Why African Immigrants Lag behind Indians & Chinese
Business Ownership: Number and Types of Businesses Owned by Members of Each Diaspora Community
Owning a business is often considered one of the highest forms of economic independence and is a significant marker of success. It allows for job creation, wealth accumulation, and can be a source of generational financial stability. In this section, we will examine the landscape of business ownership among the African, Indian, and Chinese diaspora communities.
In the United States, Indian-Americans have a substantial presence in the small business arena, particularly in sectors like hospitality, retail, and technology start-ups. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Indian-Americans own approximately 15% of all small businesses in the country, a remarkable statistic given that they make up just about 1% of the U.S. population.
Chinese-Americans also have a strong business ownership record. Many have invested in real estate and have businesses in retail and wholesale trade. A recent survey indicated that about 9% of all small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the U.S. are owned by Chinese-Americans.
The African diaspora community’s business ownership is growing but not yet at the same scale. Recent statistics indicate that African immigrants own approximately 2% of small businesses, often in the sectors of healthcare services, beauty and personal care, and food services.
In Canada, business ownership largely mimics the trends seen in the United States. A 2020 report by Statistics Canada showed that approximately 12% of all SMEs are owned by Indian and Chinese Canadians combined, whereas African-Canadians own about 1.5% of all small businesses, mainly in services and retail.
In the UK, a noticeable number of Indian-UK citizens are involved in business sectors ranging from retail to information technology. The 2021 data shows that they own about 7% of all UK businesses. Chinese-UK citizens own approximately 4% of businesses, mainly in hospitality and trade. The African diaspora community owns around 1% of businesses, primarily in retail, healthcare, and social work.
Key Factors Influencing Business Ownership
Several factors contribute to the varying degrees of business ownership among these communities:
- Access to Capital: Indian and Chinese diaspora communities have a more straightforward pathway to credit facilities and loans, partly because of well-established community support systems.
- Business Acumen and Educational Background: A higher prevalence of business education and mentorship programs in these communities.
- Immigrant Entrepreneurship Programs: Countries like Canada have special immigration streams for entrepreneurs that benefit communities with resources to access these paths.
- Social and Cultural Capital: Networks within the community can provide initial support and customer bases for new businesses.
Understanding these aspects of business ownership is crucial for examining the economic contributions and success of each community. This sets the groundwork for the deeper analysis that will follow in later sections.
Why African Immigrants Lag behind Indians & Chinese
Academic and Educational Metrics
Education is often cited as the great equalizer, a tool for social mobility and economic advancement. In diaspora communities, educational achievements serve as both a testament to the opportunities seized and as a foundation for future success. This section scrutinizes the academic and educational metrics across the African, Indian, and Chinese diaspora communities to shed light on another dimension of their varying success rates.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2020, about 75% of Indian-Americans hold a bachelor’s degree or higher. Among Chinese-Americans, this number stands at around 54%. Both these communities have an above-average representation in Ivy League schools and other top-tier institutions.
In contrast, African diaspora communities in the U.S. show that about 30% hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, with a smaller percentage attending prestigious schools.
Statistics Canada reports that over 65% of Indian-Canadians and 60% of Chinese-Canadians have a bachelor’s degree or above. The African diaspora in Canada has a comparable rate of about 55% holding a bachelor’s degree, which is above the national average but lower than the other two communities.
In the UK, higher education enrollment rates for Indian and Chinese students are at 71% and 65%, respectively. The African diaspora lags slightly behind at 55%. However, all these rates are above the national average, indicating a high value placed on education across these communities.
Factors Influencing Educational Attainment
Several underlying factors impact these educational statistics:
- Family Emphasis on Education: Both the Indian and Chinese diaspora communities have a strong cultural emphasis on education, often seeing it as non-negotiable for success.
- Access to Quality Education: The economic means to access better primary and secondary education, tutoring, and extracurricular activities often set the stage for higher educational achievement.
- Educational Grants and Scholarships: These can play a critical role in enabling higher education, and disparities exist in the ease of access to these resources among the communities.
- Career Expectations: Fields like medicine, engineering, and law, which require advanced degrees, are often viewed as prestigious in Indian and Chinese communities, further boosting educational metrics.
- Socio-Economic Factors: Issues like systemic discrimination can influence both the quality of education and the resources available to the African diaspora community, thereby affecting educational outcomes.
- Immigration Policies: Policies that favor skilled immigration naturally boost educational metrics for the incoming population. This has been seen explicitly in Canadian and American immigration policies.
By examining these educational metrics and the factors influencing them, we gain valuable insights into the opportunities and challenges that each community faces in their quest for success.
This is an excerpt from the book “Why African Immigrants Lag behind Indians & Chinese”