Where You Can Island – Isle of Man’s £50mil Enterprise Scheme
It’s that time of year when everyone gets excited about the New Year and the new possibilities ahead. While the worst of ‘New Year, New You’ is behind us, it’s difficult to avoid the onslaught of ‘exciting, new ideas’ being touted for 2016.
On the Isle of Man we pride ourselves on creating a portfolio of initiatives rather than hanging our hat on a couple of flash ideas. We’ve been putting in a lot of hard work, consultation and preparation for a range of new initiatives to encourage entrepreneurship, innovation and enterprise to create new jobs in the Isle of Man.
After what is becoming a tough decade for the world economy, we understand that access to capital is vital if we are to help existing businesses to grow and attract new businesses and so we have a number of initiatives launching this year to offer this support.
Enterprise Development Scheme
Our flagship initiative for 2016 will be the Enterprise Development Scheme (EDS). A total of £50 million will be available over a 5 year period to invest in businesses that seek to create jobs on the island, with funding including grants, loans and equity.
The Scheme consists of three different levels of funding:
- Micro and Small Business: Grant funding for start-ups on-Island (typically with 1-10 employees) of up to £25k.
- Accelerator: Loan (up to £100k) and equity investment (of up to £250k) for Small to Medium Enterprises (typically with 5-20 employees) entering their next growth phase.
- Relocator: Loan and equity investment (of up to £1million) for establishing or relocating medium to large firms to the Island.
The different tiers of funding will enable us to support development in various stages of business growth, making sure that expansion is nurtured from the ground up and across the many business cycles. Importantly, the scheme will be managed by a regulated and experienced third party Scheme Manager who can make sure the funds are invested impartially and for the greatest benefit to the Island.
Alongside the new EDS we will also be announcing the proposed Alternative Banking Regime (ABR) which will be launched later this year. The ABR aims to encourage new banks to set up in the Isle of Man and provide an increase in alternative banking facilities for many sectors.
A new crowdfunding regime will also be launched later this year. This will enable businesses to raise finance from this important new source while ensuring appropriate regulation to protect investors.
There is also a proposed new scheme offering relief from income tax to investors in growing Island-based businesses. The Manx Enterprise Investment Scheme will aim to encourage investment in SMEs, resident in the Isle of Man, by offering income tax relief to investors who subscribe for new shares. We are confident that investing in our future will reap benefits for the Isle of Man by reinforcing our status as a dynamic and successful location for business.
John Garland, Head of Corporate Financial Services, Isle of Man Department of Economic Development.