Through the combined experience within the team, UKES has over 75 years of expertise in supporting growth businesses. During that time, we have helped create over 20,000 new businesses, with in excess of 25,000 new jobs being created across a range of sectors within the UK and over £150M of early stage investment raised.
The Innovator Founder endorsement is for businesspeople seeking to establish an innovative, viable and scalable business in the UK.
Successful Innovators are granted leave for 3 years at a time and can bring their family members to the UK. After 3 years, Innovators can apply to extend their stay for a further 3 years or to settle permanently in the UK. Each of these 3 stages (initial application, extension, settlement) requires endorsement from an endorsing body.
All Innovator Founder applications will be assessed on three main points: Innovation, Viability and Scalability. These are defined as:
Do you have a genuine, original Business Plan that meets new or existing market needs and/or creates a competitive advantage? Are you able to demonstrate a clear and compelling unique selling proposition (USP) that is not easily replicable by others?
Is your Business Plan realistic and achievable based on your available resources? Do you applicant have, or are actively developing, the necessary skills, knowledge, experience and market awareness to successfully run the business?
Is there evidence of structured planning demonstrating a credible path to growth and of potential for job creation and growth into national markets?
The Scale-up endorsement is for UK businesses for which it is not possible to meet the Home Office definition of a Scale-up business but can demonstrate clear potential/ability to do this in the next 4 years.
In order to be eligible for the Scale-Up route, the businesses must already be established in the UK market and have a genuine need to recruit overseas workers through to fill vacancies at RQF level 6+.
Scale-up businesses are granted a sponsor license for a maximum period of 4 years in duration. This license only allows them to sponsor individuals applying for a Scale-up visa, however, they can apply and hold other types of license (such as Skilled Worker). A business can only be granted a Scale-up license once and is unable to extend it beyond the maximum period of 4 years.
In order to qualify for endorsement under the Scale-up route, the business must meet all of the following requirements:
Must have a minimum of 10 employees paid by PAYE
Must be solvent and trading in the UK
Must have a HMRC footprint of less than 4 years
Must be able to demonstrate potential growth rate consistent with the requirements of the Scale-up route
Must have sufficient finance to offer appropriate salaries to individuals working in roles equivalent to RQF 6