Immigrants innovate at a higher rate

Immigrants innovate at a higher rate than US citizens, as a study in 2016 identified that more than half the successful start ups in the US (worth more than $1 billion) were founded by immigrants. Another study in 2019 from George Mason University said that firms owned by immigrants had uniformly higher rates of innovation.

“It appears that immigrant entrepreneurs are not replacing Americans, instead, they are creating something new.”

Professor John S. Earle, George Mason University 2019

Many immigrants flock to the US and Silicon Valley because of the size of market opportunities and the access to venture capital funding, but the journey to founding US based start ups is not without difficulty. Om Malik (writer and venture capitalist) said he agreed that immigrants do innovate at a higher rate and that he saw “Silicon Valley as a microcosm for the impact immigrants had throughout the U.S., bringing new and different ideas that spur innovation and creativity.”

“The U.S. is intentionally making it much harder for the best skilled people to come to our country and build great companies. That’s a deliberate decision of our current administration and leadership structure in Congress. Workers who want to come to or stay in the U.S. as entrepreneurs have a couple of visa options, none of which are perfect.”

Ian Hathaway, the lead researcher at the Center for American Entrepreneurship and a fellow at the Brookings Institution 2019

“One of the best ways to build economic growth is to get smart people together. That is what high skilled immigration does” said Hathaway. It will be interesting to see the ongoing impact of both the lock down in visa’s and the broader impact of people no longer travelling due to CoVID19. How it will all turn out only time will tell.

Immigrants innovate at a higher rate.
Synopsis of an article from NBC News by Ben Kesslen
Published 21 February 2019
Full article can be found here:

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