Migrant entrepreneurs have the edge on optimism

NEW YORK (AP) — The entrepreneurial spirit is stronger in people who have migrated to a country than in those who are native born.

That's the finding of a survey by the International Organization for Migration and Gallup. The survey found that in countries where people have high incomes, 75 percent of migrant entrepreneurs are optimistic even when things go wrong. Seventy-one percent of native-born entrepreneurs are optimistic in all situations. In middle-to-low income countries, the migrant entrepreneurs are even more optimistic than native-born ones, 78 percent to 71 percent.

Examples of what the IOM and Gallup call high-income countries include the U.S., Australia, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Japan and Saudi Arabia. Middle- to low-income countries include Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Paraguay.

The survey also found that migrant entrepreneurs are bigger risk-takers. Nearly 50 percent in high-income countries would rather take a risk in business than work for someone else. Forty-one percent of native-born entrepreneurs would rather take that risk.

In middle-to-low income countries, migrants were slightly more willing to take a risk, 52 percent to 51 percent.

The survey was conducted from 2009-11 in 150 countries. About 1,000 people in each country were surveyed each year.

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