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Migrants behind one in seven UK firms
by Susie Hughes at 14:12 05/03/14 (News on Business)
Migrant entrepreneurs are behind one in seven of all UK companies, as nearly half a million people from 155 countries have settled in the UK and launched businesses. Among the small/medium size sector (SMEs), migrant-founded companies are responsible for creating 14 per cent of all jobs.
Entrepreneurial activity amongst the migrant community was found to be nearly double that of UK-born individuals, with 17.2 per cent having launched their own businesses, compared to 10.4 per cent of those born here. They are also, on average, eight years younger than indigenous entrepreneurs at 44.3 years-old compared to 52.1 years.

These latest figures come from a report from the think-tank Centre for Entrepreneurs and financial technologu company, DueDil, entitled ‘Migrant entrepreneurs: Building our businesses, creating our jobs’, which looks to examine the contribution of migrant entrepreneurs to the UK economy.

DueDil founder and CEO Damian Kimmelman, himself an American serial 'migrant entrepreneur', said: “Immigration is one of Britain’s most emotive topics for debate. Sadly, opinions are rarely informed by evidence. This game-changing research proves that migrant entrepreneurs are hyper-productive, net contributors to the UK economy. History tells us that the most productive states always encourage intellectual and technological ferment; that’s what we’re seeing in Britain right now, and we must celebrate it“.

World-wide spread
The UK’s migrant entrepreneurs are from virtually every country, although there are significant representations from Ireland, India, the US, Germany and China. London benefits disproportionately, with 20 times the number of migrant-led businesses (188,000) than Birmingham, the second most popular location with 19,000.

YouGov polling undertaken for the report reveals that a significant proportion of the general public believe migrant entrepreneurs make a positive contribution to the UK (44 per cent) and a majority support the Government’s efforts to attract new migrant entrepreneurs (50 per cent). This is despite the fact the public view immigration in a generally negative light and support a reduction in net immigration (68 per cent).

The Centre also commissioned the University of Birmingham to investigate the social contribution made by migrant entrepreneurs. Their research found new migrant businesses providing buffers against unemployment and economic exclusion. They also act as vehicles for social integration, and for enabling ambitious workers to develop entrepreneurial skills and experience. The report also illustrated that the success of migrant businesses often defies significant personal and professional obstacles.

Key Data
Key data from the survey shows that:

  • There are 456,073 migrant entrepreneurs in the UK (founders or co-founders - first directors - of active UK
  • Using ONS September 2013 figures, this indicates 17.2 per cent of migrant workers have launched their own business, compared to 10.4 per cent of UK nationals in employment.
  • There are 464,527 active UK companies with migrants as founders or co-founders.
  • With a total of 3,194,981 active UK companies (not including sole traders), migrant entrepreneurs are behind 14.5 per cent or one in seven of all UK companies.
  • 155 nationalities are represented among migrant entrepreneurs in the UK.
  • Examining companies with £1m - £200m turnover, migrant-founded companies that report employee
    numbers to Companies House, employ 1.16 million people. This accounts for 14 per cent of jobs in that segment of the economy.
  • 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

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Susie Hughes © Shout99 2014

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