Going for Growth
Promoting Immigrant Entrepreneurship in Massachusetts Gateway Cities
This policy brief explores opportunities to leverage the energy immigrant-owned businesses bring to Gateway Cities as an economic development strategy.
Immigrant-owned shops are already revitalizing downtowns in Gateway Cities across the state. These small storefront businesses could become launching pads to larger enterprises, providing an even greater contribution to local and regional economic development. But immigrant entrepreneurs face unique barriers that could hold them back. Together, public agencies and community organizations can help them overcome these hurdles. They can also play a vital role in bridging cultural differences, integrating newcomers into a cohesive business community that works together to everyone’s benefit.
This policy brief aims to provide Gateway City leaders exploring immigrant entrepreneurship strategies with a range of approaches and considerations. The ideas presented are informed by economic development literature, interviews with leaders from a dozen organizations serving immigrant entrepreneurs, and a pilot program conducted cooperatively with the City of Lynn, The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc., and the Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations.