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Migrant Entrepreneurship in the UK: Celebrating the benefits to Britain

11 Sep 2016

Two colleagues brainstorming Much of the media narrative on immigration implies that those coming to the United Kingdom are ‘taking our jobs’ – but in fact, many of them are far more likely to be creating jobs.

In partnership with mi-HUB, a social enterprise building the first co-working space exclusively for migrant entrepreneurs, this IoD report intends to remind policymakers and the media that those that have shown the ‘get up and go’ to come to the UK are uniquely entrepreneurial. Allowing them to build businesses here, and giving them the support they need, is a win-win for the UK economy.

In the light of Brexit, building an immigration system that allows the brightest and best into the UK must be a priority for policymakers. Britain is at its best when it is an open, entrepreneurial, outward-looking country, and that must be remembered.

Read full report here

The research found that:

  • The majority of those interviewed - foreign entrepreneurs now leading companies - either employ native born workers or are planning to do so in the near future
  • The majority came to study or to work in established firms. The report argues that any post-Brexit policies designed to restrict or complicate visas would have a damaging long-term effect on the UK economy
  • Despite the success of many migrant entrepreneurs, presented in a series of case studies in the report, there remain significant challenges around networks, contacts, and knowledge of Government support, with many migrants to the UK unaware of official schemes and advice often used by native-born entrepreneurs

Simon Walker, Director General of the IoD, said of the report:

“For all the talk of migrants ‘taking our jobs,’ it’s more likely that they will be creating them. As we move towards our departure from the European Union and rewrite our immigration policy, ensuring that we are still open to those who want to grow their businesses in the UK will be absolutely crucial.”

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