Reuters - Video

EDITION: U.S. | U.K. | IN

9/11

Migrant entrepreneurs prove their worth

Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 - 02:53

March 11 - Immigration has become a hot topic in Britain ahead of elections in 2015 but a new report by the Centre for Entrepreneurs shows they are crucial to the economy, responsible for starting one in seven UK companies. Hayley Platt talks to one migrant who came to England as a boy 42 years ago and is now a multi-million pound hotelier.

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

One in seven UK companies have been started by migrant entrepreneurs. Surinder Arora is one of them. He arrived from India aged 13, unable to speak a word of English. Four decades on he owns a string of hotels in Britain. And operates the franchise for Heathrow's Sofitel. SOUNDBITE: Surinder Arora, owner and founder of Arora Hotels, saying (English): "What I found out early on was that mum had three jobs. She had a day job in a factory, in the evening she'd come home and cook for the family and then leave and to to another job which was cleaning a bank and an office that really kind of got me thinking, if my family can work so hard why can't I." Immigrants have been settling in the UK for generations. The country's acclaimed National Health Service was built with the help of Indian doctors in the 1940s. More recently though, public attitudes towards immigrants have soured. Over three quarters of Britons say they want to see numbers cut. But a new study by the Centre for Entrepreneurs and DueDil shows they're crucial to Britain's economy. Nearly half a million people from 155 countries have launched businesses here. That's twice as many as Brits. They're also, on average, eight years younger than UK-born entrepreneurs. Luke Johnson's one of those - he's also one of the report's authors. SOUNDBITE: Luke Johnson, Centre for Entrepreneurs, saying (English): "One is I think we would have a less diverse culture, two I think we would have fewer businesses. Consequently we would have fewer jobs created by those businesses. Four I think those businesses quite likely are disproportionately innovative, partly because immigrants come from other places. They bring with them ideas and new concepts which means that some of those catch on and become part of our nation." The Irish are the largest group of foreign-born founders in the UK. Followed by Indians. Germans are in third place ahead of Americans. And Chinese entrepreneurs are fifth. SOUNDBITE: Luke Johnson, Centre for Entrepreneurs, saying (English): "By there nature migrants are self selecting, they are more likely to be strivers, more likely to be adventurous and so inevitably they are perhaps more likely to start a business or do their own thing." At 18 Surinder had wanted to be a pilot. But flying lessons cost £21 an hour. SOUNDBITE: Surinder Arora, owner and founder of Arora Hotels, saying (English): "I was earning £34 a week, so I could only afford one lesson a week which would take me years to get my license." Instead he got a job as a wine waiter in an airport hotel he now owns, along with 15 others. He employs 2,000 people and puts the Prime Minister in a difficult position. David Cameron has vowed to half net migration by 2060. But doing so could lose him future entrepreneurs, at a key time for the recovering economy.

Migrant entrepreneurs prove their worth

Tuesday, Mar 11, 2014 - 02:53

Top News »

Money »

S&P 500 to new record on improving economy S&P 500 to new record on improving economy

Fri, Aug 29, 2014 - (2:31)

Finding meaning in the S&P 500 2000 mark Finding meaning in the S&P 500 2000 mark

Mon, Aug 25, 2014 - (2:35)

S&P falls back from record high S&P falls back from record high

Fri, Aug 22, 2014 - (1:35)

S&P 500 closes at new high S&P 500 closes at new high

Thu, Aug 21, 2014 - (1:24)

S&P 500 just shy of record S&P 500 just shy of record

Wed, Aug 20, 2014 - (2:23)

Apple hits $100 a share Apple hits $100 a share

Tue, Aug 19, 2014 - (2:06)

Nasdaq closes at 14-year high Nasdaq closes at 14-year high

Mon, Aug 18, 2014 - (2:23)

Putin puts Wall Street in buying mood Putin puts Wall Street in buying mood

Thu, Aug 14, 2014 - (2:10)

We've become a promotional culture-RetailMeNot's Bodge We've become a promotional...

Thu, Aug 14, 2014 - (4:39)

The Exchange »

The Exchange: Hot commodity The Exchange: Hot commodity

Wed, Jul 16, 2014 - (9:25)

The Exchange: Constitutional crusade The Exchange: Constitutional crusade

Wed, Jun 25, 2014 - (11:35)

The Exchange: The value of money The Exchange: The value of money

Mon, Jun 02, 2014 - (9:53)

The Exchange: China’s Second Continent The Exchange: China’s Second Continent

Tue, May 27, 2014 - (9:35)

The Exchange: A master of business arts The Exchange: A master of business arts

Thu, May 08, 2014 - (8:24)

The Exchange: America's bankrupt cities The Exchange: America's bankrupt cities

Mon, May 05, 2014 - (8:52)

The Exchange: Let the rocking commence The Exchange: Let the rocking commence

Tue, Apr 08, 2014 - (8:13)

The Exchange: The Moneyball fallacies The Exchange: The Moneyball fallacies

Mon, Mar 24, 2014 - (9:54)

Is doing good a good business? Is doing good a good business?

Mon, Mar 17, 2014 - (7:38)

Reuters Investigates »

Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead" Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead"

Wed, Feb 19, 2014 - (8:24)

Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest

Fri, Jan 10, 2014 - (4:01)

"Passed around like a dog" "Passed around like a dog"

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 - (6:32)

Adopted, then abandoned online Adopted, then abandoned online

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 - (13:21)

How the DEA keeps its secrets secret How the DEA keeps its secrets secret

Mon, Aug 05, 2013 - (1:36)

How education lost its role as the great equalizer - Reuters Investigates How education lost its role as the great...

Mon, Dec 17, 2012 - (7:52)

Jihad Jane: From abused child to American jihadist - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: From abused child to American...

Sat, Dec 08, 2012 - (10:01)

Jihad Jane: The order to kill - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: The order to kill - Reuters...

Sun, Dec 09, 2012 - (10:39)

Moving Pictures »

Images of August Images of August

Fri, Aug 29, 2014 - (1:00)

Mending dolls, teddies and hearts Mending dolls, teddies and hearts

Fri, Aug 22, 2014 - (3:12)

"Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay "Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay

Mon, Aug 11, 2014 - (2:27)

Burned memories Burned memories

Fri, Aug 08, 2014 - (3:02)

Images of July Images of July

Thu, Jul 31, 2014 - (1:20)

World Cup: passion on the pitch World Cup: passion on the pitch

Fri, Jul 11, 2014 - (1:00)

A refugee in America gives back A refugee in America gives back

Wed, Jul 02, 2014 - (3:25)

A long search for refuge A long search for refuge

Fri, Jun 20, 2014 - (3:04)

World Cup: Around the globe in 50 goals World Cup: Around the globe in 50 goals

Fri, Jun 06, 2014 - (1:08)

VIVID – Sydney’s spectacle of light VIVID – Sydney’s spectacle of light

Fri, May 30, 2014 - (1:37)