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Improving access to early stage venture capital in regional economies: A new approach to investment readiness

Mason, Colin and Harrison, Richard T. (2004) Improving access to early stage venture capital in regional economies: A new approach to investment readiness. Local Economy, 19. pp. 159-173.

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It is now recognised that many businesses are unsuccessful in raising equity finance because they are not investment ready. This has prompted enterprise support organisations in various countries to develop investment ready programmes. In the UK, the emphasis of these programmes is on providing information on sources of finance and how to access them, and on presentational skills. These are necessary but not sufficient conditions to get a business investment ready because they do not address business development issues which discourage potential investors. These issues are generally company specific and often require the input of significant expertise in order to make the company investable. This paper reviews LINC Scotland's approach, which is based on investment facilitation. It suggests that this approach does effectively address the business development support component of investment readiness at limited public cost and provides useful lessons for the design of investment ready programmes.