Watch the news or read the papers and it would be easy to think that migrants are more of a problem than they are a benefit.
At Azimo we completely disagree with this world view. But all the coverage got us wondering what do other people think?
So we commissioned YouGov to carry out a survey on the attitudes of people to migration.
What we discovered was that 64% of young adults (aged 18 – 24) are proud of the multiculturalism in the UK. And 67% of the same group believed that migrants make a positive contribution to the UK economy.
Encouraged by all this we then took a look at the statistics on the impact migrants have had on the UK economy. According to the Centre of Entrepreneurs, there are a staggering 456,073 migrant entrepreneurs in the UK who have founded, or co-founded, 464,527 companies. These make up one in seven of all UK companies and employ at least 1.16 million people.
Figures from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills also back up this story of migrant success.
According to the department businesses run by migrants on entrepreneur visas have contributed £1.45bn annually to the UK economy since 2008.
Unfortunately, despite the reality of these figures, less than half the respondents to our survey over the age of 40 believed that migrants contribute to the economy. So clearly there is still a generational gap in the attitudes.
But at Azimo we know exactly where we stand. We know that migration is a good thing. And we are proud to champion its cause.
As Marta Krupinska, our co-founder and general manager puts it:
“Healthy migration is the essence of a great economy and fuels innovation in key industries, especially in the technology sector. Just look at the start-up scene: many of the founders are migrants – myself included.”
Originally from Poland, Marta moved to the UK in 2012 and co-founded Azimo shortly after arriving. And now Azimo employs 90 people in London and Poland.
And we’re not alone in our thinking. CEO of Innovate Finance, Lawrence Wintermeyer, believes migrants are key to boosting tech talent:
“The UK’s FinTech startup ecosystem depends on the availability of tech talent to fuel the growth of new businesses. This talent comes from all over the world and highly skilled immigrants that can support start-ups as well as traditional institutions are in demand for our sector.”
All of which leads us to think that when it comes to attitudes to migrants, maybe the young have got the right idea.