Wagner calls for ‘tax holiday’ for start-up companies to kickstart economy

A leading business entrepreneur who started an online data service which went on to help set up London’s high tech industry is calling for tax breaks for start-up companies to help kickstart the economy.

Dan Wagner, chairman of an �8 million mobile technology company, is urging the government to use ‘tax break’ incentives for new businesses to get going now “the Olympics catalyst” is finished.

“There is still a reluctance to invest in start-ups,” he told the Advertiser. “We lack the infrastructure that is often needed to give new businesses the kick-start they need and a fighting chance of survival.

“What the business community wants is incentives to create jobs—this is what the economy needs now that the Olympic panacea is behind us. The ‘Olympics catalyst’ that we relied on is over.

He founded mPowa, a gadget-led company that has developed technology where small businesses can take credit card payments using mobile phones while on the move.

The 48-year-old self-made millionaire first entered the business world in 1984 when he was 20, setting up an online market analysis agency 10 years before the internet.

But he found the UK wasn’t ready for it and moved to the US where his idea kicked off.

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Dan built-up a global business which he eventually sold to Thompson-Reuter in Canary Wharf for $500 million in 2000 which set the high tech industry going in London’s East End.

Now he believes the Olympic Park is an ideal location to kickstart a further tech revolution in Britain.

“This is the sort of innovation that could turn the tide on our national debt,” he added.

“But it needs action from the government.

“I have called for a ‘tax holiday’ on investment in start-up enterprises which would send the message that we need home-grown businesses to bring full-scale growth.”

His call came as today’s Quarterly Economic figures from the Office for National Statistics were showing Britain slowly emerging from the recession with growth buoyed by spending from the Olympics.

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