Immigrant Entrepreneurship

My friend Aydin, in his new post, outlines his prescription for the ailing U.S. economy:  support for immigrant entrepreneurs.  He proposes:

Support the entrepreneurs, especially the immigrant ones. The stimulus
grants the government is handing out to different industries remains a
band-aid solution and basically just re-allocates existing resources.
Supporting the entrepreneurs, on the other hand, is likely to result in
new jobs, create *new* capital (ie new resources).

I have not researched the numbers on this but I strongly suspect that startups (not necessarily small lifestyle businesses, but high-impact entrepreneurial endeavors) are very efficient allocator of resources.  We felt this firsthand at SelectMinds, in the earlier stages, and created many jobs very rapidly as NYC climbed its way out of post-9/11 depression and the internet economy recovered from the dotcom crash.

Aydin also thinks startups founded by immigrants are critical to this phenomenon.  In that area, as he points out, there's quite a bit of impressive empirical evidence.  I have always believed that the U.S. is a net beneficiary of its progressive immigration policies (even though they can be improved).

I wonder if the same can be said about other countries.   I can not say I have seen examples of resourceful, enterprising endeavors by immigrants in Turkey.

2 thoughts on “Immigrant Entrepreneurship

  1. Turkey unfortunately is rather immigration-unfriendly. (See this article for example I have heard many stories of educated spouses of Turks not being able to get work permits in Turkey.
    I think your friend Aydin is absolutely correct though. For one, immigration creates diversity which in turn creates business value. In that respect Turkey does have very clear examples of this. The explosion of regional cuisine from the south-east for example (all the ocakbasi restaurants in Istanbul, including the rather successful Tikke, Köşebaşı etc.) is due to “immigration” from that region to Istanbul.


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