Immigrants’ Role in the Small Business Economy Grows

Bloomberg Businessweek
June 14, 2012

The share of U.S. small businesses owned by immigrants has expanded by 50 percent since 1990, with almost one-fifth of business owners born outside the country, according to a new report (PDF) by the Fiscal Policy Institute.

The number of foreign-born business owners has increased in tandem with the immigrant workforce. Immigrants made up about 9 percent of workers in 1990 and 12 percent of business owners with fewer than 100 employees, according to the report, which analyzed U.S. Census data. In 2010, the foreign-born share of the workforce had grown to 16 percent, and immigrants made up 18 percent of small business owners.

“It’s gone from a modest size of business owners to a pretty substantial size of business owners,” says David Dyssegaard Kallick, a fellow at the institute who authored the report.

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