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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Excel in Business but Not without Risks


In recent years, data has shown that there has been significant growth in Asian American Pacific Islander-owned (AAPI) enterprises. Driven by demographic changes, related in large part to the history of immigration policy, the AAPI population has been growing, and this has been accompanied by AAPI innovators and entrepreneurs leaving greater marks on American society and the U.S. economy. This growth, however, is not without risks and threats. The legacy of being “othered” by mainstream society means that AAPI success in business and in the corporate landscape can be met with resentment and criticism. This article explores the history of AAPI entrepreneurship and current trends. It also examines the challenges that the community may continue to face and offers recommendations on how to ensure continued growth and expanded opportunities for AAPIs in business.

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