DACA repeal could have serious ramifications for American-immigrant entrepreneurship
Similar to Elon Musk of Tesla, Google's Sergey Brin and investor George Soros, Hao Lam of Best in Class Education Center is an immigrant who contributes to the U.S. economy in a major way. Immigrants tend to be risk-takers and are almost twice as likely to start businesses in the United States as native-born Americans.
Hao Lam did more than just risk his career to get where he is; he risked his life. It took Lam 13 tries before he successfully escaped Vietnam as a 20-year-old in 1988, avoiding death on multiple occasions. During the weeklong trip aboard a crowded boat to a Philippine refugee camp, he survived on three capfuls of water a day.
"It wasn't enough to wet your lips," he told CNBC. "Luckily, the fourth or fifth day, there was a big rain and we squeezed the water out of our wet clothes."
After a year at the refugee camp, Lam immigrated to British Columbia where he learned to speak English. He graduated from the University of British Columbia in 1995 then made his way to Seattle where he soon opened his first Best in Class Education Center.
"When I first started the business, I borrowed $100,000 from my aunt Lien, who owned a restaurant in Holland," he said to CNBC. "In the middle of 2012, my sister Kitty rescued me financially when I had to buy out my 50-50 partner and get the franchise up and running. Luckily, I have family members who are willing to help me when I am in need."
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