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Immigrants Driving Small Business Creation

Open-for-BusinessOpen for Business: How Immigrants Are Driving Small Business Creation in the United States

The Partnership for a New American Economy
Robert W. Fairlie

First published August 2012

The axiom that small businesses drive job growth is not quite correct.
It is young businesses that drive job growth.

Businesses under five years old are responsible for all net job creation over the past three decades in America. Unfortunately, the rate of new-business generation is declining: In 2010, it reached the lowest rate in the 30-year history of recorded data. So as America attempts to grow its way out of the recession and create more jobs for American workers, new-business generation should be one of, if not the, primary focus of our economic strategy.

This report examines and assesses a critical driver of new business creation in America: entrepreneurial immigrants. Leaving one’s home and immigrating to a new country to start a new life is itself an entrepreneurial act, so it is perhaps unsurprising that immigrants are disproportionately entrepreneurial.

Previous research has shown how greatly we depend on immigrant entrepreneurs. The Partnership for a New American Economy found that immigrants or their children founded more than 40 percent of America’s Fortune 500 companies, and the Fiscal Policy Institute recently reported that immigrants now own more than 18 percent of all incorporated businesses in the United States.

~from the Executive Summary

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