Monday, April 28, 2008

Immigrants and Innovation

Richard Herman sent along a link to a Kauffman Foundation report assessing American entrepreneurial activity during 2007:

Immigrants far outpaced native-born Americans in entrepreneurial activity, increasing from 0.37 percent in 2006 to 0.46 percent in 2007. Immigrants are now substantially more likely to start businesses than are native-born Americans, which remained constant at 0.27 percent.

Two states with some of the lowest (bottom 10) entrepreneurial activity rates are Ohio and Pennsylvania. The Greater Lake Erie economic region is ripe for an experiment in immigration policy that would attract foreign-born entrepreneurs to the shrinking cities in the area. Some sort of H-1B visa reform is one strategy. I think we could also leverage some effective network migration strategies that would include domestic based talent.

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