Category Archives: Immigration

Immigrants more likely to be entrepreneurs

This, from BusinessWeek, is no surprise to those of us living in Silicon Valley.

“a November 2008 study by Robert W. Fairlie, a professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz, gives the strongest evidence to date that critics of open-immigration policies have misjudged the impact of immigrants on the U.S. economy.

Issued under the auspices of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the peer-reviewed study pulled data from three large, nationally representative government data sets, and found that immigrants are almost 30 percent more likely to launch a business than non-immigrants. According to the study, roughly 16.7 percent of all new business owners in this country are immigrants, yet immigrants make up only 12.2 percent of the workforce in the U.S. [...]“

America: Wake Up on Immigration

This week the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) released “American Made: The Impact of Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Professionals on U.S. Competitiveness,” a new study that reveals something that Silicon Valley netizens already know but scream for others to recognize: The immigration debate affects America’s economy in a big way.

When most Americans think of immigration, illegal workers from Mexico usually spring to mind. In Brad Pitt’s new movie “Babel,” for instance, the housekeeper who endangers his character’s kids is sent back to Mexico after being caught by border control. Adding fuel to the fire, various politicians have hired illegal workers. Not all immigrants are illegal or a burden, however.

Indeed, apparently unknown to Hollywood and many in the political fray, a bunch of hardworking immigrants have been creating huge numbers of jobs and wealth for the very Americans that want to keep them out.

Immigrant-founded, venture-backed public companies today employ an estimated 220,000 people in the United States and more than 400,000 people globally, according to American Made. That’s a lot of people — and a lot of future voters who wouldn’t be happy if they were unemployed.

The study also found that companies started by immigrants and initially backed by venture capital account for more than US$500 billion of total U.S. market capitalization. That’s a lot of hard work and capital going toward making American lives better. Consider the immigrant influence on some of the companies everyone already knows.

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