Immigrants Leading Entrepreneurship in the U.S., Says Duke University Report

A report by a team of student researchers at the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University details the impact of globalization on the U.S. economy and, specifically, the profession of engineering. The report highlights the role skilled immigrants play in leading innovation and creating jobs and wealth in the engineering/technology sector.

Highlights of the Duke report include the following information about engineering and technology companies started in the U.S from 1995 to 2005:

  • At least one key founder in one quarter of all these companies was foreign born. States with the highest rate of foreign-born founders include California, New Jersey and Georgia. States with below average rates include Washington, North Carolina and Ohio.
  • These companies, formed by immigrants, produced $52 billion in sales; 450,000 employees worked for these companies in 2005.
  • More engineering/technology companies in the U.S. were founded by Indians than British, Chinese, Taiwanese and Japanese immigrants combined.
  • Immigrant businesspersons vary by region. In Florida, the majority of immigrant-founded companies were formed by Hispanics; Israelis founded more companies in Massachusetts than any other immigrant group; in New Jersey, 47% of all immigrant-founded engineering/technology companies were started by Indians.
  • Nearly 80% of all immigrant-founded companies in the U.S. were either software companies or innovation/manufacturing-related services.
  • Foreign nationals living in the U.S. were named as the inventors or co-inventors in 24.2% of all international patent applications filed by the U.S. in 2006. This number does not include immigrants who have since become U.S. citizens. This number rose dramatically over the past decade. In 1998, non-citizen immigrants contributed to only 7.3% of all international patent applications filed by the U.S.

View the full report > America’s New Immigrant Entrepreneurs

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