Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Neighborhood Revitalization

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

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 led 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. Their contributions include:
    • 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
    • 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 Latinx immigrants respectively.

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