UK: Migrant entrepreneurs create 14% of jobs

Entrepreneurial migrants are behind one in seven of UK companies, according to figures from a business think-tank. Almost half a million people from 155 countries have started businesses that are trading in Britain and together they created 14 per cent of all jobs.

The research found that the migrants are more entrepreneurial than UK-born citizens and are on average eight years younger than Britons who launch businesses.

Damian Kimmelman, the US founder of DueDil, a research company that produced the report in collaboration with the Centre for Entrepreneurs, said that its findings showed that “migrant entrepreneurs are hyper-productive net contributors to the UK economy”.

He added: “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.”

Analysis of official data on the origins of the founders of companies trading in the UK found that entrepreneurial activity among migrant communities (17.2% had launched businesses) was almost double that of UK-born individuals (10.4%). The average age of migrant entrepreneurs is 44.3 years old, compared with 52.1 years for those born in the UK.

Migrant entrepreneurs are from almost every country, with the largest group being Irish, followed by Indians, Germans, Americans and Chinese. Poland took sixth place, followed by France, Italy and Pakistan.

Twickenham, Harrow, Ilford and Kingston upon Thames are among the top ten areas for migrant entrepreneurs, the research found.

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I have no personal experience with the UK, but in Vancouver, some of the businesses created by migrants hire other migrants, and sometimes only migrants from the person’s community. Of course, creating any kind of business is better than living on benefits, but I would suggest the UK study the type of businesses the migrants are creating before deciding that they are indispensable.

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