Getting to Gold and Platinum membership if you do not qualify

This page looks at  both how you can get to qualify if you do not feel you can currently complete the self certification, and how you gain extra experience, either as well or for those who do qualify, but lack knowledge and experience.

As they have chosen to set the criteria for becoming a self certified investor, on an  irrational basis, that favours some people over others, you may feel that with a little knowledge you can see a solution.

The route to qualifying

One of the qualifications to be a self certified sophisticated investor is to be a member of an angel network for 6 months, so join now and in 6 months you qualify even if you don't do anything between. Remember if you have been a member of any other angel network, this also qualifies.

Many who have business experience, perhaps have set up their own business or company, will find this and the other selective qualifications rather silly. So assuming you don't want to wait 6 months, another option is to have had 2 investments in non listed companies within the last year. Many people will have had one, but two is perhaps less common. If you become an ordinary member now, you will find that you can become a part of an experience programme called the Experion Project, this has a number of small companies that are used to provide experience for members in being a member and often a director. More details on this are below. As you become a very small investor in one or more of these training companies you also qualify under the above condition. Similarly you could get a small number of shares in one of the companies that does offer small volumes of shares, and on the members website we are adding details of some of these.

If you are a director of 2 companies but neither have a £million turnover (another qualifying route), you may be able to invoice each to the other for consultancy or similar and then contra the invoices, so no cash needs to change hands, but both companies now have a turnover of over a million. If you have a non vat registered business, this may not be wise as it would put you over the registration threshold.

Otherwise look at these conditions objectively and try some creative thought, they are not here to stop anyone, just to put off those people who are considered 'not to be the right people'. So a person with a garage forecourt selling petrol will qualify, as will every GP, most head teachers, many sales people, estate agents and many people in the selected industries. On the other hand many very capable people, who just happen to have one business or who don't get large salaries are excluded. You are also far more likely to be excluded if you do not come from the SE of England. It is discriminatory, and makes no sense at all. It definitely has nothing to do with protecting anyone.

Getting real experience

Many people who decide to become a business angel have had little or no experience of  being a company director or other aspects of running a business. Neither knowledge or experience are considered relevant to be allowed to bi-pass the censorship sections that are involved in self certification. 

Many who want to become business angels, and who have not had sharp end experience in a small company, would both be of far more use to the business, be able to understand the real life problems involved and be able to make better investment decisions using their experience.  In order to allow people to get this experience first hand we have worked with Business Club International on developing a project that can be used by both their members and ours.


This is the Experion project - click here to see the page on it.