This month, Shalini Khemka said that the UK had the potential to recreate the successes of Silicon Valley, if the Government eases the immigration rules for UK tech entrepreneurs. Khemka, the founder and CEO of E2Exchange, believes that technology has completely changed the way that SMEs and start-ups conduct business. Silicon Valley is the home of some of the world’s largest technology corporations and thousands of start-up companies. We reported, earlier this month that London’s tech sector is going to create 46,000 jobs in the Capital by 2024, which means the present workforce will rise by over 30% and create an additional £12bn to economic activity.
Shalini Khemka: Technology has Fundamentally Transformed the way that SMEs and Start-ups do Business
Khemka stated the importance of technology in today’s business world:
“Technology has fundamentally transformed the way that SMEs and start-up companies do business and it is encouraging to see that UK entrepreneurs have recognised this shift to digital and are adapting their business models accordingly. Last year the internet economy represented more than 8% of UK GDP and is forecast to grow to 12.4% by 2016, injecting around £225 billion into our economy. This growth is by SMEs and start-ups and it is vitally important that we make our tech companies competitive so we can continue to enjoy the prosperity they bring to the UK.”
One of the biggest challenges that SMEs in the UK face is the lack of talent. This is due to the stringent requirements of the Immigration Rules. Khemka, has encouraged the UK Government to strive for the freedom of movement of people within Europe. 52% of entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley were not born in the United States.
A report published by Centre for Entrepreneurs and business information experts DueDil, showed that migrant entrepreneurs have set up one in seven UK companies, with people born abroad almost twice as likely to start a business in the UK. In addition to this, it seems that companies founded by migrants are responsible for 14% of all jobs.
Entrepreneurial Talent must be Encouraged at a young age
According to a report by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, entrepreneurial education in primary and secondary schools need to improve. They believe that young people learning technology skills, such as coding will lead to the UK having the talent to compete in the global technology market. The report found that one in five adults lack digital skills, it stated:
“If we fail to position our SMEs at the forefront of the digital revolution, the UK and UK businesses will be left behind.”
Reuter, estimated that London’s technology sector could grow by 5.1% per year for the next 10 years. This means that there will be an additional £12bn to economic activity and 46,000 new jobs will be created, stating that this will be 30% more than the 155,600 currently employed in the tech sector. According to the Oxford Economics for London promotional organisation London & Partners, the growth in the number of jobs in the tech sector would be helped if there are changes to the current immigration laws.
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