Rational Middle Podcast - “Relentlessly Resourceful”: The Intersection of Immigration and Entrepreneurship

A recent Rational Middle podcast highlighted the statistically significant role that immigrants play in the US economy as entrepreneurs. Host Loren Steffy and Dane Stangler, Director of Strategic Initiatives at the Bipartisan Policy Center, highlighted data and facts making the case that immigrants are important drivers of US economic growth through their relatively high rate of founding companies and creating jobs.

In terms of high-tech entrepreneurship, immigrants are disproportionately responsible for founding venture backed firms. A study from the national venture capital association found that around one third of companies backed by venture capital had an immigrant founder, while immigrants only make up 14% of the US population,” said Stangler, pointing out that venture backed companies also have a disproportionately high impact on job creation.

The rate of new business creation for the foreign born is almost twice that of native-born Americans, and new businesses are one of the primary drivers for job creation. Immigrants are punching way above their weight in terms of job creation,” said Stangler, citing a New American Economy study which found that in 2021, 44 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children.

Stangler also said the outdated US immigration system may be losing entrepreneurs to other developed countries that have created new visas to welcome entrepreneurs in recent years and that the current EB-5 visa is called an entrepreneur visa when in reality it is an investor visa.

Stangler and Steffy called on lawmakers to take action to better welcome immigrant entrepreneurs by creating a new start-up company or entrepreneur visa and also giving H1-B holders the ability to leave their jobs and start companies.

To learn more, listen to the Rational Middle Podcast Episode 98 "Relentlessly Resourceful": The Intersection of Immigration and Entrepreneurship with Dane Stangler below. 



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