Friday, 3 May 2019
Dear <<First Name>>,
This week we backed the cross-party amendment to the Immigration Bill – part of which aims to bring back the post-study work visa – which Conservative MP Jo Johnson and Labour MP Paul Blomfield have bridged the aisle to lead.
"Before this visa was scrapped in 2012, international students were able to stay for two years following graduation. Now, graduates are turfed out before they have time to test out the job market, build a network of contacts, or get to grips with what they want to do next – whether that’s convincing an employer to sponsor them, returning to academia, or applying for the new startup visa.
It turns out that there are lots of wannabe entrepreneurs in our international student population. A survey of international students we undertook with the NUS revealed that 42 per cent intend to start their own business following graduation.
In Silicon Valley, over half of all engineering and technology companies have at least one foreign-born founder, with the majority initially moving to the US to study, not work. But entrepreneurs need time to do the market research, develop key contacts, and spot an opportunity before taking the leap.
International students contribute massively to the UK’s public finances. As the Migration Advisory Committee – the independent, non-departmental public body that advises the government on migration issues – concluded in its recent report, the average non-EEA student delivers a net fiscal return for the country of over £5,000 a year in excess of native residents.
Through its industrial strategy, the government is focused on building upon our comparative advantage in key industries. We have many of the world’s best universities, but we’re stymieing them by restricting the income they can bring in from foreign students and their ability to attract the very best and brightest – many of whom would stay within academia to maintain their reputations for cutting-edge research."
You can read the whole article for City AM here, and why Jo Johnson thinks that the UK will miss its education export targets without immigration reform here.
Immigrant Founder Findings
New research reveals that immigrant-led companies are making a £13bn contribution to the Scottish economy. This is an issue close to our hearts at The Entrepreneurs Network. In fact, we are in the final stages of an innovative data-led report that will further reveal the contribution of immigrant founders to the whole of the UK.
This is a vital public policy issue. We pushed for reforms of the underperforming Entrepreneur and Graduate Entrepreneur visas, which were recently replaced with the Start-Up and Innovator visas. However, as Nicolas Rollason of Kingsley Napley argues, the implementation process has been woeful.
Watch this space for updates on our report, and if you're particularly interested drop me an email and I'll make sure you're sent a copy as soon as it's launched and let you know if there are other ways you can get involved.
Yesterday I spoke at the launch of Start-ups in London Libraries – a project bringing business support to the heart of 10 London boroughs. It is led by the Business & IP Centre, and the project partners with over 60 local libraries to help aspiring entrepreneurs across the capital.
On offer will be: quarterly free workshops for aspiring entrepreneurs and early stage start-ups; walk-in access to business resources and databases like COBRA; one-to-one business information sessions with borough SME Champions; and a programme of events, including live-screenings from the British Library's Business & IP Centre.
It is the British Library's ambition to roll this scheme out across the whole of London and beyond. Until then, those outside the capital may want to check out the British Library Business & IP Centre National Network to see if there is any established support close to them.
News and Views
Friends of the Network
Thinking Outside The Pots
9 May 2019
7pm to 8.30pm
British Library. London
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A whistle-stop tour of the history of innovation in food and kitchenware with speakers including Hugh Duffie, co-founder of Sandows cold brew coffee, innovator Ricky Kothari of T-sticks, infuser sticks of ready-to-brew tea leaves, Juliet Barratt, founder of Grenade, a sports nutrition bar and Mandy Haberman founder of the Anywayup non-spill sippy cup.
E2E #ScaleUp2Success Edinburgh
15 May 2019
6pm to 9.30pm
Edinburgh City Centre, (tbc)
£10 (early bird tickets)
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An evening of learning how scale your business effectively with Jim McColl OBE, CEO & Chairman of Clyde Blowers Capital.
Improving Cash Flow
30 May 2019
9.45am to 12pm
Location: Rise London, 41 Luke Street, EC2A 4DP
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BMIM Cash Flow aims to show you how to look at your business through the lens of cash flow.
IoD Cheshire | Welcome from your New Cheshire Chair
5 June 2019
5.30pm to 7.30pm
Booth Mansion, Chester
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Join us for a warm welcome from your new Cheshire Chair, Rob McKay Managing Director of Sherrington Associates. You enjoy networking with drinks and canapés and hear about Rob's plans for 2019 and find out how you could get more involved.
The Fashion Exchange
28 June 2019
9am to 4.30pm
St James’, Manchester
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Join inspiring retail buyers, entrepreneurs and experts from the fashion industry for this one-day extravaganza.