When You Think "Immigrant," Think "Small Business Owner"

Blog Post
June 15, 2012By Chuck Sheketoff

In the nation as a whole, who is more likely to start a small business — an immigrant or someone born in the U.S.?

"An immigrant" is the right answer, according to a new report published by the New York-based Fiscal Policy Institute (PDF).

Specifically, nationally immigrants were 10 percent more likely to own a business in 2010 than people born in the U.S. That wasn’t case here in Oregon, where immigrants were less likely than those born in the U.S. to own a business in 2010.

Nevertheless, the Fiscal Policy Institute’s report confirms that Oregon and the nation benefit greatly from the entrepreneurial spirit of immigrants. Among those who owned a small business in Oregon in 2010, 9.2 percent of them — about one out of eleven — had been born abroad. For the Portland metro area, that share was 13 percent, or one out of eight.

In all, about 6,800 small business owners in Oregon in 2010 were immigrants, according to the study.

The study notes that small businesses account for nearly one-third of private sector employment in the U.S., and many of those jobs can be found in immigrant owned-businesses.

So next time that you think "immigrant," think also "small business owner."

This blog post was originally published on www.blueoregon.com on June 15, 2012. The original post can be found at http://www.blueoregon.com/2012/06/when-you-think-immigrant-think-small-business-owner/.