Immigrants Leading in Entrepreneurship

A Mexican Panaderia in Waukesha, Wisconsin

A Mexican Panaderia in Waukesha, Wisconsin. (Photo: Scott Feldstein/flickr)

The Great Recession has spawned an increase in entrepreneurship–and the trend is being led by immigrants.

As it’s become harder to find jobs, more Americans have started their own businesses.  According to a new report by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, an entrepreneurship advocacy group, immigrants were leaders in this trend last year.  The rate of entrepreneurial activity among immigrants increased significantly – from 0.51 percent in 2009 to 0.62 percent in 2010.

Meanwhile, the rate of activity declined slightly for native-born Americans, widening the gap between the groups.

Latinos had the largest increase in entrepreneurial activity between 2009 and 2010, from 0.46 percent to 0.56. Asian entrepreneurship also increased–from 0.31 percent in 2009 to 0.37 percent in 2010. In all, 29.5 percent of new entrepreneurs were immigrants in 2010.

“The result of these contrasting trends is that immigrants were more than twice as likely to start businesses each month in 2010 than were the native-born,” the authors of the report wrote.

They also note that entrepreneurial activity last year was greater than at any time in the past 15 years.

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