It's easy to find a cup of cafe con leche in Miami, but the small drink is more than a caffeinated jump start: it's a symbol of the headway immigrants are making in the business world.
A new report from the Partnership for a New American Economy says researchers found immigrants account for 19.4 percent of Florida's population but own 29.7 percent of the state's businesses.
“Leaving one’s home and immigrating to a new country to start a new life is itself an entrepreneurial act, so it is perhaps unsurprising that immigrants are disproportionately entrepreneurial,” according to the report.
The study discovered that immigrants are twice as likely to start a business than their native-born neighbors. Nationally, immigrants account for 28 percent of new businesses in 2011 even though they only represent 12.9 percent of the U.S. population. The Partnership says these businesses pump more than $775 billion dollars in revenue annually to the country’s Gross Domestic Product and provide jobs for 10 percent of American workers in privately owned companies.
Florida is in the ranks of states with large immigrant populations, along with California, New York, and Arizona. The Sunshine State's immigrant-owned businesses make up 7.2 percent of the country’s businesses, the second highest after California.
“Provided that the rate that immigrant-owned businesses fail does not dramatically exceed the failure rate for businesses owned by the native-born... the findings suggests that immigrant business-ownership rates will only continue to increase,” wrote researchers.