It is hard to overstate the importance of entrepreneurship since new businesses are the main driver of job growth in the United States. Immigrants play a particularly important role in this; founding businesses at far higher rates than the U.S. population overall. Their knack for starting businesses is an important source of new job creation in cities across the country.
Why Immigrant Entrepreneurs Are So Important
Immigrant entrepreneurs have long been an important part of America’s economic success story. Some of the largest and most recognizable American companies were founded by immigrants or the children of immigrants, including household names such as Tesla, Apple and Costco, as well as newcomers to the Fortune 500 list like TD Ameritrade and Corteva. More than two out of every five Fortune 500—the 500 largest corporation by revenue in the country—had at least one immigrant or child-of-immigrant founder. This pattern has continued over the years since. This year, we find that 44 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants. Of those companies, 101 were founded directly by foreign-born individuals while another 120 were founded by the children of immigrants.
These New American firms make important contributions to both the U.S. and the global economy. In fiscal year 2019, the 221 New American companies on the 2020 Fortune 500 list brought in $6.3 trillion in revenue. To put it in context, that figure is greater than the GDP of many developed countries—including Japan, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
Despite these monumental contributions; immigrant entrepreneurs face many obstacles when starting out. Of course there are challenges that are similar to other small business operators, including funding, managing operations and scaling. They also often encounter unique obstacles, such as navigating immigration status and legal concerns, language barriers and difficulty accessing credit. In addition, the United States lacks a startup visa to welcome immigrant entrepreneurs with a proven idea and solid investment.
At the StartUp Clinic, we are passionate about first time entrepreneurs achieving their dream of launching a successful business. We enjoy supporting Immigrant Entrepreneurs in any ways possible, in achieving their dream. Check out the Legal & Funding links and resources for Immigrant Entrepreneurs.