By Brittany Shoot
January 15, 2019

For nearly as long as it has existed, the United States has been a magnet for global entrepreneurs and business leaders.

First- or second-generation immigrants played a founding role in 44 of 2018’s top 100 Fortune 500 companies, including Apple, AT&T, and Ford, according to data analysis published in the February 2019 issue of National Geographic. Other domestic blue chip firms founded by immigrants or their children? Alphabet. Amazon. Costco. And that barely scratches the surface. If the list starts to seem like an inventory of most of the nation’s most successful companies, well, maybe that’s because it is.

It’s been known for some time now that immigrants are a vital, irreplaceable part of many Fortune 100 and Fortune 500 firms. It’s fairly well known, for example, that (aapl) Steve Jobs‘ father was Syrian, though the Apple co-founder was later adopted by the American couple who raised him.

And while the focus is often on men’s stories of migrating to a new nation and finding success in business, there’s strong data that immigrant women make equally strong entrepreneurs. One reason women from other countries come to the U.S. to pursue their dreams? In some places with a more patriarchal culture, it simply isn’t possible to start a business, or there are far more roadblocks on the path to success.

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