Resilience makes immigrants better entrepreneurs

Resilience makes immigrants better entrepreneurs

Immigrants make better entrepreneurs than native citizens due to a combination of learnt resilience and ‘get-up-and-go’ flair, according to Adrian Furnham, professor of leadership and organisational behaviour at BI Norwegian Business School.

He says that over the last 20 years, 25% of all American venture backed companies have been created by immigrants. These people face barrier after barrier when relocating to a new place and have to overcome each hurdle using only their own ability.

Furnham says: “A wealth of research indicates that those who choose to migrate tend to be different from those who don’t. They have a different pattern of motivation, abilities and adjustment. They are hungrier and more risk taking, with thicker skins. They become used to experiencing hardship and rejection, which are setbacks that all entrepreneurs must endure.”

Adrian says this is why talent scouts are going to top universities and business schools in Asia to encourage the best students to come to their country. Those who agree to migrate show signs of entrepreneurial flair simply in their willingness to take on the challenge of moving.

These entrepreneurial migrants are most commonly found in the technology and engineering sectors. This is perhaps why there are around 500 start-ups with French founders just in the San Francisco Bay area of California.

Furham adds “It’s worth remembering that once they’ve relocated most migrants also benefit from small but passionate social support networks. Immigrants create hubs within foreign countries and feel obliged to help each other succeed against the odds. Often, they can be counted on to provide reliable temporary workers when a fellow migrant entrepreneur hits hard times”

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