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Making it in America

Nearly half a million immigrants arrive to the United States legally each year. Some will enter the American workforce and some will start their own businesses. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, immigrants are 30 percent more likely to start a business than American-born citizens.

And as the United States looks at ways to jump start the economy, groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Fiscal Policy Institute point to immigrant entrepreneurs as critical contributors. Many move here legally and create new jobs, pay taxes and add to a neighborhood’s revitalization.

This week, Need to Know travels to Atlanta to explore how immigrant entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground and contribute to a region’s economic success. Our correspondent Mona Iskander met with a number of immigrant entrepreneurs: a woman from Nigeria whose small hair-styling business went from basement to storefront in just three years; a Korean immigrant who came here with only $200 in his pocket  and now employees 2,000 workers; and a businesswoman from Colombia who runs a successful family-printing company and is frustrated with the nation’s conversation on immigration.

This project is made possible with the support of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

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