Half Of UK’s Fastest-Growing Businesses Have A Foreign-Born Founder by Forbes – Entrepreneurs

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A report from The Entrepreneurs Network calls on the UK Government to reform our visa system and retain our status as a leading destination for entrepreneurial talent. 

Using analysis of SyndicateRoom’s Top 100 list, which identifies those companies who have seen the largest increase in value over the last three years, we find that while just 14 per cent of UK residents are foreign-born, 49 per cent of our fastest-growing businesses have at least one foreign-born co-founder.

While just 14% of UK residents are foreign-born, 49% of the UK’s fastest-growing startups have at least one foreign-born co-founder.

The Entrepreneurs Network

The Top 100 list includes seven unicorns (startups with a valuation of $1bn or more), of which five have at least one immigrant co-founder, including Monzo and Deliveroo.

More broadly, the report finds that nine of the UK’s fourteen startup unicorns have at least one immigrant co-founder, including TransferWise and OakNorth. The fast-growing companies co-founded by immigrants in the Top 100 have attracted a combined £3.7bn in investment.

The immigrant co-founders of the UK’s fastest-growing businesses come from 29 different countries. While 38 per cent of the UK’s foreign-born population was born in an EU country, 42 per cent of the immigrant co-founders of Britain’s fastest-growing companies are EU-born.

The immigrant co-founders of the UK’s fastest growing businesses come from 29 different countries

The Entrepreneurs Network

A new report from The Entrepreneurs Network finds foreign-born founders are making an invaluable contribution to job and wealth creation. Researchers have found that, while just 14 per cent of UK residents are foreign-born, 49 per cent of our fastest-growing businesses have at least one immigrant co-founder.

The report builds on previous research, such as a GEM study revealing that, in 2017, 12.9 per cent of the UK’s foreign-born population were early-stage entrepreneurs, compared with 8.2 per cent of the native-born population. But Job Creators focuses on the the fastest-growing businesses – those which make outsized contributions to our economy and society – and finds immigrants are greatly over-represented. Perhaps immigrants are natural entrepreneurs, equipped with a grit and willingness to not only migrate but ensure business success.

Britain is a top destination for entrepreneurial talent and (European) tech workers. But we cannot grow complacent: policymakers should prioritise preserving the UK’s status as a destination for entrepreneurs and skilled workers who will enable their businesses to flourish.

The report was supported by serial and immigrant entrepreneur Sukhpal Singh Ahluwalia, Chairman of the Ahluwalia Family Foundation. Born in Uganda, Sukhpal came to Britain at the age of thirteen as a refugee with his mother, father and two brothers in 1971 after escaping the regime of Idi Amin. Along with his family, Sukhpal spent the first year in the UK in a refugee camp.

Now founder and chairman of Dominvs Group, a family-owned real estate, hospitality, aviation and investment company with more than £750m under management, Sukhpal previously founded Euro Car Parts. He established the company in 1978 from a single site in Willesden, London, and grew it into the largest distributor of car parts in Europe operating from more than 300 sites across the UK and employing more than 12,000 people. Commenting on the report, he says:

“This report boldly presents the positive case for immigration, and I hope it becomes a solid foundation for an evidence-led debate for years to come. Immigration is critical to the success of the UK. Britain is an open, tolerant, modern country; a land where you can make your own opportunities, and it’s this which has allowed it to always attract the best and brightest employees and entrepreneurs from around the world.

“The fact that ambitious, talented immigrants aspire to come to the UK to start a business should be no surprise. We all benefit from the contribution these businesses make – socially, culturally, and economically in the amount of jobs created and taxes paid, and looking ahead, we will need them even more.”

The report makes a number of calls to Government, including restoring the Tier 1 Post-Study Work Visa and allow international students to work in the UK up to two years after graduation before moving on to another visa.

This echoes calls across the political spectrum to reinstitute the Post-Study Work visa, which have been led by Jo Johnson MP. He also wrote the foreword for the report in which he states:

“For Britain to remain at the economic top table, we need to embrace the gifted students and buzzing entrepreneurs who wish to contribute to our success. It is senseless, therefore, to deny graduate entrepreneurs the chance to set up their business and invest their talents and energy in the country where they studied.

“This report sets out measured, reasonable and workable ways to harness international talent, for example by reinstating the Post-Study Work Visa and allowing international graduates to work in the UK for up to two years.

“I am proud of the positive impact immigrants have had on the UK economy. Without them, we would not be the dynamic nation of manufacturers, exporters, app designers, innovators and disruptors what we are today.”

July 11, 2019 at 12:30PM
https://www.forbes.com/sites/philipsalter/2019/07/11/half-of-uks-fastest-growing-businesses-have-a-foreign-born-founder/
Forbes – Entrepreneurs
http://www.forbes.com/entrepreneurs/
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