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Theresa May must boost support for migrant entrepreneurs says IoD

City A.M. Monday, 12 September 2016
Migrant entrepreneurs must be handed more support by government to boost the UK after Brexit, a new report has said.

A joint study by the Institute of Directors and Brazilian-born entrepreneur Rafael Dos Santos has called for more recognition of the challenges facing entrepreneurs from overseas, including a lack of recognised credit history.

The report, which is being launched in parliament tomorrow with Labour's Bermondsey MP Neil Coyle, argues that address these obstacles can help migrant-led businesses create more jobs and provide a shot in the arm the for the UK economy.

As well as the inability to transfer credit history – meaning the access finance is difficult - it also warns that some entrepreneurs are finding their qualifications may not be recognised.

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In interviews with 80 foreign-born business leaders, researchers found that more than one-in-three believed there was a lack of knowledge of schemes designed to support start up businesses, but that the majority of foreign entrepreneurs either already employ British workers, or are planning to do so in the near future.

Former trade secretary Lord Young of Graffham, who authored the reports foreword, said: “The vast majority of those who arrive on our shores come here looking for the opportunity to better themselves, to enable their family to enjoy a decent life and many can do that best by setting up their own business.”

IoD director general Simon Walker added: “For all the talk of migrants ‘taking our jobs,’ it’s more likely that they will be creating them. As we move towards our departure from the European Union and rewrite our immigration policy, ensuring that we are still open to those who want to grow their businesses in the UK will be absolutely crucial.”

It comes as home secretary Amber Rudd suggested the UK could move to a work permit system following Brexit.

Theresa May has already ruled out Australian-style points based rules for migrants, fearing the system can be too easily gamed.

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