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With a New Visa, UK Opens its Doors for Entrepreneurs The new startup visa will encourage entrepreneurs to set up shop in the country

By Sanchita Dash

You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


The United Kingdom has seen a thriving startup ecosystem over the years. While it has seen a slow growth, the past few years have seen a rise in the number of startups based in the UK. According to reports, investments too have been at a high in the country with UK companies raising $7.7 billion in 2017, a number which has doubled since 2016.

Love for the startup culture is not new for Europe we have seen a considerable hike in startups in neighbouring France, and with startups in travel industry doing well country is showing interest in data related businesses.

However, while these are UK-based companies, it had been a little difficult for entrepreneurs from different origins to start up in the UK because of visa issues. Well, that seems to be a thing of the past now. UK's Prime Minister Theresa May has announced that they are looking at a new startup visa to be launched which will encourage entrepreneurs to set up shop in the country.

A Growing Ecosystem

According to a FICCI report Developing a startup ecosystem: LESSONS FROM THE UK, London is the hub for business and startup activities in the UK. London accounted for 18.2% of the total number of business in the UK, the highest proportion in the country. London saw an increase of 29,000 businesses set up in 2015, a growth rate of 6.95%, accounting for nearly third of the total businesses set up in the country.

Announced during the London Tech Week, the UK government with the new startup visa hopes to make way for entrepreneurs and business owners to build businesses in the country. Home Secretary Sajid Javed has been quoted to say that they want to do more attract businesses to the UK and their migration system plays a key role in the same. This, he believes, will further stronghold UK's position as a dominant player in the world of tech and innovation, as entrepreneurs play a major role in the driving the economic growth of a country.

Keeping in mind Brexit, the new visa will also be able to deal with shortage of skills in the UK.

What the Visa Entails

The visa will open a new route for entrepreneurs, one which was previously exclusive only for graduates. However, there's more to know for budding entrepreneurs. The applicants of the new startup visa will need to have an endorsement from UK's universities or an approved business sponsor, which will also include accelerators.

This visa could open up doors for Indians studying in the UK, to be able to take up the entrepreneurship journey along with a business sponsor – a possibility that seemed limited a little while ago.

Sanchita Dash

Entrepreneur Staff

Former Senior Correspondent, Entrepreneur India

In the business of news for 5 years now. Making my way across India thanks to my career. A media graduate from Symbiosis, Pune, I have earlier worked with Deccan Chronicle (South India's leading English daily), T-Hub (India's largest incubator) and Anthill Ventures (a speed-scaling platform). 

Stories, movies and PJs are my thing. 

If you hear 'The Office' opening score randomly, don't worry it's just my phone ringing. 



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