Migratory Pathways for Start-Ups and Innovative Entrepreneurs in the European Union

Over half of the EU Member States consider that attracting and retaining innovative entrepreneurs and start-ups from countries outside the EU will promote a vibrant entrepreneurial culture. What are the main pull factors and requirements for foreign start-up founders and employees? A new study from the European Migration Network reveals good practices and challenges from 25 EU Member States.

EU Synthesis Report

This Synthesis Report presents the main findings of the EMN Study on Migratory Pathways for Start-ups and Innovative Entrepreneurs in 25 EU Member States (including Belgium). The Study is timely, given the recent proliferation of  admission schemes (including visas and/or residence permits) for innovative entrepreneurs and start-up founders in many EU Member States. The Study explores in a comparative perspective the national and legal policy frameworks for the admission of start-ups and innovative entrepreneurs from third countries. Recognising that special admission schemes are only one means of attracting start-ups, the Study explores a wider variety of policy measures and factors affecting the attraction of start-up founders and entrepreneurial individuals from non-EU countries.

Some of the key findings:

  • In about half of the Member States, attracting start-ups and innovative entrepreneurs from third countries is recognised as a policy priority and is part of comprehensive national strategies to promote vibrant entrepreneurial culture.
  • Most specific start-up schemes have been introduced in the last three years, and the design and set up of the schemes differ significantly across the Member States.

  • Most Member States do not grant preferential access to permanent residence for start-up founders and entrepreneurs.

  • There is a lack of data on the survival rates as well as economic results generated of such start-up schemes.

Publication Date:
Wed 18 Dec 2019
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