Migrant entrepreneurs make 'breathtaking' contribution to UK

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One in seven UK businesses are started by migrant entrepreneurs, who make a 'huge' contribution to the UK economy, new research has shown.
There are currently 456,073 migrant entrepreneurs in the UK, representing 155 nationalities, according to a report by think-tank the Centre for Entrepreneurs and business data firm DueDil.
The study found that entrepreneurial activity amongst the migrant community is nearly double that of their UK counterparts, with 17.2% of migrant workers having started their own business, compared to 10.4% of UK-born individuals.
In addition, 14% of all jobs created are within migrant-founded small firms, with migrant entrepreneurs employing 1.16 million people. They are also, on average, eight years younger than UK entrepreneurs.
A poll commissioned as part of the report also revealed that 44% of the public believe migrant entrepreneurs make a positive contribution to the UK, with half supporting the government’s attempts to attract new migrant entrepreneurs. However, 68% also support a reduction in net immigration.  
Serial entrepreneur Luke Johnson, chairman of the Centre for Entrepreneurs, said that whilst the majority of the public appreciate the value of migrant entrepreneurs, politicians and media send out negative signals that risk alienating them.
"Given the huge contribution of migrant entrepreneurs, we are calling upon the media and politicians to join us in celebrating those who come to our country and launch businesses."
Separate research commissioned by the Centre for Entrepreneurs found that new migrant businesses provide safeguards against unemployment and economic exclusion, and facilitate social integration.
"The contribution of migrant entrepreneurs is, to be frank, breath-taking," remarked Matt Smith, director of the Centre for Entrepreneurs.
"Presented with such irrefutable evidence, it is now the responsibility of politicians of all parties to celebrate migrant entrepreneurs’ contributions and restate their commitment to maintaining pro-entrepreneurship immigration policies."
Whilst almost every country is represented by the UK’s migrant entrepreneurs, the report found that the 10 nationalities with the most migrant entrepreneurs are:
Irish                                      48,854 founders
Indian                                   32,593
German                                30,755
American                              29,933
Chinese                               24,972
Polish                                   21,757
French                                  20,839
Italian                                   20,531
Pakistani                               16,617
Nigerian                                15,893
The top 10 locations for migrant-founded companies are:
London                               187,899 companies
Birmingham                        19,285
Belfast                                16,889 (15,814 of which were Irish nationals)
Harrow                               11,795
Twickenham                       8,250
Manchester                        7,956
Reading                              7,022
Ilford                                   6,707
Cardiff                                 6,537
Kingston upon Thames       5,986

About Lucie Mitchell


I'm a contributing editor of BusinessZone.co.uk, published by Sift Media. I worked for Sift for years in a number of roles including editor of HRzone.co.uk and health & education editor of PublicTechnology.net and am now working as a freelance.


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By AndreaKrug
05th Mar 2014 18:28

Funny, isn't it, how British citizens moving abroad are called "expats", but when people from other countries move to the UK  they're called "migrants". As a "migrant" myself, I refuse to be categorised as such and herewith declare myself a proud expat from the continent!

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