Today, immigrants make up around 13 percent of the U.S. population, yet they play a great role in entrepreneurship and business formation relative to their overall numbers. According to a report
from the Kauffman Foundation, immigrants continue to be almost twice as likely as the native-born to become entrepreneurs. In fact, in 2014 immigrant entrepreneurs launched 28.5 percent of new businesses and continue to help fuel a growth in new business creation nationally. This is an increase from 25.9 percent in 2013 and 13.3 percent in 1996.
While many of these new businesses are not necessarily high-tech startups in Silicon Valley, the typical immigrant entrepreneur in communities throughout the country is opening in small 'mom and pop' shops, such as a taqueria or a dry-cleaning shop. Starting a small business is often a "step ahead for these hardworking, ambitious immigrants who may lack the language skills or formal educational credentials to secure good jobs in traditional workplace settings."
According to the Fiscal Policy Institute
in 31 of the 50 largest U.S. metropolitan areas, immigrants accounted for all of the net growth in owners of businesses in the retail, accommodation and food services, and neighborhood services sectors. "Although these are businesses that do not often get huge profits, they in fat play a big role in neighborhood revitalization, and they can be an important economic step up for the entrepreneurs," according to David Kallick, who conducted the report.