Why Are Immigrants More Entrepreneurial?

There is a rich legacy of immigrant achievement in business, from the second-generation Irish immigrant Henry Ford who built one of the most successful car manufacturers in history right through to today with Elon Musk who moved from South Africa to America to disrupt the motor industry with his revolutionary Tesla cars.

Study after study has highlighted the strong entrepreneurial streak within immigrant communities. For example, 18 percent of America’s most successful companies boast immigrant roots – an astonishing figure when you consider that immigrants make up just 13 percent of the total population. This pattern doesn’t just stretch beyond the US as the 2012 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor showed that entrepreneurial activity was much higher among immigrants than among natives in the vast majority of the 69 surveyed nations.

What Gives Immigrants their Entrepreneurial Edge?

Much like the decision to start a new business, the choice to start a new life in another country is one that is fraught with risk and uncertainty. In order to find success both as a migrant and as an entrepreneur, it is key to embrace risk and relish challenges. As the founder of McDonald’s and second-generation Czech immigrant, Roy Kroc, once so succinctly put it: “If you’re not a risk taker, you should get the hell out of business.” Oftentimes, there is a lot at stake for immigrants when they come to a new country and this only drives the determination to seek better opportunities that have the potential to change their lives.

“It’s not just about being better. It’s about being different. You need to give people a reason to choose your business.” – Tom Abbott, International Sales Expert 

Research has revealed that cross-cultural experiences provide a major stimulus for creativity. Having come from a completely different cultural background means that immigrants tend to bring a totally fresh perspective on how things are done and may enhance their ability to create something new. This unique perspective gives immigrant entrepreneurs an advantage over their competitors when it comes to identifying new niche markets. What’s more, this ability to think outside the box sets them apart from competitors and may make the business more appealing to existing markets and customers.

Another crucial element that contributes to immigrant success within the business is the ability to connect international markets. The combination of language skills and contacts abroad gives immigrants an edge over native-born competitors when it comes to leveraging international markets.

Learn More About Why Immigrants Are More Entrepreneurial

It is clear that there is something essentially entrepreneurial about starting a new life in another country and this experience can often prove to be enormously helpful for immigrants in their entrepreneurial journey. If you are interested in finding out more about this topic, we advise you to check out the below infographic from the team at Hansen & Company. This highly informative infographic guide offers an in-depth examination of immigrant entrepreneurship. It explores the various factors that contribute to immigrants’ entrepreneurial edge and shares some of the most inspiring success stories of our time.


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