June 18, 2012. An article by Terry Brodie, Toronto Globe and Mail.

18% of small business owners are immigrants, up from 12% 20 years ago

Immigrants to the United States are playing an increasing role in small businesses, with more than one in six such businesses now owned by an immigrant, finds a new study from the Fiscal Policy Institute.

The study found that people born in another country comprise 18 per cent of all small business owners, though they make up 13 per cent of the population and 16 per cent of the labour force.

And that figure is up significantly from 20 years ago, when immigrants made up 12 per cent of small business owners and 9 per cent of the labour force, the study found.

The study found that small businesses with fewer than 100 employees and at least half-ownership by immigrants brought in $776-billion in receipts and employed 4.7 million people, 14 per cent of all those employed by small businesses.

Among other findings more than half do not have a college degree, the most heavily represented immigrant small business owners come from Mexico, India, Korea, Cuba, China and Vietnam,

In general, it said, immigrants from the Middle East, A sia, and Southern Europe have the highest rates of business ownership.

It also found that women born elsewhere are more likely to be business owners than women born in the United States.