NJBIA, along with Einstein’s Alley and the New Jersey Business Immigration Coalition, honored five immigrant entrepreneurs during a virtual online event today that also celebrated the achievements of New Jersey’s 128,508 immigrant entrepreneurs whose businesses provide jobs for 380,000 people.
The online virtual event, “Immigration in NJ: New Ideas, Fresh Perspectives and a Celebration of Immigrant Entrrepreneurship,” also included a keynote by Jeremy Robbins, executive director of the New American Economy Research Fund, who emphasized the outsized role that immigrants have had in keeping the state’s residents safe during the COVID-19 pandemic as doctors, healthcare workers, and other essential front-line workers.
Robbins said immigrant entrepreneurship would be critical to New Jersey’s economic recovery post-pandemic.
“As we grapple with our recovery, one of the big fundamental questions we’re going to face is how to get our Main Streets vibrant again,” Robbins said. “How do we find new companies who are going to come in or replace those that have closed shop for good during the pandemic?
“Immigration isn’t going to cure all of economic ills, but it is a key asset in the struggle – one that sets us apart from every other country in the world that is struggling to build back because we’re the place that people want to come to start their businesses and to have a better life,” Robbins said.
Go here to view the entire webinar, which also included a panel discussion on immigration issues with attorney Patrick McGowan of Genova Burns, Ali Bokhari of Unilever, and Rashaad Bajwa of Domain Computer.
The five entrepreneurs honored for their business achievements were:
- Immigrant Entrepreneur of the Year Award: Ali A. Houshmand, President, Rowan University, Glassboro
- Caspar Wistar Award for Growth: Raj Sahu, CEO, Connexions Data Inc., Paramus
- Albert Einstein Award for Innovation: Shuguang Sunny Wang, Managing Director, Broad USA Inc., Hackensack
- David Sarnoff Award for Advocacy and Community Engagement: Mahesh Yadav, CEO, Optima Global Solutions, Inc., Lawrenceville
- Rising Star Entrepreneurial Award: Hussain Bootwala, President & CEO HAZ International, Inc., Edison