It is well known throughout the finance sector that Israel is currently the world’s most successful haven and incubator for start-up businesses. The much vaunted Silicon Wadi area, in particular, is famous for its attractiveness to private equity (PE) funds and investors, while a growing number of Israeli businesses find themselves the subjects of buyouts or mergers and acquisitions that then see them relocated to Europe or to the United States.
The overall stability of the economy, supported by low unemployment and improving education standards, is primarily the reason for Israel’s success in the start-up business and PE arenas. At the same time, there has long been the feeling that Israel’s position as a potential “hub” for investors both coming from and looking to the Far East, Europe, and Africa, isn’t being exploited as it could be.
This is the feeling being promoted by the UK Israel Business group, who work with over 2,000 companies and aim to invest with funds raised from British Jews with Israeli origins. While UK Israel Business understands the opportunities beyond Israel, they are also focused on starting to attract investment into Israel at mid and late stages.
If there has been a worry about the Israeli economy, it is that all of the best businesses will simply be bought and then leave Israel, with no guarantees of where the money generated will be invested.
UK Israel Business aims to increase investment into Israel at all stages of a business’ life cycle, which in turn should continue to bolster the Israeli economy and ensure that when businesses are sold and moved abroad, the money is used to start another business, whether this is in Silicon Wadi or elsewhere.
In addition to UK Israel Business’ positive approach, the British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (BVCA) is also looking to introduce Israel to potential investors.
BVCA Director General Tim Hames told The Jewish Chronicle, “[I want investors to] Give Israel the look it deserves.” Hames was also at pains to stress that the economic and political situation isn’t the tense landscape generally portrayed by the western media, adding that he “cannot but reinforce the sense of normality.”