December 08, 2011

Immigrant Women Entrepreneurs: Starting Businesses and Creating Jobs

From the Immigration Policy Center

Washington D.C. – Today, the Immigration Policy Center releases, Our American Immigrant Entrepreneurs: The Women by Susan Pearce, Elizabeth Clifford and Reena Tandon. Today, immigrant women entrepreneurs are in every region of the United States. In 2010, 40 percent of all immigrant business owners were women—1,451,091 immigrant men and 980,575 immigrant women. That same year, 20 percent of all women business owners were foreign-born.

In a tele-briefing to release the report, author Susan Pearce noted “This report is the result of our research into that less-visible population that is starting various enterprises every day. Why do we focus on women? Not only does the image of a woman not come to mind when one hears the word “immigrant,” but their particular experiences are under-represented in reports on immigration. We also equally emphasize these women’s nonmaterial contributions. Women immigrant entrepreneurs are providing training for the next generation, supporting charities and activism through their volunteer contributions and anchoring communities.”

Entrepreneur Rubina Chaudhary, president of MARRS Services, Inc., a Management, Engineering, and Environmental firm discussed her enterprise. “MARRS employs 50 full time and part-time professional and support staff of which 78% are U.S. citizens, 54% are U.S. born citizens and 36% are women. I am grateful for the opportunities that I, an immigrant woman in the U.S., have had to not only achieve my goal of providing for my children’s education but also to have the opportunity to create jobs and help others, native born and immigrants, men and women, students and entrepreneurs.”

Entrepreneur Yolanda Voss of Yolanda Voss Fashion Gallery shared her story. “I came to the land of my dreams in 1962 and my goal was to become a prominent designer. In 1980, Yolanda Voss Studio International became incorporated. In 1991, I opened Yolanda Voss Fashion Gallery. The latest recession has affected our market, but I remind myself that effort, dedication and the incorporation of new ideas will bring a return to prosperity. I continue to be an active member of my community, offering scholarships, internships and lectures to inspire the creative spirit of new designers in our nation.”

To view the report in its entirety, see:

Adapted from Immigration and Women: Understanding the American Experience available at http://nyupress.org/