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In Newark, Immigrant Entrepreneurs Put Their Own Spin on Starting a Business

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Like many immigrants, Nuñez and Mota recently decided to start a business. According to the Kauffman Foundation, immigrants are twice as likely to start a business as native-born Americans; and 28.5 percent of new entrepreneurs in 2014 were immigrants, up from 13.3 percent in 1997. And of course, there is the famous statistic that foreign-born Americans have founded around 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies. But the extent to which foreign-born Americans have used cooperative economics to support each other remains a mostly untold dimension of the immigrant economic experience. From the very first credit union in the U.S., St. Mary’s Bank, which Catholic immigrants used to save and borrow money, immigrants have found ways to cooperate economically. Nuñez and Mota continue that history, as two of 18 founding members of Green Magic Cleaning Cooperative, a 100 percent worker owned and operated business. It incorporated just last month.