The Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa has been replaced by the new Innovator Visa Scheme in the UK and with this, new opportunities and jobs are being created. I will give you a quick overview of what the Innovator Visa is, how to apply for it, and what the key benefits of joining an Innovator Visa Programme are.
So, what is the Innovator Visa Scheme? Well, it is essentially a method to attract experienced entrepreneurs to the UK where they can set up a business.
As a successful applicant, you get a 3 year-Visa to the UK which allows you to bring your innovative business idea to its markets. After the 3 years, you can apply to renew your visa or apply for a settlement visa if conditions of that visa are met. With the visa you can also bring your partner and children to the UK.
To qualify for the visa, you will be assessed on your knowledge of the UK markets and on the gap that your business idea would be able to fill. Your business cannot already be trading within the UK and you need to show that your business idea is innovative, viable and sustainable.
You can read more about the dos and don’ts of the Innovator Visa requirements here. I want to mainly talk about how this scheme is creating sustainable business opportunities and jobs in the UK.
To get the visa you must have the backing of an Endorsing Body – a Home Office approved company experienced in helping businesses scale up that has read your plan, will back your application, and provide you with business support throughout the 3-years.
Strategic Reviews are a key benefit for successful applicants as the initial strategic workshop with the company stakeholders is where the key issues and opportunities are discussed and major priorities and timescales agreed. These Strategic Reviews are run by experienced advisors who have themselves scaled businesses.
Strategic Reviews then happen every 6 and 12 months when together the entrepreneur and Endorsing Body can analyse how the business is going – are the actual operations matching up to the business plan; is the business strategy working? Adjustments can then be made to either get the business back on track or help to scale it up further.
The Endorsing Body in these reviews will be able to offer a wealth of experience and knowledge that should prove invaluable to the new company. The successful Innovator Visa applicant will be in the best place to make their business work.
An added bonus for having an Endorsing Body such as Boardroom Advisors is the possibility of hiring additional part-time director level expertise in an area that you might feel your business is currently lacking such as finance, sales marketing, IT, operations.
For instance, you may have set up your business in the UK, and are strong and confident with your strategy development and finances, but you need guidance with your marketing strategy. In this scenario, you could hire a part-time marketing director which would not only help you in the immediate creation of your marketing strategy, but would also create sustainability for your business and give you opportunities to learn from the expert.
The Innovator Visa Scheme is designed to bring new innovative businesses to the UK creating jobs and strengthening the economy. Further applications for renewing the visas or granting settlement visas look at the success of the business in terms of revenue and job creation. This means that only successful businesses that create opportunities and jobs maintain their endorsement.
You can apply for the UK Innovator Visa scheme online if you’re outside the UK and are applying for the first time or if you are renewing.
So, in conclusion; the new Innovator Visa Scheme is a great way to bring the best entrepreneurs from abroad over to the UK with their brilliant business plans. As Endorsing Bodies we will work with these successful applicants to ensure that their business can have a viable, sustainable and profitable future in the UK.