A Surprising Number of Fortune 500 Companies are Started by Immigrants
A large slice of the American economy is driven by immigrants who arrive on US shores with not much more in their pockets than hopes and dreams. Immigrants set up new lives in America for many different reasons. Still, facing strange customs with little more than they can carry on their backs and no finances must take a great deal of determination and an unbridled passion for forging their destiny.
Perhaps we should not be surprised that the desire to take such significant risk fuels the entrepreneurial spirit of many immigrants arriving in the United States. A strong drive to put everything on the line for a chance at success could also explain why a significant portion of Fortune 500 companies is founded by immigrants or their children.
Since 1955, Fortune Magazine has been keeping us apprised of the top 500 most profitable companies in the United States. New American Economy published a brief revealing that immigrants founded almost 45% of Fortune 500 companies.
One hundred and one were founded by foreign-born individuals, while the children of immigrants founded a further 122.
Research conducted by the Center for American Entrepreneurship discovered that 33 of the 50 states had headquarters of Fortune 500 companies, employed 12.8 million worldwide, and generated $5.3 trillion in global revenue.
If nothing else, the incredible figures should at least caution policymakers who hold the fate of immigrants in their hands and seemingly, by extension, the future of the national economy.
Immigrants arriving in America often travel from countries where they are denied the opportunity to chase their dreams. Many successful entrepreneurs come to America because they are escaping persecution from the ruling class of their native countries. The state of the world would likely be very different if they hadn’t.
Albert Einstein was visiting the states when Hitler became Chancellor, so the Jewish theoretical physicist decided to renounce his German citizenship, and he and his wife would make America their home. Einstein was instrumental in urging the United States to develop the atomic bomb because he feared the Germans would get to it first.
While he later regretted his decision, the horrifically destructive weapon quickly brought a years-long world conflict to an end. The world’s fate would likely have been entirely different but for one German immigrant.
On a more positive note, the Happiest Place on Earth is thanks to Walt Disney, the son of a Canadian immigrant. Elon Musk, a South African immigrant, is the founder of the first successful electric vehicle company, co-founder of PayPal, and currently setting himself up as the man behind the company that will put the first humans on Mars.
Fortune 500 companies Are the Only Contribution Immigrants Make to The Economy
Fortune 500 companies started by immigrants and their children make an essential contribution to the economy. Still, immigrants are also behind millions of small to medium-sized enterprises and so have no small part to play in the strength of the American economy.
Medium and small enterprises are critical to a healthy, growing GDP and employ millions of people across the nation in various industries, including restaurants, neighborhood convenience stores, professional services, technology, and trades.
As of 2022, more than 3 million immigrants are operating their own businesses in the United States. They may not be the billionaires regularly mentioned in the headlines, but collectively, they employ millions of taxpayers and generate billions in revenue.
Fortune 500 companies and Successful US Immigrants
In 2022, two of the top ten Fortune 500 companies listed were founded by immigrants or the child of one. The late Steve Jobs co-founded Apple with Steve Wozniak. Jobs’ father was a political refugee from Syria. Steve was adopted by a Californian family and eventually grew up to be the man behind the iPhone, a smartphone that heralded a new era of portable technology.
Alphabet is the parent company behind the world’s most popular search engine, Google. Sergey Brin, a co-founder of Google, was born in Moscow to Jewish parents and was still a minor when his family migrated from the Soviet Union. He would eventually meet Larry Page at Stanford, and the two would team up to forever change how people used the internet.
Andrew Grove is technically the third employee of Intel rather than a founder. However, Grove provided the inspiration the Intel founders needed to start producing their own microprocessors. During his tenure as CEO, Grove, the son of Jewish immigrants from Budapest who escaped Jewish persecution, increased Intel’s market capitalization by 4,500% – from $4 billion to $197 billion.
While many successful US immigrants have significance in shaping American history, they are still a major influence on American ingenuity and technological advancement in modern times. In 2022, 23% of Fortune 500 companies did not appear on 2010’s list, making it clear that immigrants continue to play an essential role in bolstering the nation’s economy.
America continues to be the land of opportunity for immigrants looking to escape persecution, war, or prejudice in their native countries. As a country founded by immigrants, America will continue to prosper because of hardworking, intelligent, innovative risk-takers that cross its borders to work at making their dreams a reality.
If you want to live and work your way towards The American Dream in a country with more business and job opportunities than anywhere else in the world, your chance awaits in the Green Card Lottery.
The Green Card Lottery, which is the short name for The Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery and Naturalization Program, provides up to 55,000 places for people to come to America from any country on the globe. So far, more than 1.9 million people have benefited from the program since 1995 and are now creating a new life for themselves in this great and welcoming nation. But, you have to be in it to win it, so Apply for the Electronic Diversity Immigrant Visa Program today to get the best chance of getting a Green Card. Maybe one day you and your family will be among the Fortune 500 companies, and proud owners.