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Economist

Entrepreneurs in America: Who creates jobs?

May 2, 2013

SHAYAN ZADEH, the co-founder of Zoosk, a popular online-dating service based in San Francisco, is worried. In the current debate on immigration, few realise that foreign-born entrepreneurs create jobs for locals. ?It?s a real public-relations problem,? bemoans Mr Zadeh, who came to the country as a student from Iran and worked at Microsoft before establishing his own firm, which now employs almost 150 people.On May 2nd Innovate for America, the new brainchild of Scott Sandell, a venture capitalist, launched a plan to get American firms with at least one immigrant founder to publicise the number of people they have hired in America. Some 40 companies, including Zoosk, BloomReach, a start-up that analyses data to help firms maximise online revenues, and QBotix, a robot-maker, have already signed up.At innovateforamerica.org, companies can submit the number of jobs they have added since their launch. They can also show support for the group?s aims by downloading a widget, or tiny piece of portable code. Once installed, this displays an icon on their websites showing the total number of jobs the group?s members have collectively created in America. The figure will be updated as new firms join and existing ones add workers. Mr Sandell says he is talking to auditors about verifying the data regularly to ensure they are robust.To get the initiative off the ground, he and his...

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