Immigrants have a long history of starting successful businesses in the United States. From Alexander Graham Bell to Sergey Brin, immigrants have created some of America's most iconic companies. They have high business formation rates, and many of the businesses that they create are very successful, hire employees, and export goods and services to other countries.

A 2012 SBA study found that immigrants had higher business ownership and formation rates than non-immigrants. Roughly one out of ten immigrant workers owned a business, and 620 of 100,000 immigrants started a business each month. In Pennsylvania, new immigrant business owners generated over two billion dollars in total net business income in 2010.

Targeted Services for Immigrants

To find your local SBDC, click here.

Programs and Resources

  • Immpreneur: The Immigrant Entrepreneur’s Toolbox is a compliaton of Pennsylvania resources for immigrant entrepreneurs
  • Vibrant Pittsburgh is an organization that helps those immigrants in the Southwestern Pennsylvania area who have questions on starting a business and job counseling. The organization provides support to those wishing to start or expand a small business.
  • The Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians is an employment and referral center for the region’s growing immigrant community. Their services include “English for Entrepreneurs” classes to improve customer-service skills and community relations, individual technical assistance for new and existing business owners, market research data to help merchants and business associations identify opportunities, business clinics with free consultation from small business experts, workshops on various topics, and step-by-step guides to explain licensing and regulatory requirements for small businesses.

Featured Success Stories

CIMA Life Science

    • duquesne cima
Dr. Jashwant Sharma migrated from India to the US in 1970 to further his studies, arriving with only eight dollars in his pocket. He graduated with a degree in internal medicine/nephrology from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Dr. Sharma became involved in ophthalmology in the early 1980s after his father…

H & W Global Industries

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H & W Global brought a heightened environmental consciousness with it when it moved its production from a space near Pittsburgh to a location in Indiana in 2005. The Indiana University of Pennsylvania Small Business Development Center (SBDC) along with the Indiana County Development Corporation (ICDC) helped the company establish suitable…

Marcela Cruz Boutique

    • kutztown marcela cruz
Marcela and Eduardo Cruz are natural entrepreneurs who moved to the United States from Colombia in 1998. More than a decade ago, Eduardo started EMC Home Improvement, a successful home improvement contractor business. Marcela’s entrepreneurial experience started shortly after that of her husband’s. A few years ago she began importing artisanal…

Pizza ‘N Stuff

    • shippensburg pizza and stuff
Tony Marchiano has been working in the pizza industry for twenty-five years, starting when he moved to the United States from Sicily. His wife, Jessica has many years of experience in the customer service industry. Tony and Jessica combined their experiences to open their own Italian-style restaurant with the purchase of…