Even amidst COVID-19 turbulence, immigrants are 40% more likely to start a business and are more optimistic about hiring new employees than others, according to new survey data published by SCORE the nation's largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors.

The Megaphone of Main Street: Unsung Entrepreneurs reports that, unlike other groups, immigrant entrepreneurs cite job discrimination 53% more often as a motivating factor to start their own business.

“With ‘regular’ employment, I was underpaid compared to others with four-year degrees, even though I was held to the same work performance standards,” said one immigrant entrepreneur who responded to the survey. “I could not secure promotions…No employers valued me, but I value myself, so I started a business. The harder I work in my business, the more money I make.”

Key research findings include:

  • In the U.S., immigrant business owners are more likely to seek all forms of financial support and less likely to receive it, compared to native-born business owners. They are rejected 72-83.5% more often when seeking expanded lines of credit, crowdfunding, new investors, support from online lenders and veteran loans.
  • Immigrant business owners are more likely than non-immigrant business owners to apply for all forms of government support, and significantly less likely to receive the full amount they request.
  • Half to three-quarters of immigrant business owners surveyed feel no support from their federal, state or local government.

With less access to credit or lenders, immigrant business owners tap into personal finances and credit cards more often and are 45.1% more likely to utilize loans from friends and family to support their business.

Download SCORE's "Megaphone of Main Street: Unsung Entrepreneurs

View Infographic #1: Immigrant Entrepreneurs

View Infographic #2: Veteran Entrepreneurs

View Infographic #3: Encore (55+) Entrepreneurs

Megaphone of Main Street graphic with blue background and green illustrated office buildings