January 13, 2023

Celebrating Entrepreneurial Immigrants

Celebrating Entrepreneurial Immigrants

A point of pride for many Americans is our country’s long history of entrepreneurship, going back to historical figures like Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison.

I heard an interesting story last week that showed that much of the entrepreneurship in this country is driven by immigrants. Researchers found that immigrant inventors produced more than one-quarter of all patents between 1990 and 2016, and that 36% of America’s innovation can be traced to immigrants.

It’s not really a surprise when you look at many of the companies that are household names—but America is such a melting pot that sometimes we tend to forget that a lot of the innovation comes from all of the great ideas marinating in the same pot.

Sergey Brin, who co-founded Google; Elon Musk of both Tesla fame and now, the newly reinvented Twitter; and Jawed Kareen, who co-founded YouTube, are all immigrants. Other famous immigrant entrepreneurs include Jerry Yang (Yahoo!), Andy Grove (Intel), Hamid Ulukaya (Chobani) and Tony Ko (NYX Cosmetics). You can probably name many others.

For me, the research on immigrant inventors was one more indicator of how important all firms’ commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion is. We’ve worked very hard to make sure that every discussion at Marcum includes a true diversity of thought, and that means having a diversity of talent on our team. No business can afford to stick with the same old ideas in today’s fast moving, global environment. As this study shows, some of the best ideas may come from someone who is currently living half a world away.

As regular readers know, DEI has become a central business strategy at Marcum as well as a core component of our brand. Fortunately, our headquarters and many of our offices are in cities that are very diverse, and we have the opportunity to dip into a deep talent pool. In 2022, we launched the Marcum Diversity Scholarship Fund to support the career-track education of accounting majors from underrepresented groups.

DEI is a focal point of career success and associate engagement at Marcum. It is front and center in our recruiting and retention programs, and in our workplace culture. Our many Associate Resource Groups are one reflection of our commitment. Everyone who works at Marcum is well-aware of Marcum’s priority on DEI and its intrinsic role in defining what makes Marcum Marcum.

We intend to continue this push in 2023, and beyond. We’re an entrepreneurial firm that serves entrepreneurs. Throwing out the welcome mat to innovative people from all walks of life will continue to be a big part of that.

Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The holiday is a great reminder of how far we still have to go in achieving Dr. King’s vision of true social and economic equality, and in valuing the potential of each and every individual. Diversity and inclusion have never been more important.