The refugees and migrants have taken centre stage in the media over the past month as hundreds of thousands of refugees make their way to the EU.
While there is a huge difference between refugees and migrants, leading to some confusion among some members of the public, the ongoing refugee crisis has brought the migrant crisis back into the public eye.
One of the most recent studies, published last year, found that migrants from new EU countries make an overwhelmingly positive contribution to the UK economy.
But new research suggests that some of those looking to make the biggest contributions are not being given the help and support they need.
Nearly two-thirds of migrant entrepreneurs are struggling to gain access to start-up funding, according to the study by social enterprise This Foreigner Can.
The research found that an 61% of the 200 respondents said that obtaining finance was the biggest obstacle to setting up their business. One of the primary reasons stated was because they did not have sufficient credit history in the UK to qualify for traditional start-up loans and business funding.
Migrant entrepreneur and founder of This Foreigner Can, Rafael Dos Santos, is now a successful businessman based in London, but it has taken him nearly a decade to achieve this. Having struggled to initially find his feet when he first arrived in the UK, he decided to create the ‘Migrant Business Accelerator’ programme to help other entrepreneurial migrants to fast track their way to business success with the help of start-up funding and mentoring from a team of business professionals.
“I first arrived in the UK over 10 years ago with the goal of learning English. Following a string of menial jobs, including being a glass collector and a cleaner, I was able to pursue my dream of setting up my own property business, which I successfully sold in 2014,” said Mr Dos Santos.
He added: “I have first-hand experience of the obstacles a migrant has to go through to set up their own business in the UK, and I wanted to use my knowledge to help others get their feet on the ground. Money isn’t the only thing you need as a migrant entrepreneur, you also need to understand a whole host of other things which will contribute to whether your business thrives or not.
“The Migrant Business Accelerator programme has been designed to guide students through the processes of setting up a business and offers a helping hand and funding to help them make the initial leap. They are also fully supported throughout the process too.”