Summary of Immigrant Entrepreneurship

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Immigrant Entrepreneurship summary
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7 Overall

9 Importance

7 Innovation

6 Style


Academics Sari Pekkala Kerr and William R. Kerr shed some preliminary but much-needed light on the topic of immigration, particularly as it relates to those immigrants who start businesses in the United States. Their analysis tackles such issues as what employment prospects these immigrant entrepreneurs create for others and whether age at immigration influences entrepreneurial success. However, their report ends up raising more questions than it can answer with its data-based approach. Nonetheless, getAbstract suggests this ambitious study to officials, economists and entrepreneurs – both foreign- and native-born.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How businesses set up by immigrant entrepreneurs have fared, compared to those started by their native-born counterparts;
  • What influences the choices of immigrant entrepreneurs; and
  • How the age at which migrants enter the United States affects their success as entrepreneurs. 

About the Authors

Sari Pekkala Kerr is a senior research scientist at Wellesley College. William R. Kerr is a Harvard Business School professor.



Immigration is a hot-button topic in the media and in government, with proponents crediting immigrant entrepreneurship with creating jobs in the United States. State initiatives to encourage such free enterprise seek to lower the hurdles that keep immigrants from owning businesses, such as their lack of language fluency or inability to manage the legal landscape. Success stories of immigrant entrepreneurs include those of Google co-founder Sergey Brin and other Silicon Valley moguls. ...

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