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The Extensive Benefits of Immigrant Representation in Entrepreneurship and Business

In a world where technology is rapidly developing and new innovations are in close reach, the diversification and expansion of the United States economy is more important than ever. As people look towards ways to create their own paths to financial freedom, the enticing yet daunting challenge of entrepreneurship comes into light, a challenge which around 55% of adults in the US have taken on.

So who are the people starting these businesses? In 2019, immigrant entrepreneurs made up 21.7% of all business owners in the United States, despite making up just over 13.6% of the population and 17.1% of the U.S. labor force. Whether these businesses are a small corner store or a technology company, immigrants are taking the risk to start their own businesses over 30% of the time in some states, most likely due to their willingness to come to the United States, and also due to the lack of resources and the inability to find already existing work that aligns with credentials and experience. Whatever the circumstances may be, their dedication to becoming entrepreneurs and the high amount of immigrant representation in business is extremely beneficial to the United States economy due to an influx of new jobs and opportunities and the overall growth and diversification of the economy in general.

In 2017, 8.0 million people were employed by immigrant-owned businesses. Also worth noting is the significant number of firms on the most recent Fortune 500 list that were founded by immigrants or their children (44.2% of the firms), which employed 13.7 million people in the US. Outside of Fortune 500 firms, smaller businesses that are run by immigrants are just as important. They provide jobs in communities for those with similar situations regarding credentials and visas, and also provide jobs in communities for everyone in general, overall lowering the unemployment rate. Their businesses also often provide goods and services tailored to the needs and preferences of diverse communities, which generates interest and continues to allow them to provide new and desirable jobs.

Immigrant entrepreneurs and the jobs they created were paramount as the US recovered from the Great Recession. Between 2007 and 2011, immigrant entrepreneurs founded a large share of new businesses across the country and in several key states, expressing further the importance of immigrant entrepreneurship to the growth and diversification of the economy in general. In 2017, immigrant-owned businesses had accounted for 1.3 trillion dollars of revenue.

Outside of numbers, immigrants bring a fresh perspective to the United States business world, which sparks creativity and inspires people to think outside the box and do more. Their businesses also often serve as cultural bridges in communities; and their representation is beneficial to younger age groups who will look up to the older generations in future endeavors.

As beneficial as these businesses have proven time and time again to be, there are still significant hurdles and obstacles for immigrants looking to forge their own paths. The US government and society in general has plenty of systemic issues that prove to make the lives of many immigrants harder, but organizations such as DREAM Venture Labs look to ease the burden and help future entrepreneurs follow their dreams just as easily as everyone else, by connecting aspiring immigrant business owners with the resources they need to start a successful business in the United States.

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