Asian Owned Businesses

Report Author: 
Paul Watanabe and Michael Liu
Original Date of Publication: 
June, 2007

This report profiles Asian-owned businesses in Massachusetts.1 In the profile, we see that the number of these businesses and their sales and receipts are substantial and, most importantly, rapidly expanding.These companies employ a significant number of workers which adds considerably to their payrolls. They are varied in size and area of activity. While some assuredly appeal to and serve an expanding Asian American clientele, others are involved in more mainstream pursuits with broad customer bases. Furthermore, Asian-owned businesses are engaged in a variety of industries, but at the same time many are concentrated more heavily in particular sectors.

This report profiles Asian-owned businesses in Massachusetts.1 In the profile, we see that the number of these businesses and their sales and receipts are substantial and, most importantly, rapidly expanding.These companies employ a significant number of workers which adds considerably to their payrolls. They are varied in size and area of activity. While some assuredly appeal to and serve an expanding Asian American clientele, others are involved in more mainstream pursuits with broad customer bases. Furthermore, Asian-owned businesses are engaged in a variety of industries, but at the same time many are concentrated more heavily in particular sectors. Overall, the development of these businesses is a further reflection of the dramatic expansion of the Asian American community in the United States and in Massachusetts, largely occurring through immigration. The Asian American population in Massachusetts is 72 percent foreign-born,2 which is far more than any other racial group. For this reason, it is reasonable to assume that Asian-owned overwhelmingly means immigrant-owned as well. Furthermore, “the relationship between overall small business growth and immigrant entrepreneurship,” is, according to sociologists Ivan Light and Edna Bonacich, “contemporaneous and compatible.”3 An inquiry into the dynamics of Asian American businesses in Massachusetts is part of the larger story of immigrant entrepreneurship. “Ethnic entrepreneurship, in general, and Asian American entrepreneurship, in particular, are not new phenomena,” Timothy Fong observes. “Certain ethnic groups in the United States have historically shown a noticeable propensity toward self-employment.”

Citation: 

Paul Watanabe, PhD and Michael Liu, PhD Institute for Asian American Studies at The University of Massachusetts Boston

Source Organization: 
University of Massachusetts
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