Foreign-born entrepreneurs are a vital part of the U.S. economy, a new study shows. Economists Sari Pekkala Kerr of Wellesley and William R. Kerr from Harvard have recently found that as of 2008, more than one in four entrepreneurs in the United States was foreign-born. Apart from the famous cases, such as Google or Uber, with immigrant founders or co-founders, there are thousands of more firms in the U.S. that should attribute their debut to the immigrants.
The new study has found that the share of new firms with at least one immigrant entrepreneur was 37 percent, a rate which has been increasing from 1995 to 2008. That means that about one in every three firms was built with the help of at least one foreign-born individual. In the case of venture capital-backed firms, the numbers are even higher. Nearly 60 percent of these firms had at least one immigrant entrepreneur.
Immigrants also make a substantial share of the new firms in the U.S., especially of those founded by foreign-born entrepreneurs. According to the study, as of 2008 immigrants accounted for almost one quarter of all employees in the new firms, at 22.2 percent in low-tech startups and 21.2 percent in high-tech startups.
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