Immigrant entrepreneurs driving small business in US

Global Business

Immigrant entrepreneurs driving small business in US

Immigrants are twice as likely as people born in the U.S. to start a business in America yet, the U.S. offers no clear path to immigrant entrepreneurship.

CCTV America’s Roza Kazan reports.
Follow Roza Kazan on Twitter @rozakazancctv

Immigrant entrepreneurs driving small business in US

Immigrant entrepreneurs driving small business in US

Immigrants are twice as likely as people born in the U.S. to start a business in America yet, the U.S. offers no clear path to immigrant entrepreneurship. CCTV America’s Roza Kazan reports.

It’s become a hot button issue in the U.S. 2016 presidential campaign.

But lost in the rhetoric the hefty economic power of immigrant entrepreneurs, who’ve founded 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies.

Research by the Fiscal Policy Institute shows that while making up just 16 percent of the labor force, immigrants own 28 percent of so-called Main Street businesses: grocery stores, barber shops and gas stations, pumping the much needed lifeblood into struggling post-industrial cities across the Rust Belt.

Dulcelandia or Candyland is run by family of Mexican immigrants, who now own four stores in Chicago specializing in Mexican sweets.

“My Dad came to this country over 40 years ago as an immigrant entrepreneur and it was one of those – I’ll do anything to be successful and to start a business,” Eve Rodriguez Montoya, Vice President of Branding, Dulcelandia said.

Rodriguez also said immigrants should strive to start their own businesses.

More than half the U.S. graduates with Masters and Ph.D level degrees in science, technology, engineering and math are foreign-born. But the U.S. offers no visas to come and start a business here and according to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the country has no clear path to immigrant entrepreneurship.

Ujjwal Gupta came to the U.S. for a Ph.D in nanotechnology. His immigration status became a roadblock when he wanted to start a software business that helps students prepare for tests.

“Although I had a Ph.D from the United States, the U.S. government, taxpayers invested more than a million dollars in my Ph.D, there was no way for me start a company,” said Gupta, Founder of BenchPrep.

He had to return to India and run the company from over there, eventually attracting enough investors to be able to have his company apply for a work visa, H1-B.

“I spent almost 50 percent of my time in the first three years, trying to navigate through the immigration system. Imagine if I would have spent that time growing the company,” added Gupta.

A loss of top talent, experts say, in a highly competitive global economy.

Changes in the composition of new entrepreneurs in the United States between 1996 and 2011, by nativity

This statistic shows changes in the composition of new entrepreneurs in the United States between 1996 and 2011, by nativity. In 2011, 28 percent of entrepreneurs were immigrants.


Barbara Corcoran talks about entrepreneurship in US

One of the most famous entrepreneurs in the United States is Barbara Corcoran, a real estate magnate and investor on hit reality TV show “Shark Tank”.

She and online small business lender OnDeck have just launched their Seal of Approval Contest in the United States that will award three entrepreneurs with $10,000 and one-on-one coaching with the celebrity investor.

CCTV America’s Karina Huber interviewed her, discussing what she would advise contestants to do to get her attention.
Follow Karina Huber on Twitter @kkat31


One more questions for Barbara Corcoran: What are you insecure about?

  • Lance

    An informative worldwide book/ebook that helps explain America and its business environment to immigrants and int’l students is “What Foreigners Need To Know About America From A To Z: How to Understand Crazy American Culture, People, Government, Business, Language and More.” Endorsed worldwide by ambassadors, educators, and editors, it aids those who want to learn more about US culture on many issues, including business operations.

    As the book points out, immigrants own 11 percent of US businesses and are 60 percent more likely to start one than native-born Americans. They represent 17 percent of all new business owners (in some states more than 30 percent). Foreign-born business owners generate nearly one-quarter of all business income in California and nearly one-fifth in New York, Florida, and New Jersey.

    Its four business chapters explain how foreigners can succeed in the US business world, from getting a job to owning/starting their own businesses. However, they must understand US culture above all in order to succeed.

    In describing America, chapter after chapter identifies “foreigners” who became successful in the US and contributed to our society, including business people. An entire chapter is devoted to starting and running your own business. However, most struggle in their efforts and need guidance. Perhaps concerned citizens, improved labor-business cooperation, and books like this can extend a helping hand.

    Here’s a closing quote from the book’s Intro: “With all of our cultural differences though, you’ll be surprised to learn how much our countries—and we as human beings—have in common on this little third rock from the sun. After all, the song played at our Disneyland parks around the world is ‘It’s A Small World After All.’ Peace.”