The success of the Enterprise Investment Scheme can be evidenced by the £2,305 million of funds raised under the scheme in the 2021/2022 tax year, increasing investor participation and the extension of the scheme beyond the pre-proposed cut-off. (1) The UK’s tax-advantaged schemes have undoubtedly helped in securing its position as one of the world’s leading Venture Capital markets and recently, many European countries are following in its footsteps. (2)

French policymakers have reportedly been looking to the UK as a leader in entrepreneurship and have proposed adopting two new schemes based on the EIS and SEIS programmes. Other European countries, including Ireland, have also implemented their own versions of tax-advantaged investment schemes. As the interest in investing in innovative startups grows and governments incentivize these investments, it is important to consider the impact on the UK EIS sector.

Currently, French citizens can utilize the Plan d’Epargne en Action, which encourages investment in European securities and offers tax exemptions for investments held for five years or longer. (3) The French startup ecosystem has received substantial government funding, with plans to stimulate an additional €1 billion annually in early-stage investment. (4) The proposed scheme would create three subcategories of startups – Jeunes Enterprises, Jeunes Enterprises d’Innovation et de Croissance and Jeunes Enterprises d’Innovation et de Rupture – each offering varying tax reliefs to investors with the purpose of attracting angel investors to France.

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