By spotting opportunity in limitations, i learned to create my own success.
I grew up in the Soviet Union, during a time of political and economic turmoil. My parents didn't have much money, and so my childhood was one of hand-me-downs. I'd inherited my older brothers' books, clothes, pants, and even their tights -- the footed kind to keep you warm in the bitter cold of winter. I had a few cherished dolls of my own, though we couldn't afford to buy them shiny new dresses. So I put my brothers' old clothes to a different use: I cut off parts of them and fashioned the fabric into doll clothes. It would take me years to understand what I'd really done there. I wasn't just dressing a doll... read more
Since the founding of our country, the entrepreneurial spirit has been a defining characteristic of the United States. Today we are the world leader in creating new enterprises, advancing innovation, and creating jobs as a result of this entrepreneurial activity. Fast-growing companies have long been the main source of new jobs and innovation in the United States. However, visa regulations and processes have made it increasingly difficult for immigrants to launch new companies here. We view this as a major competitive disadvantage for our country in the 21st century. Companies such as Google, Pfizer, Intel, Yahoo, DuPont, eBay and Procter & Gamble are all former start-ups founded by immigrants. Yet immigrants have not only founded major, well-known companies. Foreign-born residents made up just 12.5% of the U.S. population in 2008, while nearly 40% of technology company founders and 52% of founders of companies in Silicon Valley are foreign-born.