Since 2014, June has marked the celebration of Immigrant Heritage Month, highlighting the diverse backgrounds of Americans, whether their family ventured here generations ago or just this past year. Immigrant communities in the United States, past and present, help to define American identity, and this month offers an opportunity for individuals to explore and reflect on their own heritage.
Over the first two seasons of our podcast Start Small, Dream BIG, we heard from many entrepreneurs who came to the United States from around the globe to pursue their goals. They shared the unique challenges immigrants face in launching a new venture. Their businesses are as diverse as their backgrounds, and we’re inspired by their perspectives, varied paths to entrepreneurship, and thoughts on the American Dream.
Below, we’ve highlighted some of our favorite insights, and you can listen to each episode to hear these guests in their own words.
Kaveh Zamanian of Rabbit Hole Distillery S1 EP1
"For me, the American Dream is about opportunity… and it's about the opportunity to be able to achieve things that otherwise seem impossible."
Sassa Akervall of Akervall Technologies S1 EP3
“The sky is the limit here. I really think so. If you put the work in, if you aren't afraid of giving it your all, I think there's a good potential in each and every one of us to reach goals that we set up.”
Juha & Johanna Mikkola of Wyncode Academy S1 EP5
“For us, we came to Miami not knowing one single person here, launching a business in an industry and education technology that we hadn't been in before -- with a business plan in hand, a coworking space rented, and a website up. And here we are, six years later, with nearly a thousand graduates, maintaining amazing jobs support, working with over 450 hiring partners who hire from the program.”
Hussain & Shezad Manjee of DHD Films S1 EP9
“Anything is possible as long as we can make dreams come true for other people. And, I think at the end of the day, that's the business we're in… we're making dreams come true for businesses, for enterprise, for nonprofits, for our team and, I wouldn't have it any other way.”
Carlos Ramirez of Powerful Foods S2 EP9
“The US is the only country I can think of where you have such a big infrastructure, industrial infrastructure, and resources and talent, and, you know, opportunity to compete with huge conglomerates and companies. And you are just a fly on the wall sometimes. And you are there, head to head, because the market's giving you that opportunity. And that's for me, the American Dream."