Education, Entrepreneurship and Immigration: America's New Immigrant Entrepreneurs, Part II


America's New Immigrant Entrepreneurs, Part II

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Immigrant entrepreneurs are highly educated individuals who often enter the U.S. to study and spend years in industry prior to engaging in entrepreneurial ventures.

While the contribution of skilled immigrants to America’s technology and engineering startups has been recognized for the past decade as critical to the emergence of many of America’s most entrepreneurial companies and huge, new industries, little has been known about the backgrounds of these immigrant entrepreneurs. What types of education have these technology and engineering entrepreneurs received? Why did they come to the United States?  

Our research confirms that advanced education in science, technology, engineering and math is correlated with high rates of entrepreneurship and innovation. The U.S. economy depends on these high rates of entrepreneurship and innovation to maintain its global edge. Our higher education system has historically attracted talented immigrants from around the world to the United States to study. We now face a choice—to encourage more Americans to complete higher degrees in these fields, or to encourage foreign students to stay in the United States after completing their degrees. We need to do both.