The Sirius Programme from UKTI will support foreign students with business ideas who want to set up in the UK (Reuters)
Britain is trying to poach budding entrepreneurs from across the globe by offering foreign graduates with innovative start-up ideas a comprehensive support package, including help to relocate from their home countries and mentoring as they set up their businesses.
The Sirius Programme, launched by the government UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) department, lasts a year and hopes to entice hundreds of applicants, who must be either a student or recent graduate to qualify.
"The UK is one of the top places in the world to become an entrepreneur and we want to attract talented graduates to set up and build their business here," said Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green.
"UKTI's Sirius scheme will be one of the most comprehensive start-up support packages offered globally, and the best in Europe."
Sirius was unveiled to 200 young people from 40 different countries at UKTI's Entrepreneurs' Festival in Manchester.
"The popularity of the Entrepreneurs' Festival proves that there is a wealth of exciting business ideas out there with massive potential, as well as a great appetite to start up in the UK," said Lord Green.
"Ensuring that Britain becomes the country of choice for talented graduates to start and grow their businesses will help our economy to grow, boost productivity and create jobs."
The UK government is keen to lure not only the next generation of talent to support the economy on its recovery path, but also foreign direct investment (FDI) from established firms.
There has already been some success in this. In its 2012/13 Inward Investment Annual Report, UKTI said that there were 1,559 investment projects secured over the 12 month period, an 11% increase on the year before.
This is despite the global trend of falling inward foreign investment. The UN Conference on Trade and Development said in its annual World Investment Report that FDI across the world had plunged 18% overall. Across the world's 38 most developed economies this decline was sharper, at 38%.
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