Marketing and Communications Manager
Steve Chen was born in Taiwan and came to the U.S. at age 15. He met Jawed Karim when they were coworkers at PayPal; Karim was born in Germany and also moved to the U.S. when he was in high school. In 2005, Chen, Karim and their friend Chad Hurley founded YouTube. The next year, they sold YouTube to Google for more than a billion dollars.
According to the National Foundation for American Policy, immigrants have founded 51 percent of America’s billion-dollar startups. Companies like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, eBay, and Tesla all had at least one immigrant founder.
Inc. magazine reports that immigrants are more than twice as likely to start a business as the U.S.-born population, and immigrant business owners employ one out of every 10 workers in U.S. private companies. Why are so many immigrants such great entrepreneurs?
“Cross-cultural experiences may increase individuals’ capabilities to identify promising business ideas,” Peter Vandor and Nikolaus Franke wrote in an article titled “Why Are Immigrants More Entrepreneurial?” that ran in the Harvard Business Review.
“Cross-cultural experiences may also stimulate creativity,” they said. “Interacting with two or more cultural contexts can help immigrants combine diverse ideas, solutions, and customer problems in order to create something entirely new.”
Dustin McKissen theorized in an Inc. magazine article, “Additionally, immigrants often live in underserved communities. If you live in an underserved market, you can spot the goods and services community members don’t have access to and fulfill that need.”
On Wednesday, May 17, entrepreneurs and global partners are invited to the Loudoun Small Business Week event “International Business in Loudoun.” Representatives from international organizations will discuss how starting a business in Loudoun has contributed to their business and community’s success.
Almost one out of every four Loudoun residents was born outside the U.S., with the majority coming from Asian nations, including:
“The Asian community makes a huge impact on the Loudoun economy,” says International Business Development Manager Bob McCollar, who will be speaking on Wednesday. “However, this event is not limited to people who are part of this community or want to do business with this community. It’s for all small business owners who want to find out how to be more successful in Loudoun.”
Details about this and other Loudoun Small Business Week events are at LoudounSBW.org.