The Economic Case For Welcoming Immigrant Entrepreneurs

Sep 11, 2015
  • Description

There's something inherently entrepreneurial about leaving your home to start a new life in another country. Perhaps that is why immigrants tend to start businesses at a disproportionately higher rate than native-born Americans. In fact, more than 40 percent of the Fortune 500 companies in 2010 were founded by an immigrant or the child of an immigrant. Yet, despite their vast economic contributions, U.S. law provides no dedicated means for immigrant entrepreneurs to launch innovative companies in the United States. Meanwhile, other countries are stepping up to attract foreign entrepreneurs. With new visas, countries like Canada and New Zealand are competitors for international entrepreneurial talent. This policy brief suggests a visa for entrepreneurial immigrants could boost U.S. economic growth and create American jobs. Commonly called a startup visa, this new means of entry would allow immigrant entrepreneurs to start businesses in the United States after satisfying certain funding, employment, or other requirements.