What ‘scale up’ visas mean for UK SMEs

The term 'scale up visa' is one which can be misunderstood. The sheer impact of what these visas can do is often under appreciated.

What 'scale up' visas mean for UK SMEs

The term ‘scale up visa’ is one which can be misunderstood. The sheer impact of what these visas can do is often under appreciated.

Technically, a ‘Scale-Up’ is a business that is experiencing a rapid phase of growth and is ready to move to the next stage of its commercial development. However, new visas are allowing businesses of all manners to grow and develop beyond their expectations.

Given the Ukraine crisis, these new facilitating visas are an especially welcomed addition to our economy. The first type of visa, dubbed the ‘scale up visa’ is designed for fast-growing companies to hire from overseas with ease. The removal of red tape allows for companies to hire the best talent, regardless of their nationality or immigrant status.

This is extremely important when considering a multicultural, integrated business environment. The implementation of this visa will allow the very best talent to grow and thrive despite an ever changing and evolving world. Political and social crises are often unprecedented, and their various nuances cannot be predicted.

Hiring from overseas is not only important, but integral to the workplace, society, and the economy as a whole. The idea that the best talent can only come from home shores is not only antiquated, but also untrue. Professionals from industries from Tech, to IT, to Sales, can come from anywhere in the world and it is important that mobility of workers is a paramount concern. Allowing movement of skilled workers not only increases intellectual capacity but also earning potential and innovation.

Another type of ‘scale up visa’ refers to the removal of the restriction for applicants to have access to £50,000 of prior investment. Before this visa existed, anyone attempting to start a business would automatically have to have access to a substantial amount of capital in order to start up operations.

Increasing the ability for start ups to truly progress is incredibly important. Not only does it allow for strides to be made in the chosen industry, but it creates a scenario in which hope for the future is realised in a meaningful way. Entrepreneurism is an often-maligned path, with the significant barriers to entry providing a deterrent to budding businesspeople. Entry costs, the difficulty of establishing a brand, and the prevalence of innovative ideas can often put people off starting a business.

Removing such a barrier to entry in terms of a start-up investment will open up the floor to individuals who have the seed of a great idea but no capital to get it off the ground. This is not just vital to the UK business world; it also represents a marked shift in how the general landscape shapes up. Gone are the days of the privileged holding the key to business success. Now, those with the best ideas and strong work ethic can achieve the dividends they deserve- both financially and on a personal level.

The UK is well known as one of the most ‘attractive’ places to do business. Especially for high skilled workers and entrepreneurs. Considering the new concession allowing businesses to thrive, there is an even greater ability for these benefits to be recognised.

The implementation of scale up visas is not just a mere boost for the UK economy, it is essential. Welcoming skilled workers and ensuring that start up businesses can thrive are two salient and vital objectives. This has always been the case, however given the current crisis in Ukraine, it seems ever more prudent. Ensuring talented people can provide their expertise in business is more important than ever before.

Uniting the global community is highly important. The primary way in which this can be achieved is through business. Ensuring a collaborative and seamless working environment is crucial to reaching this goal. Scale up visas not only contribute to better business scope, but they also unite the global community as a whole.

Inviting and encouraging businesses to flourish is a wholly prudent concern, and one which can be facilitated by scale up visas.

Neil Debenham
Neil Debenham

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