EU citizens make up more than one in 20 SME directors in the UK

Over 35,700 UK SME directors from other EU countries

Over one in 20 SME company directors in the UK are EU nationals, underlining just what a valuable contribution Europeans now make to the British economy, says Opal Transfer, the European money transfer platform.

The study shows that currently 5.5 per cent of all SME directors in the UK are from the EU. This means that there are over 35,740 entrepreneurial European business owners creating jobs, growth and tax revenues in the British economy.

Gita Petkevica, managing director of Opal Transfer, comments: “Europeans make a huge contribution to the British economy – building businesses that create jobs, provide services, and also deliver significant value to the UK budget.

“Europeans are the key to the success of many small businesses throughout the UK.

“Europeans are making a substantial and positive impact to the British economy, helping to bring significant benefits to all who live here. The European entrepreneurs we speak to are incredibly loyal to the UK as it has been a welcoming place and offered them just the right exciting and energising environment to build their businesses.

“The UK used to worry about “brain drain” but it is clear that over the last decade the brain drain has been from mainland Europe to the UK.”

Irish directors came out champions in our league table as the single largest group of European directors, with 9,610 in the UK. France and Germany came second and third, with 4,605 and 4,155 directors respectively.

The research also found that over a tenth of all European SME directors came from Eastern and Central Europe – with 1,870 from Poland.

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