Immigrant entrepreneurship was one of the decisive factors in the United States' rise as an economic superpower in the late nineteenth century. The country benefited from the relative openness and freedom that attracted talent from around the world and encouraged minorities who fled discrimination elsewhere to try their luck.

The collaborative research project Immigrant Entrepreneurship: German-American Business Biographies, 1720 to the Present explores the entrepreneurial and economic capacity of immigrants by investigating the German-American example in the United States. It traces the lives, careers, and business ventures of  German-American businesspeople of roughly the last two hundred and ninety years, integrating the history of German-American immigration into the larger narrative of U.S. economic and business history. This online biographical dictionary synthesizes the results of the collaborative research project with a large collection of archival materials. The project is also a work in progress. New materials and essays will be added on a continual basis as the project expands.