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Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Neighborhood Revitalization

Studies of the Allston Village, East Boston and Fields Corner Neighborhoods in Boston, December 2005

Fast Facts

  • Immigrants, by a significant margin, in every national Census since 1880, have been more likely to be self-employed than the native-born population. Likewise, the expansion of the immigrant population in Boston has lead to an increase in immigrant-founded businesses.
  • The immigrant entrepreneurs in Fields Corner, Allston Village and East Boston contribute to the economy and quality of life by
    • Reviving commerce and investment in areas that had economically declined;
    • Providing needed products and services for immigrants and the native-born alike;
    • Addressing the particular needs of distinct ethnic niches;
    • Incubating new businesses and mentoring new entrepreneurs;
    • Attracting new customers;
    • Providing employment opportunities;
    • Enhancing the physical quality and appearance of buildings; and,
    • Enhancing public safety
  • These businesses were most likely to be financed by the owners and their families and were not connected to mainstream business associations or government assistance programs.
  • Entrepreneurs in Allston Village reflected the ethnic diversity of that area. Fields Corner and East Boston are less diverse and the businesses were founded by Vietnamese immigrants and Hispanics respectively.

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The Immigrant Learning Center, 442 Main Street, Malden, Massachusetts, 02148     (781) 322-9777

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