Immigrants have long played a pivotal role in American innovation, business and entrepreneurship. Not only have immigrants contributed to some of the United States’ most profound innovations and to the founding of some of the largest business ventures, immigrant entrepreneurs comprise critical components of small business communities throughout the country. Indeed, the research on the benefits immigrants and immigrant entrepreneurs bring to the United States is clear. For example, from 1995 to 2005 immigrants helped found 25 percent of all high-tech companies, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and representing a market capitalization of several hundred billion dollars. Furthermore, immigrants are more than twice as likely start a business in the U.S. as the native-born population. In 2011, immigrants started 28 percent of all new business, while only accounting for 13 percent of the U.S. population. Immigrants and immigrant entrepreneurs are a source of strength, interjecting new life into communities. They not only help stem population loss, but also inject new vitality into local economies, opening new businesses, and creating new jobs and a new consumer base. As the understanding of the many benefits immigrant entrepreneurs bring increases, a growing list of cities and towns across the American heartland are implementing various “welcoming” strategies to encourage immigrant settlement, business startups, and job creation, giving their communities an economic and demographic boost.

Why are immigrants seemingly more entrepreneurial than the native-born population? Is the act of migrating in itself an entrepreneurial act that serves to channel more entrepreneurial individuals to the U.S.?

How and where are immigrant entrepreneurs revitalizing communities?

How can entrepreneurship in local places be better encouraged?

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    is business! Each new business, whether
    created by a first, second, third or tenth generation immigrant, will create
    jobs in the 21st century in the USA.
    Most other developed nations have opened their doors to business
    investment immigration. In the US, small
    business accounts for the bulk of new jobs.
    For example, as hard-hit Spaniards struggle to keep both their jobs and
    their homes, Spain’s Chinese immigrants in Barcelona and Madrid are starting
    businesses and buying distressed properties from the bursting of Spain’s
    housing bubble. Of the 8,613 foreigners
    who started businesses in Spain in the past 10 months, 30%, or 2,569 of the new
    businesses were Chinese, according to the National Federation of Self-Employed
    Workers. Historically, Congress’s main
    interest in the small-business sector has been its job-creating potential. This has been the case since 1981, when the
    economist David Birch published an article reflecting that small businesses
    created the vast bulk of jobs in the economy. Invest visas will create jobs for
    “American” workers regardless of when their families immigrated to
    the US.

    S. Census Bureau Change in Small Business Employment (in thousands)

    Forty-two percent of all
    jobs created in April 2013 came from small businesses, an ADP Employment report
    stated. Small businesses were
    responsible for 50,000 jobs out of 119,000 created for the entire U. S. job
    market in April 2013. ADP Research Institute

    • Paul McDaniel

      Hi Mark, Thanks for your comments, examples, and for touching on some of the major points of small businesses and their large contribution to job creation in the U.S. What are your thoughts on immigrant-owned small businesses and economic revitalization in local places?

  • Wininja

    I came to the US five times before, in 2011 we (my girlfriend and I) did a round-trip of 5 weeks and in 2012 we stayed 2 months in LA because she followed summer course at an Academy in LA. We will be beck in 2014, and she will study for 3 years.

    When we were in the US and LA in particular I saw big opportunities for my own company which I would like to persue when I come with her to the US. However…. I am not allowed to make money through my own, foreign company when staying in the US, although I would like to invest that money in a US branch. Now that is strange, isn’t it?

    I see big opportunities for my own company to help the US in lowering medical costs and at the same time, create US jobs. So I think this new Bill would help me and the US in achieving both our goals; jobs for the US and me building my business and future in a great country like the US, while at the same time support my girlfriend.

    Now why would I be expanding my own company to the US?First of all because in the US it’s much more common to run your own business. Where I come from people will tell you that you are stupid for starting your own business, whilst in the US people respect you for taking the risk. But the main reason for starting a business in the US, in my opinion, is the fact that one has to make a living and even more important, at the same time give back to the country which gives you the opportunity to become successful. The US is still the land of opportunities and the American dream is still very much alive!

    That’s just my two cents and I hope that this Bill will go through as it creates more jobs and bigger opportunities for everyone.

    • Paul McDaniel

      Hi – Thank you for sharing your thoughts and examples from your own experience.

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