Surpreneurship Among Immigrants

Improved Essays
Growing up in my household there was always conversation around some family member starting a business. Albeit, the discussion usually revolved around how stupid they were to take such a big risk, but that never seemed to stop the startup trend. Everything from restaurants to spas and real estate agencies - you name it, and someone in my family has probably attempted to start it. In immigrant families bills needed to be paid and children needed to be fed, so when there was no job available- you make one. While some businesses were more successful than others, there was definitely an entrepreneurial spirit in not only my family but many of the other immigrant families around me. Remarkably it was usually the women who would take the risk of …show more content…
In 2012, immigrants were almost twice as likely to start a business as native born entrepreneurs. While in 1996 immigrants only made up 13.7 percent of entrepreneurs, in 2012 they compromised a whopping 27.1 percent of America’s entrepreneur population. This is no surprise considering that for most immigrants the pursuit of the American Dream and entrepreneurship are two ideas that are tightly interwoven. Surprisingly, this is a phenomenon that has gone relatively unnoticed by the general population until recently. The thoughts of a self- employed immigrant usually produce images of small shop owners, when in actuality immigrants are involved in almost every industry. To put these numbers into perspective of an extremely important sector of our economy, from 2006 to 2012 about one quarter of the engineering and technology companies had at least one key founder that was an immigrant- 43.9 percent in Silicon Valley. These firms have employed about 560,000 workers and have amassed $63 billion in sales in 2012. In fact, in 2010 an immigrant or a first generation entrepreneur started 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies. Looking at the statistics, the economic impact that this group has made to our country is …show more content…
Immigrant women must overcome the same issues of access to capital and gender bias within certain industries that native born women face, but “unlike native born entrepreneurs, they frequently can't turn to their networks for a 'friends and family' first round; they often can't find a co-signer on a micro loan,” revealed one female entrepreneur during a Huffington Post interview. Language and cultural barriers can even further exasperate the difficulties of learning the financial rules and regulations when trying to start a business in another

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