward to perhaps welcoming one of the Angels as a guest speaker at one of our regular Chamber lunches and I look forward to attending one of the pitch events in the coming months.”

The next pitch event is being held on Monday 12th March at the Royal Bath Hotel in Bournemouth.  To secure your place book online at www.dorsetbusinessangels.co.uk/Pitch-Evening

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