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Top Cities to Launch a Start-up

Mark Marich on October 15, 2009 Source: Policy Dialogue on Entrepreneurship

This week, the Fortune Small Business magazine and the Kauffman Foundation announced the 50 best places to launch a business in the United States. The top 10 large cities (defined in the study as having a population of 1 million or higher) are:

  1. Oklahoma City, OK
  2. Pittsburgh, PA
  3. Raleigh, NC
  4. Houston, TX
  5. Hartford, CT
  6. Washington, DC
  7. Charlotte, NC
  8. Austin, TX
  9. New York City, NY
  10. Baltimore, MD

Topping the list of medium cities (250,000 to 1 million) is Huntsville, AL, followed by Lafayette, LA and Omaha, NE.

The #1 place in the small cities (fewer than 250K) list is Billings, MT, followed by Bismarck, ND and Fargo, ND.

At a news conference this morning, Richard Murphy, editor of Fortune Small Business, and Robert E. Litan, vice president of Research and Policy at the Kauffman Foundation, presented the findings. They explained that leading researcher Robert Fairlie ranked cities in terms of their hospitability to entrepreneurship and to the formation of new businesses. Rather than looking at past performance, as most similar listings do, the methodology used three equally weighted criteria:

  • What factors drive demand?
  • What factors influence the supply and the cost of starting new businesses?
  • Additional “climate variables”

The top cities have excelled in growing their economies, having a pool of affordable workers, offering stable housing markets, and keeping crime rates low, among other characteristics.

When asked about the lack of west coast cities on the list, Murphy explained that the high rate of foreclosures and lack of stability in the housing market impacted the west coast moreso than the east. He went on to suggest that the recession may have redrawn the "entrepreneurship map" of America.

Category:  General  Tags:  fortune small business, kauffman foundation, bob litan

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