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EIS, SEIS and VCTs – Investing in Enterprise

For over twenty years, Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS) and Venture Capital Trusts (VCTs) have supported the growth engine of the British economy: smaller companies.

They are also one of the few areas of investment where government willingly offers generous tax reliefs, both on the initial investment and on the proceeds of qualifying investments.


Since the EIS was launched in 1993, £14.2 billion has been invested in 24,620 companies. £1.8 billion was raised for 3265 companies in 2014/15, a record year for EIS investment. In 2014/15, 2290 companies received £175 million of funding from Seed EIS, which offers initial tax reliefs of up to 64%.


VCTs were introduced in 1995 and have raised almost £6.4 billion of funds. There are currently 80 VCT funds, although in 2015/16, only 43 raised new funds, £435 million in total.

Venture capital trusts in 90 seconds

What are the benefits of investing?

In an environment where more and more people are finding access to pensions restricted by the lifetime and tapered annual allowances, VCTs offer an excellent alternative, whilst EIS provide a generous cocktail of tax reliefs. However, with so many companies and funds to choose from, many of which are exceptionally high risk, at Mattioli Woods we take great care to recommend EIS, SEIS and VCTs that are appropriate to the needs of our clients.

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