Tag Archives: Innovator Founder Visa Business Plan

Innovator Founder Visa: Pros & Cons

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The UK’s Innovator Founder visa was launched in 2023 as a pathway for foreign entrepreneurs to set up businesses in the UK. The visa and its requirements have substantially changed from its predecessor, the Innovator visa and the Tier 1 Entrepreneur scheme   If you are considering the UK’s Innovator Founder visa, then it is sensible to make a full evaluation. As a former migrant entrepreneur and business consultant working with people navigating the business immigration journey, I will seek to highlight the pros and cons of this visa.  Innovator Founder Visa Pros  Suitable for scalable businesses  The Innovator Founder visa requirements emphasize scalability. As such, if your business is scalable, or is already at traction stage, then this visa may be suitable.  Pathway to permanent residence & UK citizenship This visa offers two pathways for settlement (permanent residence) in the UK: three years or five years.   In comparison to other countries such as the UAE, this may be a desirable aspect for some.   The UK’s global position The UK is among the easiest countries in the world to start a business in.   Although due to recent legislation by the Companies House, there are now additional requirements and compliance protocols for setting up a company in the UK.   The multicultural landscape of the UK, as well as English being the spoken language may be an advantage to some international entrepreneurs.   Secondary employment The current Innovator Founder visa permits paid employment alongside the applicant’s business. This may be a beneficial option for some international founders. Innovator Founder Visa Cons  Strict business & endorsement requirements The selection process for the Innovator Founder visa which is through an endorsement from one of the four designated Endorsing Bodies is strict.   There are several requirements that your business must meet, as well as the founder/founding team meeting a certain skills level.   Less Endorsing Bodies There are now only 4 endorsing bodies in contrast to 65 under the previous Innovator visa pathway. This leaves applicants with less choice and a lower margin of error.   Personally, I support the view that a larger selection of Endorsing Bodies will facilitate additional sector-specific expertise.   May be expensive for some There are several costs involved, and these exclude any additional help from third parties such as a business consultant (me) or an immigration advisor/solicitor.   Minimum budget required: £5000 to £10,000 (this does not include the funds for your business). The initial costs are: Endorsement: £1200 Visa Application Fee: £1,191 (outside the UK) or £1486 (inside the UK) NHS Health Surcharge: ££1,035 per year To help my clients/ Innovator Founder visa applicants, I offer an idea assessment service. This will involve assessing your idea and the provision of expert feedback to reduce the chances of your endorsement being rejected.   Economic uncertainty Global events such as the 2008 Financial Crisis, Brexit and COVID-19 have left a painful mark on the UK’s economy.   This is evident in several contexts such as the Cost-of-Living Crisis.  Additionally, with the 2025 General Election coming up, it is reasonable to expect dramatic policy shifts, indicating economic uncertainty. These are some of the pros and cons of the Innovator Founder visa. Need help with the Innovator Founder visa endorsement? Check out my services, designed specifically for founders like you. About | My name is Sohrab Vazir. I’m a UK-based entrepreneur and business consultant. At the age of 22, and while I was an international student (graduate), I started my own Property Technology (PropTech) business, StudyFlats. I did so by obtaining an endorsement from Newcastle University under the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme. Subsequently, I obtained a further 3-year Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa (replaced by the Innovator Founder Visa). I grew my business to over 30 UK cities, and a team of four, and also obtained my Indefinite Leave to Remain (Settlement) in the UK. I now help other migrant entrepreneurs, such as myself, with their businesses. Disclaimer: none of the content in this article or my services constitutes immigration advice or services.

Innovator Founder Visa Rejection | 4 reasons

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The risk of an Innovator Founder visa rejection is on the rise. This is not a surprise as the new visa, in contrast to the former Innovator visa, now permits applicants to engage in paid employment. As such, this has led to increased interest and demand for the Innovator Founder visa.  Disclaimer: none of the content in this article or my services constitutes immigration advice or services. In addition to increased demand, the current Innovator Founder visa can only be endorsed by 4 Endorsing Bodies, a far smaller number than the previous visa. As a business consultant working with international entrepreneurs, I have come across Innovator Founder visa rejection cases that relate to the endorsement stage. Moreover, I have also actively monitored the Innovator Founder visa’s rejections. These are 3 common reasons why your Innovator Founder visa endorsement application may be rejected.  1. Your idea is not innovative   As you may be aware, there are 3 key factors that Endorsing Bodies assess when considering endorsement applications, which are: Let’s talk about the innovation aspect first. Technically speaking, your idea/business should: 2. Your business is not viable  Notice that I did not use the word “idea” in the heading above?  The “viability” aspect refers to “you”, the founder/founding team. The core requirement is whether you have the skills and competencies to start and scale the business or not. Thus, factors such as your professional experience or qualifications will be relevant.  3. Your idea is not scalable Put simply: what is the vision for your business? How far will it go? How much money will it make? You may have a unique concept and have the personal skills to launch the business, but how big will the business get? If your business cannot scale nationally or internationally, it may be one of the reasons for a rejection of your Innovator Founder visa endorsement. 4. You bought a bad Innovator Founder visa business plan  I write business plans for my clients (up to a limit, as they take a lot of time and I write each plan myself). Therefore, I am aware that many founders will seek the help of external parties for their business plan. Sadly, the market is now full of business plan writers who simply either use ChatGPT, or hire people with no experience in business to write a low-quality plan.  This is why I have introduced a service to coach and mentor founder to writer their own business plan. I understand that for some, it may be necessary to have somebody else communicate their business.  However, writing your own business plan will give you more confidence in presenting it, and it will also improve several skills such as writing and design. And do not worry, I will help you with ALL of that.  These are some common reasons behind an Innovator Founder Visa rejection at the endorsement stage. Remember, do not trust every company or person to be in charge of your business ideas and endorsement application, unless you can verify their credentials. Even then, you should make sure that you are aware of every aspect and stage of the business plan whilst it is written.  Need help with the Innovator Founder visa endorsement? Check out my services, designed specifically for founders like you. About | My name is Sohrab Vazir. I’m a UK-based entrepreneur and business consultant. At the age of 22, and while I was an international student (graduate), I started my own Property Technology (PropTech) business, StudyFlats. I did so by obtaining an endorsement from Newcastle University under the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme. Subsequently, I obtained a further 3-year Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa (replaced by the Innovator Founder Visa). I grew my business to over 30 UK cities, and a team of four, and also obtained my Indefinite Leave to Remain (Settlement) in the UK. I now help other migrant entrepreneurs, such as myself, with their businesses.

What you should NOT do when writing an Innovator Founder visa business plan

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Writing an Innovator Founder visa business plan can be challenging. That’s one of the reasons why many international founders opt to work with me on their Innovator Founder visa business plan.  This article solely represents a case of personal evaluation and opinion. It shall by no means constitute immigration and/or professional advice. If you plan to apply for the Innovator Founder visa, you must prepare a business plan. I have previously written an article about how to create an Innovator Founder visa business plan. In this article, I want to share some tips on writing an Innovator Founder visa business plan. Specifically, I will be highlighting things that you should NOT do when you are planning your venture.  Remember: the perfect business plan does not boil down to being well-written or well-designed (although these are also essential). Writing the ideal Innovator Founder visa business plan requires a well-thought, viable and clear business proposition.  These tips will help you in formulating both your business plan, as well as some of the fundamental aspects of your business planning.  Overpromise  This is one of the biggest mistakes made by founders. Sadly, international entrepreneurs are not exempt either.  And it’s easy to understand why: you want to present the “ideal” image for your concept, whether it’s to the Innovator Founder Endorsing Bodies, the Home Office or even investors. However, this is a dangerous mistake, especially if you are held accountable for making progress against your initial Innovator Founder visa business plan.  Underestimate your competition & market dynamics In line with the last point, some founders also underestimate their market and competition.  This may be done either intentionally, to present an inaccurate/idealistic image of the market, or unintentionally as a result of personal neglect.  Overestimate your offer This is an advice that you may not get from many consultants.  Remember: simplicity is key. Keep everything as simple and straightforward as possible. Don’t write pages and pages about why your product is ideal and what it does. Instead, dedicate your content to presenting evidence of your venture and the market’s viability.  Neglect the financials  Cash flow and financial management are integral to every business. You must plan for and state all instances of incoming and outgoing cash flow.  Have a plan B for every scenario and determine the financial implications of all scenarios.  Need help with writing your Innovator Founder visa business plan? Read about my full services here to find out more.  About | My name is Sohrab Vazir. I’m a UK-based entrepreneur and business consultant. At the age of 22, and while I was an international student (graduate), I started my own Property Technology (PropTech) business, StudyFlats. I did so by obtaining an endorsement from Newcastle University under the Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur Scheme. Subsequently, I obtained a further 3-year Tier 1 Entrepreneur Visa (replaced by the Innovator Founder Visa). I grew my business to over 30 UK cities, and a team of four, and also obtained my Indefinite Leave to Remain (Settlement) in the UK. I now help other migrant entrepreneurs, such as myself, with their businesses.

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