Foreign-born entrepreneurs

February 2, 2009
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Midwestern cities donâ??t attract a lot of immigrants, and Indianapolis is no exception.

The weather is uncomfortable and the region has a reputation for close-mindedness â?? not the kind of place where newcomers want to sink roots.

A recent blog post by a Federal Reserve official shows just how far short Indianapolis and other Midwestern cities fall when it comes to attracting new blood. In terms of foreign-born entrepreneurs, Indianapolis isnâ??t even seeing half the rate of activity enjoyed by the nation as a whole.

Considering immigrantsâ?? tendency to hustle for their piece of the American Dream, maybe thatâ??s part of the reason the Midwest is growing so slowly and in many locales dying.

How do you feel about Indianapolis? Is it welcoming to immigrants?
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  • Bill Testa's Federal Reserve stats do not include central Indiana's Purdue and Indiana Universities (Lafayette & Bloomington), thus they missed central Indiana's largest population of highly educated foreign born residents.

    In fact, Purdue and IU are at the very top of the nations universities in the attraction of foreign born students and facility.

    Clearly Governor Daniels, Mayor Ballard, World Trade Club of Indiana, International Center of Indianapolis, Indiana District Export Council, Nationalities Council of Indiana, and many other organizations make Indianapolis a very welcoming place for global businesses and foreign born residents.
  • i am not sure how the rest of Indianapolis is, but my apartment building is well diverse. Back when I was in college, there were only 2 Americans (myself and one other student) in my major out of 10-20 students. I would rather be around those who are starting out (immigrants and/or young entrepreneurs) as opposed to those who are closed minded, shut out attitude. These who are starting out actually have more to offer and share, as long as you are willing to listen.
  • Interesting note on immigrants to Indiana: I dealt with this topic in my 2007 book (IU Press), New Faces at the Crossroads: The World in Central Indiana. Too many stats in the book to memorize them, but the upshot is that this IS a place for new immigrants – the book focuses on about the year 2000 on – and many are entrepreneurs. A lot of secondary migration (though most come here directly) – a Sikh family from India, for example, moves to the East or West Coast, talks to relatives here, finds out they can sell their house there and buy a similar one here and have enough left over to start a business.

    I have been sending out just this week an appeal from the Burmese community, mostly Chin people who have been refugees from the brutal military junta – quite a combination – Burmese, Perry Township, and Baptists (mostly) – the junta prefers Myanmar, but these people, many of them having suffered years of refugee camps in India, Malaysia, etc., and sometimes torture, are now here. About 3,000 of them – when I was writing the book in late 2006, there were expectations that they would reach 1,000 in a few years’ time.

    Also, the Sikhs – one person, K.P. Singh, in the 1960s – were, at the time I wrote the book, up to 4,000 people.

    Chinese, all sorts of other Indians, Europeans, Caribbean people, Mexicans and other Central Americans, Africans – massive numbers have arrived in central Indiana. And they keep on coming.
  • WHO CARES! THIS IS A WASTE OF NEWSPRINT!!
    A MINORITY - INDIAN, CHINEESE, JAPANEESE, COMES OVER HERE AND GETS GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE WITH A LOAN, SMALL BUSINESS ADVICE, ADVANTAGES OF GETTING BUSINESS AND NON MINORITIES CANNOT GET THIS ASSISTANCE.
    GIVE THE LOANS TO PEOPLE WHO ARE ALREADY HERE. YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE AN FROM A FOREIGN COUNTY TO HAVE BRAINS AND DESIRE.
    AGAIN A VERY STUPID ARTICLE
  • GIVE THE LOANS TO PEOPLE WHO ARE ALREADY HERE. YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE AN FROM A FOREIGN COUNTY TO HAVE BRAINS AND DESIRE.
    AGAIN A VERY STUPID ARTICLE - Quote, John S

    Maybe not, but judging from your grammar skills, it may HELP......
  • John S.... it is right next to the 'A' button.
  • Lay off the caps you racist hick.
  • I currently work with an Indian lady who, with 9 other Indian families, have decided to relocate from new jersey to central Indiana. They are doing so because they can sell their houses there and buy here with money left over to either start their own business or to simply save for the future.

    I am certain this isn't the only case of this type of thing going on around here. We just have to get the word out about our strengths.
  • We have many Middle Eastern and European, a few Russian, 4 Indian MD's, and an Australian, in addition to plain White Americans, and some Entertainment figures who are minorities in out Law and Accounting practice. Who pays on the dot every month ? The foreigners ! They are interested in following the law to a 't', and listen to all advice re: tax laws, immigration laws, anything to help them in biz and also in life. No hard luck stories about the mortgage, etc. Sometimes their businesses are down, like everyone else. They just make cheaper meals, wear old clothes, drive older cars, and work really hard. So, they are pretty good people, as far as we are concerned.

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