An increasing number of entrepreneurs that make the prestigious Forbes 400 list are immigrants, and these immigrant-founded businesses are bringing jobs and opportunity to American workers.
Forbes recently featured some of these highly successful immigrant entrepreneurs in a cover story encouraging immigrants to keep believing in the American dream.
“For all the political bombast about immigrants being an economic drain or a security threat, the pace of economic hypersuccess among immigrants is increasing.
The feature story is full of eye-popping facts about the value of immigrant businesses that often get lost in our politically-charged times, including this:
“For all the political bombast about immigrants being an economic drain or a security threat, the pace of economic hypersuccess among immigrants is increasing. Go back ten years and the number of immigrants on The Forbes 400 was 35. Twenty years ago it was 26 and 30 years ago 20. Not only is the American Dream thriving, as measured by the yardstick of entrepreneurial success, The Forbes 400, but it’s also never been stronger. The combined net worth of those 42 immigrant fortunes is $248 billion.”
One immigrant featured in the story Thomas Peterffy, was born in Hungary and suffered under communist rule, until escaping to the U.S. in 1965, hoping for a better life. He learned to be a draftsman and then a programmer, and founded a company in the 1970s, which pioneered electronic stock trades.
In the 1990s he founded Interactive Brokers Group, and Peterffy, 72, is now worth an estimated $12.6 billion.
Not only is the American Dream thriving, as measured by the yardstick of entrepreneurial success, but it’s also never been stronger. The combined net worth of those 42 immigrant fortunes is $248 billion.
Peterffy is just one example of someone who embodies the American Dream, along with other immigrants who earned U.S. citizenship and then a spot on The Forbes 400, including:
- Google founder Sergey Brin ($37.5 billion)
- Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk ($11.6 billion)
- eBay founder Pierre Omidyar ($8.1 billion)
- Rupert Murdoch, George Soros, Jerry Yang, Micky Arison, Patrick Soon-Shiong, Jan Koum, Jeff Skoll, Jorge Perez, Peter Thiel.
The story goes on to report that precisely 42 slots on The Forbes 400 belong to naturalized citizens who immigrated to America. That’s 10.5% of the list, a huge over-performance considering that naturalized citizens make up only 6% of the U.S. population.
As previously reported in Immigrant Business, the stats on the positive economic impact of immigrants are staggering:
- Immigrants are nearly twice as likely to start a new business than native-born Americans.*
- Immigrants started 28% of all new businesses in the U.S. in 2015. *
- Immigrants employ one out of every ten American workers at privately owned businesses and generate $775 billion in revenue. *
- The National Foundation for American Policy, a nonpartisan research group, says that 44 of the 87 American tech companies valued at $1 billion or more were founded by immigrants, many of whom now rank among the richest people in America.
*According to the Partnership for a New American Economy, a nonpartisan group formed by Forbes 400 members Murdoch and Michael Bloomberg
As the bombastic rhetoric continues about how immigrants are taking jobs away from Americans, bankrupting social services and endangering the country, the truth paints a very different picture. Immigrant entrepreneurs create wealth, opportunity and jobs………..for Americans. We need more Thomas Peterffys not less.
Foulis Peacock, Immigrant Business