How Foreign-Born Immigrant Entrepreneurs Fuel the U.S. Economy: By the Numbers
For many, entrepreneurship can be the quickest path to the American Dream. So it may not be surprising to learn that immigrant entrepreneurs have significantly higher business formation and ownership rates than non-immigrants. A comprehensive study of the 2007 U.S. Survey of Business Owners reveals how immigrant entrepreneurs benefit (and benefit from) the U.S. economy.
The income and jobs immigrant-owned businesses generate have an undeniably positive impact on the U.S. economy. In 2010, immigrant-owned businesses employed one in every 10 U.S. workers and generated more than $775 billion in revenue.
Immigrants own a much higher proportion of businesses than non-immigrants. According to an analysis of Small Business Administration data, immigrants are 10 percent more likely to own a business than a non-immigrant.
In fact, around 1 in every 10 immigrant worker owns a business, and, each month, around 62 of every 10,000 immigrants launches a new business. That’s double the rate of the non-immigrant population.
Over the last 15 years, immigrants increased their business formation rate by more than 50 percent—an even more commendable accomplishment since, during the same period, non-immigrants’ business formation rate dropped by 10 percent.
While immigrant-owned businesses are slightly more likely than non-immigrant owned businesses to hire employees, they tend to hire fewer employees on average. Some entrepreneurs may rely on relatives or family friends to perform tasks that aren’t time-intensive enough to justify a dedicated, full-time employee.
But the power of immigrants isn’t limited to small mom-and-pop shops. It continues into the C-Suite: 21 percent of Inc. 500 CEOs were born outside the U.S. And a study in 2010 found that more than 40% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by an immigrant or a child of an immigrant.
With the historic nationwide increase in immigrant-run businesses over the past decade, this significant impact will likely continue, even in a turbulent political environment.
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