Immigrant entrepreneurship was one of the decisive factors in the United States’ rise as an economic superpower in the late nineteenth century. The country benefited from the relative openness and freedom that attracted talent from around the world and encouraged minorities who fled discrimination elsewhere to try their luck.

The collaborative research project Immigrant Entrepreneurship: German-American Business Biographies, 1720 to the Present, which ran from 2010 through mid-2016, explores the entrepreneurial and economic capacity of immigrants by investigating the German-American example in the United States.

It traces the lives, careers, and business ventures of  German-American businesspeople of roughly the last two hundred and ninety years, integrating the history of German-American immigration into the larger narrative of U.S. economic and business history.

This online biographical dictionary synthesizes the results of the collaborative research project with a large collection of archival materials.

For ease of navigation, the project is divided into five volumes:

Users can explore Immigrant Entrepreneurship through these pre-determined volumes. In each volume you will find a short introduction to the time period, the biographical articles, thematic essays, images, documents, and other materials.

Continue Reading about the project…