|THE GLOBAL FIGHT TO ATTRACT FOREIGN ENTREPRENEURS|
Aruba, March 19, 2015 - Meet Fujia Chen, the Chinese aeronautical engineer who the UK government hopes will grow a successful business.
And say hello to Simon Papineau, the Canadian whose software company the Chilean authorities would very much like to see expand and prosper.
While it may at first seem odd that national governments are cheering for foreign entrepreneurs, it is in fact a growing trend. For in the increasingly competitive global economy, a rising number of countries are trying to poach talented young businessmen and women from overseas, encouraging them to set up shop in their nations instead.
The hope is that the businesses in question will then grow, creating employment, wealth and tax revenues in the host country. Such targeting of young entrepreneurial talent is the type of focused immigration that mainstream political parties agree upon. It is a world apart from the rows and concerns about levels of mass immigration.
Therefore, such government-backed schemes as Start-up Chile, and the UK's Sirius programme, invite overseas entrepreneurs, typically recent university graduates, to apply for a limited number of places each year.
Successful applicants are then given living expenses, work visas, free office accommodation, mentor support, and access to potential investors for 12 months or so. After this time the hope is that the start-ups can stand on their own feet, and with visas extended, remain in that country.
After meeting while studying at Oxford University, they are now developing consumer products made using patents licensed to them by the European Space Agency (ESA), which has also financially supported their start-up - Oxford Space Structures. While Ms Chen looks after the engineering, Mr Jantke handles the day-to-day running of their business. Both are getting £1,100 a month for a year from Sirius to help cover their living expenses.
Their first product, a lightweight travel cot which opens and closes in seconds, is set to go on sale in the summer. It uses the same technology by which ESA satellites open out after they have been launched into orbit.
Now based in London, Ms Chen, who originates from Shanghai, says it would have been very difficult for her to have tried to launch the business in China.
"In China, setting up a company is very bureaucratic... and requires a lot of capital. It is not something that a normal student would be able to do," she says.
Read more/source: http://www.bbc.com/news/business-31602943