Ottawa to retool immigrant support program that few used — even as budget tripled

posted on November 12, 2018

By National Post |

The U.S. economy relies on startups for much of America’s net job creation, and immigrants start many of those companies. A recent study from the National Foundation for American Policy finds that 55%, or 50 of 91, of the country’s $1 billion startup companies had at least one immigrant founder.

The research identified the number of jobs created in immigrant-founded billion-dollar companies, revealing an average of more than 1,200 employees per company (the vast majority of the jobs in the United States).

“New and young companies are the primary source of job creation in the American economy,” according to the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. “Not only that, but these firms also contribute to economic dynamism by injecting competition into markets and spurring innovation.” Kauffman Foundation research also found immigrants are “almost twice as likely” as native-born Americans to become entrepreneurs.

Garrett Camp, an immigrant from Canada, didn’t come up with the idea for Uber to create a lot of jobs. The jobs were a byproduct of a new way of thinking about transportation. “I basically created [Uber] because I couldn’t get a cab. And now a lot of people use it,” explained Camp. Uber is the leading company for employment among immigrant-founded U.S. billion-dollar companies with over 9,300 employees (in the U.S.), as well as 3 million active drivers, according to the National Foundation for American Policy study.

Elon Musk, an immigrant from South Africa, did not start SpaceX to create jobs. But like Uber, SpaceX employs many people – 7,000 – placing it second among billion-dollar startup companies with an immigrant founder. With the successful development of its rockets, the company now has more than 100 launches contracted and announced plans to fly a Japanese billionaire around the moon. Musk earned a B.A. in physics and economics at the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in business at Penn’s Wharton School. He later gained the ability to work in the U.S. long-term by obtaining an H-1B visa.

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