By Stuart Anderson, for Forbes
Immigrant founders of recent billion-dollar companies immigrated to the United States from 25 different countries. Their stories tell us it is still possible to achieve success in America even if you don’t start out with money or connections.
Despite the lack of a startup visa and other obstacles, such as often waiting many years for a green card, immigrants continue to shine as entrepreneurs. “Immigrants have started more than half (50 of 91, or 55%) of America’s startup companies valued at $1 billion or more,” according to a recent study from the National Foundation for American Policy.
The diversity of the countries today’s immigrant entrepreneurs come from should be heartening for Americans. “The leading countries of origin for the immigrant founders of billion-dollar companies,” the study noted, “are Canada and Israel with 9 immigrants each, India (8), the United Kingdom (7), China (6), Germany (4), France (3), Ireland (3), Russia (3), Australia (2), Ukraine (2) and 14 other countries with one entrepreneur – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Denmark, Iraq, Italy, Lebanon, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Sweden, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.”
Stuart Anderson is the executive director of the National Foundation for American Policy, a non-partisan public policy research organization focusing on trade, immigration and related issues.
Photo: Adam Neumann, right, is the co-founder and CEO of WeWork. He came to the United States from Israel. He’s pictured here next to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.