Document Type


Publication Date

February 2016


In the face of America’s changing demographics, future prosperity depends in partupon the ability of local communities to attract and retain a diverse population withdiverse sets of skills. In the native-born population, there are fewer births and moreretirements. That demographic fact has been compounded by the decline of largemanufacturing companies that metropolitan areas relied upon in the past to growtheir populations and economies. Increasingly, cities and regions looking to stempopulation decline and stimulate economic growth are seeking to attract immigrantsand encourage immigrant entrepreneurship. Immigrants play an outsize role inestablishing “main street” businesses (retail, accommodation and food services,and neighborhood services), which are important for generating neighborhoodleveleconomic growth and revitalization. This propensity to start businesses thatrevitalize neighborhoods makes immigrants attractive to city leaders.This report focuses on the efforts of three cities to promote immigrantentrepreneurship as part of a broader initiative to create a more welcomingenvironment for immigrants. Each of the cities—Chicago, Illinois; Dayton, Ohio;and Nashville, Tennessee—is distinct in its history and geography of immigrantsettlement and receptivity.

Journal Title

American Immigration Council