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Role of Immigrant Entrepreneurs Growing In America

Release Date: 
Thursday, October 6, 2016 - 10:30am
Release Number: 
16-10 ADV
Elle Patout

For Release: October 6, 2016
SBA Number: 16-10 ADV 

Contact: Elle Patout


Role of Immigrant Entrepreneurs Growing In America


WASHINGTON, D.C. –Today’s issue brief, The Arrival of the Immigrant Entrepreneur by Research Economist Daniel Wilmoth, Ph.D., is the third in a series of reports on trends in entrepreneurship by the Office of Advocacy.  From 1994 to 2015, Wilmoth found that the percentage of the self-employed who were born abroad more than doubled, growing from 8.6 percent to 19.5 percent.

Today’s report shows that this growth can be attributed to:

  • an increase in the size of the population born abroad,
  • an increase in self-employment among those born abroad, and
  • a decrease in self-employment overall.

“Our nation’s policymakers need to continue to keep a laser sharp focus on entrepreneurship in America,” said Chief Counsel for Advocacy Darryl L. DePriest.  “After reviewing the results of our analysis, lawmakers should make sure their policies include a productive avenue for business development for self-employed individuals who are born abroad as well.”

To see more on the role of immigrant entrepreneurs, view the report here on the Office of Advocacy website.  The next report in this series will go more in-depth and explain the rise in self-employment among those born abroad.


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 policymakers. Regional advocates and an office in Washington, D.C., support the Chief Counsel’s efforts. For more information, visit, call (202) 205-6533 or get updates on Twitter (@AdvocacySBA) or Facebook at