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Open For Business: How Immigrants Are Driving Small Business Creation In The United States

The report, “Open For Business: How Immigrants Are Driving Small Business Creation In The United States,” analyzes the increasing importance of foreign-born entrepreneurs on U.S. economic growth and job creation. Picking up and moving to another country is brave and risky, so perhaps it is not surprising that immigrants are venturing out and starting new businesses at a rate that far outpaces their share of the population. From local neighborhood shops to America’s largest companies, immigrant business owners contribute more than $775 billion dollars in revenue to our annual Gross Domestic Product and employ one out of every ten American workers at privately-owned companies across the country.

Key findings of the report include:

  • Immigrants started 28% of all new U.S. businesses in 2011, despite accounting for just 12.9% of the U.S. population
  • Over the last 15 years, immigrants have increased the rate by which they start businesses by more than 50 percent, while the native-born have seen their business generation rate decline by 10 percent
  • Immigrants are now more than twice as likely to start a business as the native-born
  • Immigrants start more than 25% of all businesses in seven of the eight sectors of the economy that the U.S. government expects to grow the fastest over the next decade. These include health care and social assistance (28.7%), construction (31.8%), retail trade (29.1%) and leisure and hospitality (23.9%), among others

In conjunction with the release of the report, New American Economy (NAE) made the case for the economic importance of immigration reform with forums in Chicago and Boston on The Economics and Politics of Immigration. NAE co-chair and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg with join former White House Chief of Staff William M. Daley in Chicago and NAE Co-Chair and News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch in Boston to discuss the role of immigrant entrepreneurs in economic growth, the sensible reforms we need to create American jobs, and the difficulties in making political progress on these issues in Washington.

Download the report “Open For Business: How Immigrants Are Driving Small Business Creation In The United States” (PDF)

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