Labour has today launched a review, led by a panel of entrepreneurs with the goal of making the UK a more attractive place for startups to scale and ultimately go public.
Announced in a speech by the shadow chancellor, Rachel Reeves said that “the small number of start-ups listing in the UK” is not enough to meet the party’s industry growth plans.
“Labour’s mission is to build an institutional ecosystem enabling the market access, finance, and skills that new and growing businesses need,” said Reeves.
The review will be led by, among others, former Treasury Minister Lord Jim O’Neill and will be tasked with growing Britain’s business and startup development.
The MP described the goal of the review as finding “the incentives for growing businesses here compared with other countries” and asking questions about the current access to the resources that startups need to grow.
“[it’s about] access to capital – especially patient capital, about the skills, structures and incentives presented to our universities to spin out new businesses, and about how we extend opportunities to a more diverse range of entrepreneurs.”
The shadow chancellor described developing the UK’s startups and encouraging more London listings as a “key task for the next Labour government”.
While investment into UK tech is at an all-time high, reaching £12.4bn already in 2022, many of the nation’s most promising startups jump ship to a US listing after achieving high levels of growth.
These include online car retailer Cazoo, which was listed on the New York Stock Exchange last year as part of a $1bn special purpose acquisition (SPAC) deal.
Several UK-based startups that are approaching an IPO are also expected to look to the states. Sources close to challenger bank Atom said last month that the fintech was being eyed up by a SPAC that would see it float in New York.
Arm, one of the UK’s biggest tech firms has also been rumoured to be heading for a US listing, however, UK politicians have been trying to convince the semiconductor company to stay in Britain.
The full speech from Rachel Reeves can be read here.
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