US immigrants most likely to become entrepreneurs

New research has found that new American immigrants are more likely to set up a small business in the country than any other demographic living there.

But according to researchers at Israel’s Ono Academic College, the reasons that immigrants have for becoming entrepreneurs are not born from a desire to lead the ‘American Dream’, but rather from a need to work.

Using data widely available on LinkedIn, the study found that there was a direct relationship between a high yearly flow of immigrants to the US and a rise in entrepreneurship. It also concluded that a majority of immigrants were “driven” to entrepreneurship in reaction to “discriminatory hiring practices” in their new home country.

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“This is contrary to claims often made by countries whose emigrants become successful entrepreneurs in their new countries,” Professor Yaron Zelekha, Dean of the Faculty of Business Administration, who authored the study and its report, told Forbes. “The US and other countries are sometimes blamed for ‘stealing’ entrepreneurs from other countries. But this new study suggests this is not necessarily the case. We found that successful immigrant entrepreneurs mostly became that way to overcome exclusion and other obstacles,” he adds.

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Separate recent research carried out by Barclays found that 21 per cent of high-net-worth individuals in the US made their money by setting up their own business – a higher percentage than seen in most other regions, including Europe, Asia and South America.

Some of America’s most successful companies were founded by immigrants, including Google (by Russian Sergey Brin), Yahoo (by Jerry Yang originally from Taiwan) and Instagram (by Brazilian Mike Krieger).