Funding for Growth: The Business Angels Market on the Island of Ireland

Client: InterTradeIreland

Business Angels are an important source of equity finance for new and emerging entrepreneurial businesses. Business Angels are individuals who invest their own money directly in new companies, and provide 'smart money', taking a hands-on approach to investing, providing advice, insights, knowledge and contacts to entrepreneurs. InterTradeIreland commisioned SQW to review the Business Angel market on the Island of Ireland, covering the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Working alongside academic experts Professor Colin Mason of Glasgow University, and Tiago Botelho of the University of East Anglia, the study sought to provide evidence on:

  • the characteristics, investment patterns, behaviours and attitudes of Business Angels on the island, including a particular focus on cross-border investing
  • the outcomes of Business Angel investing, particularly evidence on 'exits'
  • and the role of tax incentives and other supports in supporting Business Angel investing.

The study was also tasked with developing a series of recommendations to improve the market for Business Angel investing on the island. The work drew on the views of over 100 individuals involved in Business Angel investing, via an online survey and interviews with Business Angels, and consultations and a workshop with economic development policy stakeholders and practitioners from across the island of Ireland. The findings of this work have since been published