Immigrants as Entrepreneurs

Michelle at the Economic Edge makes an interesting comparison between the qualities needed to leave your homeland and start over in another country and the qualities you need to run your own business. 

Citing the fact that every U.S. census since 1880 has shown that the percentage of immigrants who are self-employed has exceeded the percentage of self-employed native-born Americans, she lists six "characteristics of entrepreneurs" from a 1994 research study.  They are:

  • tolerance of risk, ambiguity and uncertainty
  • commitment and determination
  • creativity, self-reliance and ability to adapt
  • leadership
  • opportunity obsession
  • motivation to excel

These same qualities can be found in most, if not all, business owners. 

Obviously there are other factors in play, but the high numbers of immigrant entrepreneurs have spanned a period of history beginning when most newcomers to the U.S. were from Western Europe until today when a much higher percentage are arriving from Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Asia.  It seems logical that the qualities needed to make any major lifestyle change are pretty much the same.

Read Michelle’s post here.

One Response

  1. Thanks for highlighting my post!

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