London based Fintech Tide Reveals that UK Remains Popular Destination for EU Company Founders

The United Kingdom remains a popular destination for EU-based company founders, according to a blog post recently published by UK-based challenger bank Tide.

Brexit might have “severed” the UK’s political ties to the continent, however, it does not appear to have negatively impacted the UK’s “appeal as a place to live and work,” the blog post from Tide noted.

The Tide team pointed out that instead of a contraction in the numbers of EU natives launching new ventures in the UK, there has actually been a steady increase every year since the country voted to leave the European Union.

Tide also mentioned that as of the end of last year, the UK is home to over 1.5 million company founders born outside the UK. They further revealed that in total numbers, over a fifth of these enterpreneurs of UK-registered businesses are immigrants.

As noted by Tide, people moving to the UK to start a business are establishing firms in many different industries. The most popular industries for EU-based entrepreneurs include office administration (93,285 founders), land transport (52,685 founders), retail (50,585 founders), computer programming (47,261 founders), and construction (44,156 founders). The blog post also mentioned that “the most popular industries are likely to relate to areas where the UK has a skills shortage.”

The blog added:

“In raw numbers, the top ten nationalities of non-UK founders (as of April 2021) are Irish, Romanian, Polish, German, French, Italian, Bulgarian, Dutch, Spanish, and Swedish. This broadly matches population sizes, except that Spanish representation is relatively low and Romanian particularly high.”

The blog post further noted:

“The sharp rise in Romanian business founders in the last few years is significant. With average Romanian wages approximately a third of UK salaries, it’s clear that many Romanians stand a good chance of increasing their income by moving to the UK. While some people visit the UK on a temporary basis to work, plenty of Romanians also move with their families and put down roots.”

The blog added that after years of increasing migration from Poland, a fast-evolving Polish economy, along with initiatives such as the “Wracaj do Polski” (‘Come Back to Poland’) campaign, there has been a decline in the “pace” of Polish immigration to the United Kingdom. However, the UK is still a popular destination for Polish business owners.

The Tide team pointed out that many people are actually leaving Germany to launch companies in the UK, however, their company founder data “mirrors research from Germany’s Federal Statistics Office, which reported that the UK is the second most popular destination for German migrants.” According to their official statistics, there were 156,000 Germans “residing in the UK in 2018, with more than 8,000 moving in the year to 2018 alone.”

As noted by Tide:

“The forces driving migration and job hunting are clearly complex, influenced by diverse factors such as skills shortages, wage disparity, and economic opportunity. For every immigrant sending money to families back home, there are many migrants who settle in the UK, not simply for their job, but for a new way of life. It’s important to remember that there are millions of different migrant stories, and it’s difficult to characterise the actions and motivations of such a diverse group.”

Justin Fitzpatrick, CEO at DueDil, remarked:

“Brexit has been an all-encompassing and powerfully divisive issue ever since the announcement of the referendum. The business community has grappled with mixed forecasts about Brexit’s impact from think tanks on both sides. …The data is clear… We see strong and consistent increases in the numbers of EU nationals resident in the UK who are starting businesses here. We are immensely proud to be partnering with Tide to make it easier for these founders and entrepreneurs to open a business account as seamlessly as possible and keep the SME economy thriving.”

Tide also mentioned in their blog that setting up your business with Tide is “fast, easy and free.” Tide offers a free business current account, which the Fintech firm claims is “the best way to ensure you’re keeping your finances in order from day one.”

As covered in February 2021, Tide Charity awarded £175,000 to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Tide had also announced its India expansion plans earlier this year.

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