20% of All US Business Owners are First-Generation Immigrants


20% of all business owners in the United States are first-generation immigrants. This is despite only 13% of the US population being made up of migrants who are foreign-born, known as first-generation immigrants.

The unveiling of first-generation immigrants as one of the economy’s leading groups of entrepreneurs, was the finding of Score’s ‘The Megaphone of Main Street: Unsung Entrepreneurs’ report.

SCORE is the United States’ largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground. The report involved SCORE surveying more than 3,270 respondents and analyzing the responses of 2,918 business owners.

The participants represented a diverse range of industries and geographic locations across the country.

20% of US Business Owners are First-Generation Immigrants

The research found that veteran business owners also play a significant role in the business community, with 9% of businesses being owned by veterans. Within the US population, 7.6% are veterans.

Encore entrepreneurs are another leading group identified by SCORE’s report as being ‘unsung’ businesspeople. Encore entrepreneurs refer to business owners over the age of 55, which are one of the fastest growing groups of business owners.

Over Half of US Business Owners are Encore Veterans

According to SCORE’s report, more than half (50.9%) of all business owners in the US are over the age of 55. This is despite individuals aged 55-plus accounting for just 21% of the US population.

SCORE’s research provides important insight into the business community in the United States.

Despite taking an unprecedented knock in the last 18 months by the pandemic and its subsequent disruption, entrepreneurial-minded people are fighting back and determined to make business ventures work.

Immigrant Entrepreneurs Likelier to Employ More Staff

Immigrant entrepreneurs are at the helm of the business ‘comeback’, adopting growth strategies, such as taking on new staff. The research shows that around 35% of immigrant-owned businesses are likelier to employ additional staff compared to less than 25% of native-born business owners.

The authors of the Megaphone of Main Street: Immigrant Entrepreneurs sum-up this statistic, writing:

“Even amidst Covid-19 turbulence, immigrant business owners are more likely to plan on adding new employees.”

Financial Support

The report also explores the financial support different groups of business owners are receiving to help fund their ventures. It found that immigrant entrepreneurs sought many forms of financial support but were less likely to receive it.

For example, out of the 28% of immigrant entrepreneurs likely to apply for SBA loans,  12% were less likely to receive the loan. In terms of grants, only 8% of immigrant entrepreneurs were likely to apply of which almost 29% were less likely to receive the grant.

In order to finance their businesses, this group of entrepreneurs are more likely to tap into personal savings, credit cards and loans from friends and family, the report found.

The conclusions of SCORE’s research are that while it is refreshing to know that so-called ‘unsung’ groups, including immigrant entrepreneurs, are thriving in the US’s business community, business owners of all walks of life should be prepared to explore and apply for the support they may need to take their business further, including financial help.

Image: Depositphotos

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Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 7 years. She is based in the United Kingdom and since 2006, Gabrielle has been writing articles, blogs and news pieces for a diverse range of publications and sites. You can read "Gabrielle’s blog here.".