Eileen Burbidge, a partner at venture capital firm Passion Capital, has been appointed special envoy for fintech - financial technology startups - after chancellor of the exchequer George Osborne created the post.
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Burbidge, recently named as one of Computer Weekly’s top 50 most influential women in UK IT, was appointed to her new role as part of the government’s Productivity Plan announcement which was revealed today (10 July 2015). The plan aims to focus on major issues such as the sharing economy, skills, broadband, and making better use of technology within Whitehall.
Burbidge is currently a partner at Passion Capital, the London-based venture capital firm she established with Stefan Glaenzer and Robert Dighero. Her position is part of the government’s ambition to make the UK "the leading fintech centre in the world" by 2020.
As part of the announcement Osborne claims the government will set up an "emerging industry action group" designed to identify barriers to the sharing economy. HM Treasury has estimated the sector to be worth up to £9bn a year by 2025.
Plans were also laid out to launch an international fintech benchmarking exercise in the next few months.
Single Departmental Plans will also be set up for each department in Whitehall to identify priorities and to increase the use of digital technology and data sharing. It also revealed plans to give local areas the power to invite colleges to become Institutes of Technology.
Recently Osborne delivered the first Budget of the new Parliament, making commitments around the IT that will be needed to support tax reform and to boost scientific and technological research. He also revealed plans to unveil a number of Next Generation Digital Economy Centres.
Having already committed to phasing out tax returns in the March 2015 Budget, Osborne said small businesses would in future be able to manage their tax through a digital account linked to business software.
During the budget the government also announced that it will invest £23m in six Next Generation Digital Economy Centres to be located in Bath, London, Newcastle, Nottingham, Swansea and York – spending £22m additional funding and partnering with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), councils and local SMEs.
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