Tag: immigrant entrepreneur

This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Julianne Zimmerman, managing director at Reinventure Capital, lecturer on Social Entrepreneurship at Tufts University (and named to Forbes’ 2022 “50 Over 50” list). Julianne sees first-hand how immigrants collaborate with the U.S.-born to create meaningful inventions that solve real problems – but how rhetoric, policy, and an outdated system can shut them out. Julianne now heads a firm that invests solely in companies led and controlled by Black, Indigenous, people of color and female founders. She discusses why she believes it is crucial that we work together to bring about much-needed social and economic change, and resist efforts to close ourselves off – as you’ll hear in this week’s JobMakers.

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This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Dr. Patrick Anquetil, immigrant from France and co-founder and CEO of Portal Instruments in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a clinical stage, medical device company developing a needle-free drug delivery platform. As Patrick shares, there was no way he could have started a business like this in his home country. The spirit of entrepreneurship that we take as a given here in America does not exist everywhere; in many countries, taking risks to start a business is actually frowned upon. So, Patrick went to MIT, which he says gave him “a sense of great possibilities.” That freedom to innovate has led, in his case, to a transformative patient experience, something we can all appreciate. But it could only have been created in a place that fosters an entrepreneurial spirit in its people, new or old, as you’ll learn in this week’s JobMakers podcast.

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This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Josh Smith, research manager at The Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University, about his work to demonstrate the outsized impact immigrants have on the economy and our culture. Josh describes some of the the negative narratives and the “othering” of immigrants, even though they’re part of our communities. Despite repeated fears that each new migrant group would never assimilate, America remains a “nation of immigrants,” and this is its not-so-secret sauce – as you’ll learn in this week’s JobMakers.

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This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Khamzat Asabaev, refugee from Chechnya and cofounder of SoftSmile, a software tool that helps dentists provide affordable, quality orthodontic treatment. Khamzat pursued entrepreneurship to make basic services accessible to all, after experiencing a lack of access to basic care as a refugee and a minority. Refugees like Khamzat face terrible circumstances, but through resilience and fortitude, often make significant contributions to their adopted homeland, with higher rates of employment and entrepreneurship. That means they give back far more than we gave them, as you’ll discover in this week’s JobMakers.

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This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with April Ryan, immigrant from Russia, founder and CEO of Red Iguana nail art products, and influencer to hundreds of thousands. April came to the U.S. from a poor town, speaking no English, but through tenacity and inventiveness, she achieved success by creating video tutorials of nail art, and developing a breakthrough product that became a bestseller in 19 countries. April’s story is the immigrant story, about the kind of people who embark on the journey to America, and then put their pluck and ingenuity to use for the benefit of everybody, as you’ll hear in this week’s JobMakers podcast.

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This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Aki Balogh, immigrant from Hungary and cofounder of MarketMuse, which created an artificial intelligence powered content intelligence and strategy platform; and cofounder of dlc.link, which aims to decentralize Bitcoin. Moving to the U.S. after fleeing post-communist Hungary, Aki and his family did whatever they could do to survive, and that included delivering newspapers and phone books, and even starting a computer repair business, as a young teen.  Today, Aki is a pioneer in content intelligence technology and has created more than 90 jobs in the past eight years. But he didn’t come up with groundbreaking software or build a successful business alone. He had help, from a diverse group of collaborators who built something great, as you’ll discover in this week’s JobMakers podcast.

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This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Pedro Zamora, executive director of the Hispanic Economic Development Corporation of Greater Kansas City. Pedro and his organization work on initiatives that are crucial to the economic vitality of the area, and they’ve helped more than 4,700 businesses. Immigrants there are having an outsized economic and cultural impact, and so Kansas City is yet another example of how localities can bounce back and benefit from immigrants and refugees, as you’ll learn in this week’s JobMakers podcast.

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This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Cris Ramón, son of immigrants from El Salvador, immigration policy analyst, and coauthor of the new report, Immigrant Entrepreneurship: Economic Potential and Obstacles to Success published by the Bipartisan Policy Center. For the report, he scoured the nation to learn not only what immigrant entrepreneurs need, but what municipalities and the federal government can do, to help build up these businesses. The report shows that immigrants are primed to take risks due to their willingness to move to the United States, but politicians aren’t doing much to facilitate that entrepreneurial spirit. The report offers case studies, recommendations, and stories that demonstrate the value and impact immigrant business owners can bring, as you’ll learn in this week’s JobMakers.

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This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Abul Islam, immigrant from Pakistan and founder, President and CEO of AI Engineers. America needs solid infrastructure to grow the economy, to ensure we can get to work, ship supplies, and travel freely. But who’s doing the rebuilding? AI Engineers is a Connecticut-based consulting firm that builds and rehabilitates bridges, transportation systems and building systems throughout the U.S. Since 1991, Abul has created nearly 1,000 jobs and today leads a $50 million company. He talks about the power of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education to uplift urban centers. While we draw talent from international students and H-1B workers, he believes the U.S. must create a homegrown pipeline of skilled workers, as you’ll learn in this week’s JobMakers.

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This week on JobMakers, host Denzil Mohammed talks with Roger Magalhaes, immigrant from Brazil and founder of the firms Shades in Place window treatment installation and Trading Up Consulting, in Franklin, Massachusetts. They discuss how Roger built his successful business from the ground up, took advantage of every opportunity here in the U.S. to advance, and became one of the most influential leaders in his field. He’s even now training his competitors. Roger is also the 2022 Barry M. Portnoy Immigrant Entrepreneur Awardee for Business Growth, an annual honor bestowed by The Immigrant Learning Center, co-producer of this podcast. Now an American citizen, Roger shares his belief that immigrants must “Americanize” in order to fulfil their potential and have the biggest impact, a debatable view but one rooted in his own experience and success, as you’ll hear more about in this week’s JobMakers.

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