This project of the Women in the Workplace Research Initiative looked at entrepreneurship in the U.S. using the longitudinal Survey of Business Owners (SBOX) and other Census Bureau data sources used to cross-verify and amend the information collected via the SBOX. Dr. Kerr conducted research using the most recently available SBOX data, evaluated any complications in the production data sets, and developed best practices for other researchers based on her exploratory work.
Among the findings from the project, Dr. Kerr found that first-generation immigrants create about 25 percent of new firms in America, and more than 40 percent in some states. She also found that immigrant-owned firms tend to create fewer jobs than native-owned firms and offer fewer benefits, but have comparable pay levels and engage more in international activities. Tech clusters like Silicon Valley demonstrate a particular strength for immigrant high-tech entrepreneurship.
These results confirm that immigrants enter entrepreneurship at a higher rate than non-immigrants, and begin to describe the distinctive features of immigrant-founded firms. This is important given the role of new businesses in generating jobs, and the significant impact of job creation on the U.S. economy.