Quietly flourishing in diverse fields, female immigrants have become an economic phenomenon in the U.S.

Immigrants made up 13.2% of the total U.S. population in 2014, yet they accounted for 20.6% of all entrepreneurs, according to the Partnership for a New American Economy, a bipartisan group dedicated to modernizing the country’s immigration policy. These businesses add billions in taxable revenue to the U.S. economy, yet this social-economic phenomenon is still relatively unnoticed to most.

Female-immigrant owned businesses make up 40% of all immigrant-owned businesses. In fact, female immigrants are 2x more likely to start businesses than their American-born counterpart. They often use their personal savings, and show little fear when charging into atypical industries such as technology—like Mina Lux, Co-Founder and CEO of Meelo.

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With her own tech start-up, Mina’s accomplishments have been recognized with honors such as the Entrepreneur of the Year Award from the University of Ottawa Faculty of Engineering and TiE50 Top Tech Start-up in 2016. Her company combines causal reasoning and human behavior patterns to help businesses discover, specialize and refine knowledge automation. An experienced entrepreneur, her first start-up, an email service provider called FloNetwork, sold for $80 million.

Mina often jokes that she is a professional immigrant, “I am actually a Taiwanese, a Canadian and an American.”

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Ms. Lux often gives talks to young minds on entrepreneurship. When asked about the risks of starting a company, she answered, “I don’t really think about it. I have read that the act of immigration is such a risk, that immigrants can handle a higher level of uncertainty. Maybe that experience has help me however, I think the key is the ability to ‘dream’.” Ms. Lux continues, “Immigrants take the risk because of a dream. It’s the passion of making a better life and having that chance to actually carry it out— an opportunity unavailable elsewhere. That’s always been the root of my strength.”

Mina is just one of the inspiring women immigrants making a positive impact in the United States. Another example comes from New York City, where five Mexican women have set up their own cleaning cooperative that specializes by using eco-friendly, non-toxic products in people’s homes and businesses.

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