How risky is it to start a business in the UK as a migrant? We asked Josh Henderson from Enterprise Brokers to tell us the benefits and opportunities for entrepreneurial migrants to start a UK business by acquiring or joining an already existing business in the UK.
Not only the visa process is made a little smoother, the business is also most likely to succeed on the long term says Josh. Read more or ask your question to Josh at the bottom of this blog post.
What is Business matchmaking?
Business matchmaking is when an entrepreneur joins/partners with an established business through an agent whose job it is to find two professionals that can work together for each others gain.
How does this relate to the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa?
For the Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa you can start a business from scratch but you can also join or partner with an already established company.
What are the benefits of business matchmaking?
Risk reduction. By joining an existing business, entrepreneurs can be a part of a profitable business who are looking to expand. The survival rate for new businesses is very low. A study conducted by the insurer RSA in 2014 found that more then 50% of new small businesses fail within 5 years of starting in the UK. For emigrating migrants this percentage is likely to be even higher.
“Experienced foreign businessmen and women will often choose to buy or partner with an established UK business rather than set up a business from scratch, as this reduces their financial risk and the length of time it takes to gain a foothold in the UK. It is also a great way to learn about the practicalities of doing business in the UK. As a foreigner with limited knowledge of the UK, you would be very unwise to commit to buying or investing in a UK business without seeking professional help.” Financial Times 2012.
So by joining with an established business with a good track record there is a better chance of survival.
How many migrants are using this route each year – and why do you think it is growing in popularity?
There is a growing demand in the immigration market to match genuine entrepreneurs with already established businesses. Migrant entrepreneurs have limited access to support them with advice and information on UK business opportunities – what we offer to do at enterprise broker.
What are the business you match with looking for?
Many of these businesses are looking for the entrepreneurs’ language skills to expand to new international markets and hire more staff.
What kind of business are the most likely to be looking for a migrant partner to join?
We deal in a lot of different sectors such as
- Renewable Technologies
- Financial Services
- Hospitality & Leisure
- Many More
What current offers do you have?
Here are some typical businesses we have to offer –
- Mobile application that helps to bring ideas to life. A digital platform where ideas are submitted. These ideas can be selected and are supported by creative professionals, coaches and investors to come to reality. The app has already raised over £300,000 and is supported by Man City and Virgin Media.
- Solar company looking for expansion. A solar installer that is rapidly expanding across the UK looking to joint franchise to migrant who can expand the business both in the UK and abroad.
- Smart Technology sports clothing. Tech that can read the body’s heart rate/temperate to assess performance and health whilst playing sport. Endorsed by top sports professional, looking for brand ambassador to expand in UK and international markets.
What are the kind of businesses most likely to be looking for the matchmaking with an entrepreneurial migrant?
Great question, we generally match make the business to the entrepreneurs skillset and background. The client will already have the knowledge to carry out their services but they might not fully understand the market, and they would like to joint venture with someone who does.
For instance we are working with a Lebanese client who is an engineer who is experienced in the heating and plumbing industry. For this entrepreneur we are matchmaking him to an existing heating business in North London that has been running for a number of years. He will bring the experience and capital to help the business branch out to a bigger market.
What do you advise your client when choosing a UK business?
Choose a business you are genuinely interested in. Don’t follow what the crowd says. I speak to many people who take advice from friends or relatives but its not inline with their skill set or interests. The entrepreneur will be working in that business for a number of years so it’s very important to be apart of a business you enjoy. There are many successful businesses in different industries so you don’t have to follow what’s currently popular.
Once you have found a business seek a professional such as an accountant to check the accounts and finances of the operation. The numbers don’t lie and it is vital to assess the financial situation you are entering into. Many people will gladly take the money and businesses can easily go bust with poor financials – I have unfortunately heard stories like this.
Last but not least, if your creating a joint venture make sure there is a good track record of growth, this can be seen in the financial accounts and the business owners experience.
What is the most common challenge of these deals?
In regards to the deals there are no big challenges, obviously there has to be negotiations between the existing owner and the incoming entrepreneur and we will represent the entrepreneur to help them with this. This does take time but as long as there is mutual trust we will broker the deal.
If you have any questions about our services or businesses then please ask by commenting below.
Chinese translation of the blog post: 使用“商业红娘”获得英国企业家签证
作为一个非欧盟移民，在英国创业究竟有多困难呢？我们询问了来自Enterprise Brokers的Josh Henderson，移民企业家在英国创业或者投资有哪些优势和机会。
Josh Henderson是Enterprise Brokers的首席执行官，一家立足于英国，专门为移民企业家寻找合作伙伴，充当“商业红娘”的公司，也是migreat.com的合作伙伴。