Infographic of the Month: UK Migrant Entrepreneurs

While the Government is pledging to reduce immigration from the hundreds of thousands per year today; the numbers of entrepreneurs coming in are still steadily growing. Approved entrepreneur visas rose from a total of 27 in 2008 to 1,089 in 2014.

The following infographic provides an overview around where and in what quantity entrepreneurs who have recently arrived in the UK originated. The infographic is slightly different from Migreat’s US infographic on foreign entrepreneurs. The later looked only at the nationality of small business owners in the US – not their visa status and the flow.

In the case of this infographic, the data is coming directly from the UK Home Office of Immigration Statistics. It tells the origin countries and numbers of migrants entrepreneurs that have immigrated using the UK Entrepreneur visa route between 2008 and 2014.

For each region, we decided to associate the face and name a famous migrant.

UK Migrant Entrepreneurs

Main Take Aways

A shift in nationalities of entrepreneurs from West to East: prior to 2011, most entrepreneurs were originating from North America. Since 2011, entrepreneurs to the UK are increasingly from Asia. The pace at which they migrate to the UK has grown 300% in only three years since 2011. In 2014, there were 590 Asian entrepreneurs granted the UK Entrepreneur visa, almost six times more than entrepreneurs from North America (112 UK visa granted).

Among top countries of origin, the UK’s colonial past is visible: since 2008, one out of two migrant entrepreneurs entering the UK is from one the following five countries: Pakistan (715), United States (488), China (405), India (298) and Australia (194).

Foreign entrepreneurs are starting companies while in the UK: Most applications for the UK Entrepreneur visa are from foreigners already living in the UK under other legal routes: study, work or family visas. It is proving more and more relevant over time with three out of four UK entrepreneur visa granted in 2014 to people already living in the UK.

Migrants are contributing to the UK in a variety of ways: from championing the UK language (Polish Joseph Conrad), UK fashion & Music, owning significant British landmarks (Harrods, Carnary Wharf, Gatwick Airport, Evening Standard), bringing new flavours to UK streets (Caffe Nero, Wagamama) or promoting UK as the best place to start a global businesses (Easy Jet, Cobra Beer). Each of the featured migrant are self-made individuals that contributed greatly to the UK society and make the UK brand stronger abroad.


Applying to the UK Entrepreneur visa? Read our interviews with foreign entrepreneurs that have made it through the UK Entrepreneur application process. Learn about their main challenges and tips to succeed.

Migreat is the first place for immigration information for migrant entrepreneurs and infographics related to migration.

If you have any questions related to visa and immigration, Migreat immigration forum is free for you to use.

If you are interested in using our infographic for an article or publication – please do mention us in the article and with a hyperlink to the blog post if online. Otherwise, get in touch @migreat

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