The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (known as the UK for short), is undoubtedly one of the most iconic nations in the world. The UK is made up of four states: England; Scotland; Wales; and Northern Ireland – each having their own distinctive cultures, identity, customs and even food. The UK in 2015 was the 8th largest tourist destination in the world, pulling in over 36 million visitors. The capital city, London, is one of the largest financial capitals in the world as well as the second largest global tourist destination in 2016, with nearly 20 million tourists.
There is certainly something for everyone in the UK – from gorgeous countryside and landscapes, beautiful coastlines, historic towns and bustling cities, there is no taste that will go unsatisfied. That’s not to mention the stunning skyline and vast history of London itself, where there are endless possibilities for discovery and exploration, or to sit quietly and enjoy a quiet drink. Sports enthusiasts will definitely not be disappointed, with every major city having countless professional teams, not to mention the world renowned football clubs such as Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool.
The UK is well known for having an extremely variable climate (and believe me, the British people love to talk about weather). It is not uncommon for the weather to be wet and windy one day and then warm and sunny the next. In fact, you should not be surprised if you experience all four seasons within one week!
Whilst English is the official language, the UK (especially London) is an extremely multicultural place. As one third of Londoners are foreign born, there are over 200 different languages spoken there. You will find that locals in most major cities are generally friendly and welcoming of people, regardless of race and gender.
Whatever the reason for moving to the UK may be, you can assured that you will be in a culturally diverse and welcoming environment. One can find limitless opportunities, be it hobbies or careers. There is food and cuisine from every imaginable corner of the globe, so you will struggle to feel homesick. You will never run out of astonishing and breath taking landmarks and adventures, and you will be wanting to visit every corner of the country.
The United Kingdom has recently emerged as a global hub for entrepreneurship, thanks to the UK government’s support for not only home grown businesses, but also for entrepreneurs from all over the world. More and more entrepreneurs are deciding to relocate/start their businesses to the UK – in 2015 it was reported that 383,000 new businesses were born, up 14% from the year before. On top of that, SME’s (defined as having fewer than 250 employees and less the £25m turnover) accounted for 99% of total businesses in the UK, with 5.4 million – this represented 19% of the total turnover.
So what makes the UK so attractive to entrepreneurs? Well, for starters, the UK is the world’s fifth largest economy which makes it rife with business opportunity, competition and growth. It is also well noted that London is one of the most diverse cities in the world, with a third of Londoners being foreign born and over 200 languages spoken. What really stands out though, is how eager the UK government has been to support non-UK start-ups through funding, advice, ease of setting up a business and good corporation tax rates. In November 2016, the government announced a new advisory panel of business experts that would work to ensure that by 2020, every £1 in £3 of Whitehall spending would go towards SME’s and since 2007, ‘Innovate UK’ has committed over £1.8 billion towards innovation and business growth. Despite the Brexit vote, firms of all sizes are still choosing the UK as their home. Snap Inc (the parent company of SnapChat) recently set up their headquarters in the UK, and a study by the Centre for Entrepreneurs claimed that 1 in 7 companies currently trading in the UK was set up by an immigrant, and that 17.2% of the foreign-born British population have launched their own business (compared to just 10.4% of the British born population).
Whatever business you choose to set-up or invest in – the UK might just be the perfect home for your next great idea.