Throughout U.S. business history, immigrants have played an important part at every level, from visionary business-founders to the workers who help businesses succeed and grow. A recent report found that more than half of U.S. startups that were valued at more than $1 billion were founded by immigrants. For instance, Google was co-founded by Russian immigrant Sergey Brin; Tesla was founded by South African immigrant Elon Musk; Ebay was founded by French immigrant Pierre Omidyar. Many more-established companies also had immigrant founders, including Kraft foods (James L. Kraft immigrated from Canada), Intel (founder Andy Grove was born in Hungary), Pfizer (founder Charles Pfizer was born in the Kingdom of Wurttemberg, in what is now Germany) and AT&T (founder Alexander Graham Bell was born in Scotland).
According federal statistics collected by CBS News, immigrants are more likely than native-born Americans to own their own businesses, and start new businesses at double the rate of native-born Americans. Meanwhile, the Economic Policy Institute notes that immigrants account for 14.7% of total wage, salary and business proprietor income in the U.S. — even though they only make up 13% of the population.
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