Study: Over 13,000 immigrants in Wisconsin are entrepreneurs

By Lisa Speckhard, The Capital Times

immigrant_entrepreneur_webAs a little girl in Mexico, Armida Ramos remembers spending many days in her mother’s restaurant.

“I always used to be helping my mom, so in the future I wanted to have my own business,” she said.

She moved to the U.S. from Mexico when she was 14, and brought her entrepreneurial instincts with her. The result is La Michoacana Homemade Ice Cream, now with two locations in Madison — 6712 Odana Rd and 4512 E. Washington Ave.

She started the Mexican-style ice cream business “from scratch” with her sister, Liliana Valerio, a difficult process at times for an immigrant. The effort paid off and today, her customer base is as diverse as the 30 flavors she offers, including pine nut, corn queso, tequila and a variety of fruits.

“We have a mix, we have everybody,” she said. “Chinese people, they love the coconut, the mango. They love it because there are some flavors they use in their country.”

Ramos is bringing more than fresh dairy flavors to Wisconsin; she’s adding dollars to the economy. She, along with 13,000 other immigrant entrepreneurs in Wisconsin, positively impact the economy, according to a report released Tuesday by the Partnership for a New American Economy (PNAE). Read more …

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