UKBAA addresses the positive impact of immigrant innovators

Author

UK Business Angels Association

30 March 2015

The debate concerning business policy witnessed so far in the pre-election campaign has missed a huge and essential element: the ability of fast-expanding companies to find the employees they need at suitable speed to make the most of their market opportunity.

A collection of surveys has shown that this is the primary problem affecting such businesses and it is severely constraining Britain’s ability to compete internationally. In the short-term, at least, highly skilled immigrants are an absolutely irreplaceable aspect of any solution to this problem.

Any dispute about the positive impact of immigrant innovators to our economy should have been ended by the publication a year ago of The Contribution of New Migrant Entrepreneurs in the UK, research commissioned by the Centre for Entrepreneurs.

We strongly endorse the “scale-up visa” proposed by Sherry Coutu in The Scale-Up Report on UK Economic Growth, published last November. This is a fast-track visa system allowing expanding companies to bring in specific workers from overseas.

The explosion in start-up companies witnessed over the past seven years has been assisted by a number of tax breaks offered to potential investors. Those schemes should be entrenched, but even more pressing for high-growth businesses is the freedom to recruit the people they need in a timely manner. We hope that whichever party is in government after May 7 will focus on this agenda.

Signed:

Tim Hames
Director General, British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association

Luke Johnson
Chairman, Centre for Entrepreneurs

Sarah J Wadham
Director General, EIS Association

Duncan Cheatle
Founder, Prelude Group

Jenny Tooth
CEO, UK Business Angels Association

Tom Allchorne
Director of Communications, British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association

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