A June article on CU-CitizenAccess, a community online news and information project devoted to investigative and enterprise coverage of social, justice and economic issues in east central Illinois, highlighted the difficulty immigrants are facing in the current economy in Champaign County. More than 10% of Champaign County’s population is foreign-born (as of the 2008 US Census) and even those with advanced degrees are struggling to find employment (for more statistics and case studies, see the link below).
The Entrepreneur Visa Loan program can help alleviate this issue. People are generally inclined to associate with those similar to them. Thus foreign-born entrepreneurs, who remain in the community thanks to an EVL, are likely to hire or support the businesses of immigrants who may be able to relate to the challenges of being international. Such a network can aid the unemployment concerns, especially for those with advanced degrees who are not maximizing their full potential.