Why the UK is the Best Country for Launching a Global Startup

Exploring why you should launch your international startup
in the United Kingdom.

Why founders choose the United Kingdom for launching their innovative startups? There are many reasons, with the main one being that the UK is an attractive platform for entering the international market. Many ambitious immigrant entrepreneurs seek opportunities to grow and expand their businesses beyond national borders, which is why they prefer this country.
In 2014, there were 514,408 startups registered in the UK. By 2023, this number had grown to 850,142, meaning approximately 2,330 new companies were emerging daily.

According to The Global Startup Ecosystem Index, the UK continues to hold the second position internationally. Nearly half of the country's fastest-growing startups have at least one immigrant co-founder, with over 60% of British unicorns (billion-dollar startups) falling into this category.

As of 2024, the trend of startup growth in the UK remains robust.

Why has the UK become the choice for many entrepreneurs looking to bring their innovative projects to life? The country offers ideal conditions for entering the global market and an attractive jurisdiction. Many ambitious immigrant entrepreneurs see opportunities here to expand their business interests beyond national borders.

What makes the UK so attractive for developing innovative businesses? We will explore this question in detail in this article.

Alluring perspectives on attracting financing for business

In 2023-2024, the UK strengthened its leadership among EU countries and secured the second position globally in terms of investment volume in startups, surpassing India and China. Investments in British startups reached new highs: in just the first quarter of 2023, $12.5 billion was raised, exceeding previous records. The total investment volume for 2022 amounted to $45.6 billion, confirming sustained growth in startup financing in the country.

London stands out particularly, attracting over 65% of all investments in British startups among other cities in the country. A significant portion of these investments went into large funding rounds exceeding $100 million.

Venture capital funds play a crucial role in the British startup ecosystem. Notable among them are Forward Partners, Downing Ventures, Business Growth Fund (BGF), and other leading players in the venture capital market.

Leading business programmes for startups

In 2024, the UK continues to strengthen its position as one of the leading global innovation hubs, actively supporting startup development through its outstanding accelerators. These programmes provide funding, training, expert guidance, and access to a global network of investors, fostering their growth and success in a dynamic business environment.

Techstars London remains one of the most prestigious accelerators, supporting startups across various sectors including technology, internet business, and media.

Seedcamp, based in London, maintains its leadership among accelerators in Europe, offering investments and expert guidance to young companies.

Y Combinator, with an office in London, actively invests in startups worldwide, providing funding and training to selected participants.

Entrepreneur First, focusing on identifying and developing entrepreneurial talent, helps create successful startups from the ground up.

British cities as global tech hubs

Some cities in the UK are recognised worldwide as global tech hubs.

London, as the largest city in the country and one of the leading global financial centres, serves as the primary tech hub, attracting startups and investors with a diverse array of technology companies, accelerators, incubators, and venture capital funds.

Manchester, located in the north, also holds significant stature in the technology sector due to its innovative companies and active startup scene.

Birmingham plays a crucial role in the technology industry, attracting entrepreneurs and investors with its geographical location and developed infrastructure.

Bristol, situated in the west of England, is renowned for its high-tech companies and research institutions.

Lastly, Liverpool, a historic city in the northwest, plays an important role in technology development, drawing attention from entrepreneurs and investors with its potential and growing startup community.

Favorable geographic location and developed trade connections

Britain remains one of the most attractive destinations for global startups due to its strategic geographic location and developed trade connections.

Geographic Location:

Britain's location provides easy access to European and global markets. Its proximity to the continent facilitates convenient access to clients and partners in other European countries. Britain also serves as a bridge between America, Europe, and Asia, simplifying trade operations and global business scalability.

Trade Connections:

Britain is a member of several international trade organizations, including the World Trade Organization. It has numerous bilateral trade agreements with various countries, ensuring broad access to markets worldwide. As the financial capital of the world, London offers access to leading global financial markets and investors. Britain actively exports goods and services amounting to over six billion pounds sterling, including a significant share of high-tech products.

Tax incentives and flexible tax system

Despite occasionally high standard tax rates, the UK remains attractive for businesses due to the flexibility of its tax system.
For instance, the UK has entered into double taxation agreements with some countries, ensuring legal security and preventing excessive tax payments for companies.

Particularly appealing to startups is the fact that companies engaged in research and development (R&D) activities may qualify for tax exemptions. However, companies must meet specific criteria to benefit from such incentives.

Moreover, companies have the opportunity to increase their expenses by 240% for every pound spent on scientific research, provided these expenses are assessed by independent organizations.

The UK also actively supports small businesses through EIS (Enterprise Investment Scheme) and SEIS (Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme) programmes, offering startups attractive opportunities to attract investments as such investments are exempt from taxation.

Government support for innovation

In 2024, the UK continues to actively support the development of innovative startups through several initiatives:

Government funding programmes:

This year, the UK government is allocating significant funds to support innovation and startups. For example, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) provides funding for scientific research and development. In recent years, the government has also actively invested in technology incubators and accelerators, providing financial support and fostering development.

Tax incentives:

Britain offers a range of tax incentives and stimuli for innovative companies. For instance, the Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit allows companies to receive tax refunds for expenses incurred in scientific research and development. The Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) and Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) provide tax relief for investors investing in young startups.

Educational and research initiatives:

Universities and research institutions actively support innovative startups through research programmes, competitions, and incubation programmes. The Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP) programme stimulates interaction between business and academia, promoting the commercialisation of scientific developments.

Access to top talent and skilled professionals from around the world

Britain attracts highly skilled professionals from around the world thanks to its diverse and open culture. This enables startups to hire specialists from various fields, fostering innovation and business development.

The diversity of cultures and nationalities creates a conducive environment for creativity and idea exchange. In the UK, people from different cultural backgrounds work side by side, promoting cross-pollination of ideas and innovative approaches to solving business challenges.

For startups, this means access to a wide range of professionals with diverse skills and expertise. For instance, tech companies can easily hire software developers from India or data analysts from the USA. Biotech firms can attract researchers from China or Germany. This international kaleidoscope of talent and ideas is a key element of a successful innovation ecosystem.

Moreover, the diversity of professionals contributes to creating a multicultural work environment, which in turn enhances creativity, adaptability, and competitiveness of companies. In the UK, many startups successfully integrate intercultural interaction into their corporate culture, which not only promotes business development but also enhances understanding between different cultural groups.

For hiring employees from abroad, a Sponsor Licence is required, and our company, Goldman Solutions, is ready to assist you through this process.

Business communities, events, and business support programmes

In the UK, there are several well-known and influential business communities that play a key role in supporting entrepreneurship.

Here are some of them:

London Tech Week — an annual event dedicated to innovation and technology, attracting participants from around the world. The event features conferences, exhibitions, workshops, and other initiatives aimed at supporting tech startups and entrepreneurship.

Tech Nation — a national programme supporting tech startups and entrepreneurs in the UK. They provide training, mentoring, funding, and access to investors across sectors such as technology, digital economy, and e-commerce.

Entrepreneur First — a community that helps entrepreneurs create their own startups from scratch, providing funding, mentoring, and assistance in finding partners for successful launch and business development.

The Supper Club — an exclusive community of entrepreneurs and business owners focused on exchanging experiences, knowledge, and resources. Membership in the club provides access to a network of successful entrepreneurs, investors, and resources for professional development.

StartUp Britain — a national initiative aimed at supporting and stimulating entrepreneurship in the UK. They offer resources, training, and information for entrepreneurs, helping them successfully start and grow their businesses.

BNI (Business Network International) — the world's largest organisation for business networking, actively operating in the UK. They organise regular meetings for businesspeople and entrepreneurs to exchange referrals, contacts, and resources, facilitating the expansion and strengthening of business networks.

Reliable relocation options

The main type of visa for immigrating to the UK through business is called the Innovator Founder visa.

The advantages of the Innovator Founder visa include the opportunity to obtain permanent residency (Indefinite Leave to Remain) in three years, followed by eligibility for British citizenship, as well as the right to bring family members. It also provides the opportunity to develop one's own business and to undertake education in the UK.
Are you dreaming of launching an international startup and have questions about business immigration to the UK?
If you are interested in opportunities for relocating and launching a business in the UK, sign up for a free consultation to get more information!