No English Needed
This week the New York Times profiled three immigrant entrepreneurs who, despite their lack of English speaking skills, have amassed great fortunes in the United States. Félix Sánchez de la Vega Guzmán, from Mexico, built a successful tortilla company, which has expanded throughout the United States and into Mexico. The company is now valued at about $19 million dollars. Mr. Guzmán credits his success to the fact that his clientele is largely Spanish-speaking, and English is therefore largely unnecessary. Nancy Foner, professor of sociology at City University of New York, states that modern technology has allowed such entrepreneurs to not only achieve financial success with little or no English, but also to expand their businesses nationally and internationally. The other entrepreneurs profiled are Zhang Yulong, a Chinese immigrant who owns a $30 million cell phone accessories business and Kim Ki Chol, from Korea, who is “a successful retailer, real estate investor and civic leader.” According to the 2010 U.S. Census, of the heads of households who spoke English “not well” or “not at all,” 35,500 had incomes of more than $200,000 a year.