Immigrants have had a positive impact on the U.S. economy for decades. They are an integral part of any economy or any city because they are innovative people that strive for the best results. According to the New American Policy, about 45% of the Fortune-500 companies are run or started by immigrants. Immigrants have started several of the most popular brand names out there and have thrived while doing so. Most people do not realize that the everyday items they are using were started by immigrants seeking better opportunities.


“Think Different,” the official slogan for Apple, is precisely what Steve Jobs did when he invented his now $2 trillion company as of 2021. Although Steve Jobs is the exception on this list, he was not originally an immigrant himself, but he was the first generation of immigrant parents. Apple has gained a massive cult following when it comes to its devices, updates, and platforms. The electronic company has launched over 27 different products with over 200 versions of each. Steve Jobs was influential in the realm of innovation and design in the technology world and made a tremendous impact on the society we live in today.

Coffee Meets Bagel

Coffee Meets Bagel is an innovative dating app co-founded by Dawoon Kang, an immigrant from Korea along with her sister. The app launched in 2016 and has been climbing the leader boards in dating apps. Kang and her sister decided to take an innovative risk and start this app by curating it towards what they would want to see themselves in a dating app and how it could be inclusive of everyone. Kang has said that her parent’s own immigration story and their entrepreneurial business in Korea played a massive role in her individualistic lifestyle and career goals.


American’s #1 leading Greek yogurt brand was started by immigrant Hamdi Ulukaya, who brought his Turkish homeland recipe to the states. Ulukaya took a risk and bought a small-town factory in New York and since then has expanded his company into a $2 billion company. Ulukaya has stayed true to his core values as a businessman and believes businesses should put people before profits. At Chobani, he employs over 300 refugees who immigrated from Africa and the Middle East and started the Tent Foundation, which helps Syrian Refugees in Lesbos. Ulukaya continues to give back to the community and people like him, trying to find their innovative idea to become the next yogurt king.

Goldman Sachs

Marcus Goldman immigrated to the United States in 1848 from Bavaria. As a shoekeeper, Goldman was not making enough money to begin a side business. He paired businesses that needed to gain capital with financiers who could give out loans. He noticed he could make more capital by changing his business name and bringing in his son-in-law, Sachs. Once they changed their name to Goldman and Sachs, his business took off and their profits only increased. Today, Goldman Sachs Co. profits at $44.6 billion a year and continues to be the hierarchy of investments.


Three immigrants started the innovative app called Slack, which enables you to message the people in your office or team. Co-founders Stewart Butterfield (Canada), Serguei Mourachov (Russia), and Cal Henderson (U.K.) are the co-founders and entrepreneurial minds that gave the world Slack. Slack has gained a reputation as one of the most downloaded interoffice messaging apps out there and grew at a whopping 10% a day. As of 2021, Slack is worth about $8 billion and is only growing. The three co-founders and Stewart Butterfield have spoken out about the injustices that immigrants face daily.

Immigrants are often stuck with the stereotype that they are taking jobs, not contributing to society, and are very underappreciated. The fact of the matter is that immigrants have built some of the most successful companies in the United States. Immigrants in the United States are innovative, and entrepreneurs are trying to make their mark on society. In the U.S., nearly 3.2 million immigrants run their businesses, encompassing neighborhood stores, restaurants, professional services companies, and many other types of enterprises. They are the underrated backbone of our society. We have to thank these people for giving us the technology, innovation, and food we love today.

What are some other businesses we use everyday that were started by immigrants? Let us know down in the comments.

This article originally published on GREY Journal.