Still the land of opportunity

In a new study just released, it states that 25% of all US high tech start-ups during the last ten years were created by immigrants. That represented the creation of 450,000 new jobs and $52 billion in revenue.

Furthermore, in 2005 52% of all Silicon Valley start-ups were created by immigrants. The American dream is still alive, especially for immigrants.

However, the question I have is: “What is going on here in Sweden?” As the new government begins to get its act together, they need to start seriously addressing the situation of immigrants in Sweden, especially with respect to immigrant in business.

Ok, yes, Swedish immigrants are starting companies, but to be honest most are not high tech, nor are they high growth potential businesses. Many are service businesses that have low start-up costs, low barriers to entry and as a result little potential. Others are just income replacement businesses.

This bad for Sweden because we are missing out on some of the benefits that the US and the UK are getting from it immigrant population – wealth creation, employment, high tax bases, fewer people on the public dole, etc.

Before I go, I want to mention a disturbing trend in entrepreneurship here in Sweden. Increasingly immigrants are starting these businesses because of the impact of discrimination they face in the Swedish labor markets. This obviously is not good for the country. It is just a small indication of some of the underlying immigration issues facing Sweden. Hopefully, the new government won’t hide from these issues and will instead begin to deal directly.

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