Immigrant Entrepreneurs in The USA, What They Do And Why

The USA is absolutely packed with migrant workers from around the world, and the country is better off because of it. Additionally, this has a hugely positive impact on the rest of the world too, as so many of those workers send money home. These workers utilize companies like Ria Money Transfer to send money home to loved ones, which in turn greatly helps many in impoverished situations. Another trend which we have seen by immigrants here in the US is that a large number of them want to set up their very own businesses. Let’s take a deeper look then at what kind of businesses they are launching, and why.


A study in 2019 covered 69 countries and focused heavily on what immigrants were doing in terms of business and careers. In the USA that study found that immigrants were much more likely to set up a business than the native population. Here in the states 13.7% of people are foreign-born, and they make up 20.2% of the self-employed workforce, and 25% of the startup founders. Additionally, a 2018 study by the National Foundation for American Policy found that immigrants were either founders or co-founders of 55% of the United States’ billion-dollar companies.

Reasons For Launching Business

It is tough to put your finger on exactly why so many immigrants look to set up their own businesses when they arrive in the US, but there are some fact-based theories. Firstly we have to look at the origin country of so many immigrants, who do not come from areas where there is a traditional structure to company working. Many of these people had parents who work for themselves based on a skill which they could offer. This thought process continues when they get to the US, albeit on a bigger scale. Additionally, there is the ‘American Dream’ theory, the school of thought that these men and women are aspirational because they have in the US opportunities which they never had at home.

Patterns and Trends

There are immigrant business owners across just about every industry in the US — evidence of this can be seen in the fact that 45% of companies on the Fortune 500 were immigrant-founded.  There are however some sectors where we tend to see a higher representation of foreign-born CEOs. Manufacturing very much leads the way here, with 41% of immigrant CEOs in those companies, behind this we see that 18% of telecom and IT companies were founded by immigrants, and 9% of all retail companies were set up by foreign-born leaders. Whilst it may be tough to pinpoint why these sectors are adopted more by immigrants, it is clear that many of them have worked their way through the system at these mega-companies.

In fact, when it comes to the F500, we can see that an enormous 59% of the CEOs who are in place right now, actually worked their way through the international divisions of US companies. This is the perfect example of migration policy working, allowing the talents of foreign-born entrepreneurs to shine, so much so that they reach the pinnacle of a company.

There is no doubt that immigrants have a better minds and a higher desire for succeeding in business than many Americans, and we need to find out exactly why this is the case.

Author Bio:

Tricia Lee is a contributing writer at Sparkwebs, a Digital Marketing Agency. When she’s not writing, she loves to travel, dance, and read non-fiction.