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Migrants behind one in seven UK companies

Migrant entrepreneurs are behind one in seven of all UK companies, according to new research from the Centre for Entrepreneurs and DueDil.

The report found that close to half a million people from 155 countries have settled in the UK and launched businesses. Among the vital SME segment, migrant-founded companies are responsible for creating 14% of all jobs.

Entrepreneurial activity amongst the migrant community was found to be nearly double that of UK-born individuals, with 17.2% having launched their own businesses, compared to 10.4% of those born here. They are also, on average, eight years younger than indigenous entrepreneurs at 44.3 years-old compared to 52.1.

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“.

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%) and a majority support the government’s efforts to attract new migrant entrepreneurs (50%).

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