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All Contents © 2020The Kiplinger Washington Editors
By Andrea Browne Taylor, Online Editor
| January 1, 2012
Immigrants make up 13% of the U.S. population. They come here in pursuit of the American Dream, an opportunity for a better life in exchange for hard work. For many, their unique skills and fresh perspectives lead them to entrepreneurship.
That may explain why one small-business owner in six in the U.S. is an immigrant, according to a recent report by the Fiscal Policy Institute's Immigration Research Initiative. Professional and business services, such as waste-disposal services and office administration and cleaning, boast the largest number of immigrant business owners, followed by retail, construction, educational and social services, and leisure and hospitality industries. "Immigrants are such a varied group with people from countries all around the world that have a wide range of skill sets . . . and these [fields] have always been a natural fit" both locally and nationally, says David Dyssegaard Kallick, director of FPI's Immigration Research Initiative.
The seven entrepreneurs featured here come from diverse backgrounds. They made their millions (and, in one case, billions) in industries ranging from Internet technology to restaurant services. Here are their stories.
Courtesy of Josie Natori
Courtesy of Lowell Hawthorne
Courtesy of Shama Kabani
Carlos Castro with his wife Gladis. (Courtesy of Carlos Castro)
Poon Watchara-Amphaiwan for Kiplingers Personal Finance
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SLIDE SHOW: 6 Rags-to-Riches Millionaires
SLIDE SHOW: 5 Midlife Millionaires
SLIDE SHOW: 6 Millionaire Moms
SLIDE SHOW: How to Be a Millionaire by Age 25