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Investors value business owners with soft skills, research shows

Investors value business owners with soft skills, research shows

Research from Innovate UK has found business owners misunderstand what investors are looking for, with soft skills being the most valued when it comes to making investments.

The report compared the views of scale-up businesses and investors. It found that 84 per cent of investors believe poor communication is a deal-breaker, compared to 46 per cent of business owners.


The research identified other key deal-breakers, with 87 per cent of investors citing softer skills such as resilience and adaptability. Only 58 per cent of businesses owners said that these skills were deal-breakers.

Chemistry was also found to be important when it comes to British businesses securing investment, with this being cited by 78 per cent of investors, compared to 53 per cent of business owners.

Despite the differences in views on the importance of softer skills, investors and business owners both believe that having a strong management team is key to scale-up success. This was cited by 96 per cent of investors and 82 per cent of business owners. Drive and passion were also found to be important for achieving success.


Commenting on the importance of building a strong team, Octopus Ventures Venture Partner Chris Wade said: “I have been developing a 20-year thesis that nothing works out from a company pitch; their products or services always end up taking a different direction. A strong team can build a company, but a weak team – even with a brilliantly compelling idea – wouldn’t be one for us to invest in.”

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