Did you know that 48% of New York City’s 148,000 small businesses are foreign-born? New York today has become nothing short of a mecca for both small business and immigrant success, and this is not by accident.
New York’s’ diverse and welcoming culture, both in business and society, combined with city efforts to bring the boost immigrants have brought to the city historically into the 21st century have made it the place for immigrant business in the United States. What exactly has made such a high rate of success possible for New York’s foreign-born entrepreneurs?
City Government Support
New York is a city made by immigrants and has been enormously successful from their contributions for centuries. The New York City Government recognizes the vibrancy immigrant communities bring to business and has developed assistance programs to help them establish and grow their businesses.
One such program is the Immigrant Business Initiative. The initiative is from the NYC Department of Small Business Services and seeks to help immigrants establish small businesses in the city by educating them on their rights as immigrant New Yorkers, how to operate and run a business from the top down, financial planning, and legal issues. The program’s guide also advises immigrant entrepreneurs on city regulations to follow and how to find and lease commercial office space. It is available in 6 languages: Spanish, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Russian, Korean, and Bengali.
Another program on offer to immigrant entrepreneurs is the International Innovators Initiative
This program ends at higher capital businesses from entrepreneurs looking to establish or relocate their businesses in New York by helping them navigate immigration and visa hurtles by helping them become eligible for H-1B visas. The selected entrepreneurs have the chance to build their businesses in the City University of New York co-working spaces.
Diverse Sectors to Target
As a world city, New York has established communities of immigrants ready to be served by fellow expatriates. This is very common especially in the food and beverage industry, where new proprietors providing fellow expats with their true homeland cuisine, expanding clientele to other communities, and growing their business into more locations or larger ones. It doesn’t just stop at food however, clothing and retail are particularly fruitful avenues for immigrants to bring diverse fashions and commodities to New York’s appetite for the new and trendy.
Much of New York’s start-up and tech scene is also being propelled by immigrants who bring their ideas and strong tech backgrounds to the city to access its talent, investor cash, and culture. A number of the city’s leading start-ups in past years, like Outbrain, Paddle8, and Spotify for example, were founded by foreigners.
New York’s Welcoming Culture
New York itself is highly charged with immigrants and accepting of them. New York attracts people from all corners of the globe for work, education, and cultural freedom, making it a truly world city that connects to markets across the world map. A number of groups support the push for immigrant business growth in the city. World to NYC , for example, tries to support these efforts to bring established foreign start-ups to New York or foster partnerships between them and US companies.
Within the broader immigrant business community are smaller organizations helping particular groups NY Latino Meetup serves New York’s large and diverse community of Latinos in the tech sector and supports them with events for networking, advise, and pitch practice. Japan NYC Startups, meanwhile, does the same for the city’s energetic group of Japanese nationals, connecting the creative energy of New York to one of the world’s leading tech nations and their ideas.
Everything in New York contributing to its success today comes down to people and opportunities. The city’s openness to both continues to make it the immigrant success story of the world.