The narrow chance immigrant entrepreneurs have at breaking through

By Aimee Groth in Quartz

Immigrant entrepreneurs embody the essence of the American Dream—the idea that it’s possible for anyone to succeed, regardless of where they come from. Yet for the majority of immigrant entrepreneurs, it’s difficult to get a visa, obtain funding, and enter the elite networks that make successful ventures work.

More than one-third of venture-backed companies that went public in the past decade were started by immigrants, according to the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). About 50 percent of unicorns—venture-backed companies valued at more than $1 billion—have an immigrant co-founder. Cowboy Ventures founder Aileen Lee, who coined the term unicorn, wrote in TechCrunch that “immigrants play a huge role in the founding and value creation of today’s tech companies. We wonder how much more value could be created if it were easier to get a work visa.”

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