Reaffirming the vitality that foreign-born business owners bring to the economy, Gov. Deval Patrick proclaimed Massachusetts Immigrant Entrepreneurship Month on Tuesday, October 15, 2013. It was the third straight year that the Month was proclaimed to recognize the significant contributions that foreign-born entrepreneurs make to economic growth, innovation and job creation in the Commonwealth. (See the 2012 blog post and a video from the 2011 launch.)
In delivering the proclamation in downtown Boston, Gov. Patrick emphasized the entrepreneurial spirit of immigrants who start businesses and create jobs that fuel the Massachusetts economy.
Three such immigrant business owners were on hand including Charles Mwangi (Kenya) of Comfort Care Resource Group in Malden who was featured in Immigrant Entrepreneurs in Growing Industries: Creating Jobs and Strengthening the U.S. Economy, the latest report from The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc. (ILC). Along with Mwangi (pictured at right), Victoria Amador (Dominican Republic), co-founder of Tremendous Maids in Jamaica Plain, and Suren Masumyan (Armenia), founder of SurriMassini, Inc. in Swampscott, were presented with citations by Gov. Patrick. See videos of other outstanding entrepreneurs in The ILC’s Immigrant Entrepreneur Interview Series.
Massachusetts Immigrant Entrepreneurship Month takes place from October 15 to November 15, 2013. It kicks off a series of events into 2014 by The ILC and the New Americans Integration Institute at the Massachusetts Immigrant and Advocacy (MIRA) Coalition. It culminates in May with the 2014 ILC Immigrant Entrepreneur Awards.
The Massachusetts Immigrant Entrepreneurship Month initiative is led by The ILC, MIRA’s New Americans Integration Institute and the Office for Refugees and Immigrants. It recognizes the significant contributions that foreign-born innovators and business owners make to the Commonwealth. In greater Boston alone, immigrants own more than 8,800 small businesses representing $3.7 billion in annual sales and employing 18,500 people, according to data from the Boston Redevelopment Authority. ILC-commissioned research shows that one-third of leisure and hospitality businesses in Massachusetts were founded by immigrants and that immigrant entrepreneurs have founded or co-founded 26 percent of Massachusetts biotech companies and produce $7.6 billion in annual revenue and employ more than 4,000 people.