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Immigrant-owned Businesses Start with More Capital than Non-Immigrant-owned Businesses

Release Date: 
Thursday, May 3, 2012 - 4:00am
Release Number: 
12-06 ADV
Patrick Morris

WASHINGTON, D.C. – According to a study released today by the SBA Office of Advocacy, immigrants make a significant contribution to business ownership and formation.  The study, titled Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners, and their Access to Financial Capital found that ten percent of immigrants own a business. Nearly 20 percent of immigrant-owned businesses started with $50, 000 or more in startup capital, compared to 15.9 percent for non-immigrant- owned business. The study uses data from the 2007 U.S. Survey of Business Owners and the 1996-2010 Current Population Survey.


“Immigrant entrepreneurs are essential to our nation’s growth and economic prosperity,” said Chief Counsel for Advocacy Winslow Sargeant. “Immigrant entrepreneurs make our nation more competitive and serve as reminders of the American dream.”


The most common source of startup capital for immigrant-owned businesses is personal or family savings, with roughly two-thirds of businesses reporting this source of startup capital. Other commonly reported sources of startup capital by immigrant-owned businesses are credit cards, bank loans, personal or family assets, and home equity loans. Overall, the sources of startup capital used by immigrant-owned  businesses do not differ substantially from those used by non-immigrant- owned firms.


Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners, and their Access to Financial Capital is on the Advocacy website:


The Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent voice for small business within the federal government.  The presidentially appointed and Senate confirmed Chief Counsel for Advocacy advances the views, concerns, and interests of small business before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, federal courts, and state policymakers. Regional advocates and an office in Washington, D.C., support the Chief Counsel’s efforts. For more information, visit, or call (202) 205-6533.                  



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