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Immigrant-Owned Businesses Flourished in 2023

Last year, immigrant entrepreneurs had an outsized impact on new business creation -- and they have big plans for 2024.

By Inc.Arabia Staff
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Small business creation continued to boom in 2023, and immigrants played a key role in that new wave.  

Immigrants founded 17 percent of new businesses in 2023, according to the payroll provider Gusto, which surveyed 1,345 new businesses that joined its platform in 2023. This is notable, a report from Gusto notes, considering immigrants only make up about 14 percent of the U.S. population.  

These immigrant entrepreneurs primarily hailed from Asia, Europe, and North America, and according to the report, their top two reasons for starting a business mirror those of other entrepreneurs: flexibility and the ability to be their own boss, and financial stability. But the former is particularly motivating for immigrant founders, with 70 percent citing it as a main driver compared to 66 percent of all entrepreneurs. 

These founders aren't just starting businesses--they are growing them, and quickly. Eighty-five percent of these immigrant-owned businesses had "at least one employee, compared to 78% of all the businesses in our survey," per Gusto. And they have big plans for next year: A quarter plan to hire more team members in 2024, "compared to about a fifth of all businesses."  

The children of immigrants are having a big impact, too, forming 17 percent of the new businesses created in 2023. That means, in total, about "one-in-three founders in 2023 was either an immigrant or the child of an immigrant," the report notes.  

It's not all smooth sailing for these founders. Some immigrant entrepreneurs face hurdles accessing funding, for instance. But the Gusto report concludes that their "strong hiring track record and growth plans show how important a role businesses owned by immigrants and first-generation Americans play in their communities."

Photo Credit: Getty Images.

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