New migrants are more entreprenurial than home grown citizens

| October 31, 2018

Professor Ian Goldin, an expert on migration research from Oxford University, revealed fresh evidence of the impact of migration on economic growth and fiscal costs and benefits at the International Metropolis Conference, in Sydney this week.

Professor Goldin’s research, conducted in conjunction with Citi, found that across the globe migrants are 2 to 3 times more likely to start businesses, 2 to 4 times more likely to start ‘unicorn’ businesses, 2 to 3 times more likely to win Nobel Prizes and 2 to 4 times more likely to lodge patents than native born people.

The report, Migration and the Economy: Economic Realities, Social Impacts and Political Choice, throws light on the growing disconnect between public perceptions of migration and the actual trends.

For in many advanced economies, migration has become a toxic issue in election campaigns and political debate, however the authors’ fiscal analysis shows no evidence of the negative perceptions of the impact of migration.

Migrant advocate and entrepreneur Ms Tolu Olubunmi, said whilst the statistics paint the picture, it was the ‘stories of the seekers of truth, and the curators of change’ that make the biggest impact.

“The free movement of people is not a problem to be solved, but rather a human reality to be managed. There are 244 million international migrants, 65.3 million of which have been forced from their homes, and 21 million are refugees.

“Rather than trying to work out what the statistics mean, I focus on the individual lives hidden in the shadows of the numbers. I focus on the fathers and the mothers, the employers and the employees, the displaced and the determined.”

As a child, Tolu was brought to the USA from Nigeria. After completing her chemical engineering degree, she discovered she didn’t have the legal status to work in her profession. This crushing blow inspired her to take action.

“Being able to live your best life, is sometimes determined by having a certain piece of paper. I had a clear choice, to leave the fate of my life to others who were much more powerful than me, or to be part of the solution and start advocating to change the USA law.”

Violet Roumeliotis, CEO of Settlement Services International (SSI), conference co-chair and current Telstra Business Woman of the Year, said Australia’s conversation around migration and multiculturalism highlights tensions in the country’s past and present policies.

“On one hand we have generous resettlement programs, and a strong history of welcoming people, however, we’ve also had the White Australia policy and have drawn international criticism for our offshore processing program.

“We live within a complex global environment, and there is no such thing as ‘business as usual’ in migration.

The issue is being discussed at the International Metropolis Conference in Sydney from Tuesday 30 October to Friday 2 November at the International Convention Centre Sydney.