Today we've released an important report revealing that foreign-born founders are making an invaluable contribution to the UK. In Job Creators: The immigrant founders of Britain’s fastest growing businesses, Sam Dumitriu and Amelia Stewart reveal that 49% of our fastest-growing businesses have at least one immigrant co-founder.
The report is featured on page 2 of today's Financial Times, I've written about it for City A.M., and we expect it will be in the Evening Standard later today. Sam Dumitriu has also written a longer article for CapX.
The report reveals that – despite just 14 per cent of UK residents being foreign-born – 49 per cent of the UK’s fastest-growing businesses have at least one immigrant co-founder. We use the SyndicateRoom’s Top 100 list, which is based on Beauhurst data to identify the startups, scaleups, and fast-growing firms that have seen the largest increase in value over the last three years. The 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.
We would like this shared as widely as possible. Here is our Tweet thread on the report; here is our this easily digestible page to find out more; and here is a link to the full report.
If you want to support this research, it would be awesome if you share the links, news articles or any thoughts you have about the report on Twitter (@tenthinktank), Facebook (@tenthinktank) and Instagram (the_entrepreneurs_network) with the hashtag #JobCreators.
This isn't just about celebrating immigrant entrepreneurs. We are about fixing the system and are calling on the Government to:
Restore 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. Many of the entrepreneurs featured in Job Creators originally came to the UK to study.
Reform the Tier 1 Investor Visa by lowering the minimum qualifying investment threshold for investment in UK startups, scale-ups and venture capital funds.
The report also calls for the government to ensure that the new startup and innovator visas, which allow accelerators and incubators to sponsor entrepreneurs for visas, are implemented successfully. While new visas for entrepreneurs are welcome, the implementation has been flawed with Home Office guidance creating delays, briefly leaving the entrepreneurs with few options for moving to the UK.
Jo Johnson MP backs the report and has written the Foreword:
“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.”
We are proud too.As I conclude in my City A.M. article: "Today’s report shows the profound impact that immigrant founders are still having on Britain. Not shutting the door on them isn’t enough, let’s embrace them with open arms"