The Stories of Immigrant Entrepreneurs
They call themselves “a global video project empowering women to start their own business.” But The Story Exchange also examines something much deeper—the women who have a business but aren’t native to the country.
Immigrant women push on as politicians dance around the idea of a reform bill aimed at increasing visa grants and other programs aimed at making citizenry a bit easier. There are more than 1 million immigrant women business owners in the U.S. (making 13 percent of all woman-owned businesses run by foreign-born women.)
Experts call the movement a “quiet revolution” of immigrant businesswomen through growth and business ownership.
These women include hair stylists, lawyers, activists, and consultants—as featured on the video website.
Ana Perez, owner of Kika salon, was born in Bogotá, Colombia, and came to the United States as a child with her large family of eight siblings and a father, a tailor. Perez said she learned a lot from her family about dedication and how to act diligently in the workplace.
She eventually built her own business, Kika, in New York City. She faced discrimination when people wouldn’t take her seriously and she had to bring in her son’s father to show she had stability and a man in her life.
Even though she faced some struggles with a former employee who later became her competition, Perez now has a salon offering clients facials, manicures, and any hair styling of their choice.
The rest of the stories also offer keen insight into the lives of women struggling in their own businesses who don’t have the luxury of being born in the U.S.