St. Louis Mosaic Project Leads Foreign-Born Entrepreneurs To Success

St. Louis Mosaic Project has a big vision: to make St. Louis the fastest growing major metropolitan area by foreign-born people by 2020.

Launched in 2012, the project was launched in response to a 2012 study published by the US Chamber of Commerce that found St. Louis was missing economic opportunities from immigrant entrepreneurs. St. Louis was lagging behind in immigrant growth, despite its long history of and reputation for welcoming immigrants (the St. Louis International Institute has been around for almost 100 years).

The study pointed to the economic benefits the region could reap by increasing its foreign-born population. Foreign-born people are 40-60% more likely to start a business than people born in the United States and are often precluded from practicing the occupation they practiced in their home country. Researchers have characterized foreign-born individuals as risk takers that must be resilient in order to start new careers, and need to be creative and have expansive ideas. This is true for all types of businesses–neighborhood store fronts, lifestyle companies and high-tech businesses.

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