3/7/2011 7:20:08 AM
On the heals of the Kauffman Index release
, I want to call on the Census Bureau to produce more information on immigrant entrepreneurs. In my other posting I pointed to some of the big shifts which have occurred in the composition of new entrepreneurs over the last decade but I think it's worth repeating that here:
As the Kauffman Index shows
immigrant entrepreneurs made up almost 30 of all new entrepreneurs in 2010, more than doubling over the last decade and a half, and yet this is a group which we know very little about systematically at the national level and especially at the sub-national level. There are competing streams of research (see Wadwha, et. al
and Hart, et. al
), some of which Kauffman has funded, that point alternatively to the importance or the normalcy of immigrant entrepreneurs. Regardless of which stream of research you believe more, the Kauffman Index numbers make it strikingly apparent that we need to know more about rapidly growing population of new entrepreneurs.
I specifically suggest to Census that it consider adding a report to the current production schedule for the Survey of Business Owners
which is the largest survey of small business owners. In 2007 this survey added a question about immigrant status of business owners (a good move!) but currently there are no plans to specifically provide a detailed overview of immigrant entrepreneurs (see SBO release schedule here
). The SBO already provides detailed overviews of Black, Hispanic, Native American, American Indian or Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders, Asian, Women, and Veteran-owned businesses. The immigrant data will be part of the June release of the report "Characteristics of Business Owners" but today I want to call on Census to consider adding a separate and more detailed Immigrant overview. The SBO could provide detailed sub-national estimates of the type and impact of immigrant-owned businesses and help to understand what has been a seemingly large shift in the composition of new entrepreneurs. The data exists; all that is needed is a recognition of this important group among entrepreneurs.