Conference on Immigrant Entrepreneurship in Massachusetts

Conference presentation

Conference Confirms Immigrant Entrepreneurs Spur Economic Growth and Create Jobs in Massachusetts

November 17, 2010

Babson College, Wellesley, MA.

hosted by The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc.


WELLESLEY, MA—The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc. (ILC) in collaboration with Babson College held a statewide conference at the College that confirms Massachusetts immigrant entrepreneurs are engines of economic growth and job creation in the Commonwealth.

An audience of nearly 100 state and local policy makers and community economic developers learned about the contributions of Massachusetts immigrant entrepreneurs who come from all corners of the globe and start businesses from neighborhood storefronts to science and technology firms.

Twenty immigrant entrepreneurs and researchers presented extensive documentation showing how immigrant entrepreneurs bring billions of dollars worth of education and training as well as their talent, energy, risk taking and indomitable spirit that benefit the Commonwealth and the nation.

Key findings on Massachusetts immigrant entrepreneurs presented at the Conference included:

  1. Immigrants established 25.7 percent of biotechnology firms in the Commonwealth that generated 4,000 jobs and $7.6 billion in revenue in 2006 alone.
  2. Asian-owned businesses grew an astounding 44 percent in the previous economic census. Asian Americans, who are mostly immigrants, created 18,801 companies from nail salons to scientific firms and paid more than 37,000 employees with an annual payroll of $1.2 billion.
  3. Immigrants command ownership of 33 percent of restaurants and hotel accommodations businesses.
  4. Immigrant-owned storefront businesses in economically-depressed neighborhoods revived commerce in those communities by providing goods and services for ethnic groups and native-born consumers, stimulating other business growth and making those neighborhoods safer and more attractive.

Photo from The ILC Immigrant Entrepreneur ConferenceAccording to Director of the ILC Public Education Institute Dr. Marcia Hohn, “Immigrant entrepreneurship is an old story in America but a changing one. As we move into the new world of global business, these entrepreneurs provide crucial models, connections and cultural know-how for doing business internationally.

They create new pathways for conducting business in the global marketplace that will bring critical wealth creation and jobs to Massachusetts and the country.”

Photo of Saul Perlera at The ILC Immigrant Entrepreneurship ConferenceConference presenters included Dr. Jan Vilcek of New York University and co-developer of the breakthrough drug Remicade; Yumin Choi of The Capital Network; and Richard Herman, coauthor of Immigrant, Inc. Mr. Herman addressed how immigrant entrepreneurs could be welcomed and supported in order to build wealth and benefit local economies.



Key information from the Conference on Immigrant Entrepreneurship in Massachusetts:

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