Top 10 Best Cities for Entrepreneurs

Best Cities for Entrepreneurs

Top 10 Best Cities for Entrepreneurs

The United States is the land of opportunity.  Nowadays a lot of people become business owners before they even get a bachelors degree.  As a business that has been going strong for over a decade, we know what we’re talking about. Although much of business has now moved online, location still matters when it comes to networking, funding, and cost of living. If you want to learn how to start a business, or you’ve already got some startup business ideas to put into action, you might want to know about some of the best cities for entrepreneurs to live and work in. Although the best places for entrepreneurs to work do change from year to year, there are some cities that consistently perform well.

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1. Miami

Miami has a long history of the building and rebuilding, considering the number of hurricane seasons it has been through. For every 100,000 adults living in Miami, 560 of them decide on starting a business every month. Every time you come across a business in Miami, there is a 1 in 10 chance that it is a business that has been started within the last year. One of the reasons Miami is one of the best cities for entrepreneurs is that it has one of the best infrastructures in the US. That, and the fact that the air is actually breathable.

Adding to this, you will not be alone if you decide on starting a business in Miami. You will have ample opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals at startup events like TechWeek Miami and eMerge Americas. Investors have taken note of all this. It has further spurred Miami’s growth: the city ranks in the top ten of places in the US receiving venture capital investments. Miami also ranked very high on the Kauffman Foundation’s index on the best cities for entrepreneurs.

2. New York City

If you want to learn how to start a business, then New York City has never been a bad bet – and probably never will be. Although New York City only received about a third of the venture capital funding Silicon Valley receives, business is still relentlessly booming in the Big Apple. Out of every 100,000 adults living in NYC, 410 of them start their own business every month. The city’s tech industry even grows faster than San Francisco. While Silicon Valley is probably good training ground on how to start a business in tech, New York simply offers more diversity. With no shortage of ambitious people flocking to the city, you will never be short on talent to fuel your business. There are many entrepreneurial places like WeWork scattered across the concrete jungle for you to partake in.

If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, this is one of the best metro areas for surrounding yourself with link-minded people.  This makes New York one of the best cities for entrepreneurs.

3. Los Angeles

The City of Angels is not just good for kick-starting careers in the limelight. When it comes to business ideas, Los Angeles is definitely one most entrepreneurial cities in the US. As with Miami, 560 new business ideas for every 100,000 residents are generated every month. Although the city is steeped in millionaires, it does not stop venture capitalists from flooding it with even more money for entrepreneurs to fund their business ideas with. Even if you don’t have funding for your own business idea yet, don’t worry. You won’t be starving. Not only is Los Angeles one of the best places for entrepreneurs to work, it is also #2 in the US when it comes to spending on annual payroll. 

Over the past few years, we have seen a number of start-up incubators and co-working spaces open in LA.  With an average temperature in the 70’s, it is no surprise that LA is always one of the fastest-growing cities for millennials and minority entrepreneurs.
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4. Dallas

Dallas is much more than oil and cowboy hats. It is also the technological hub of the northern part of the Lone Star State. As one of the most entrepreneurial cities in the US, it comes as no surprise that it is the biggest metropolitan area not located near a coast. Nor is it a surprise that many of the world’s billionaires (like Mark Cuban) call Dallas home. Don’t let the competition put you off from starting a business here, however. There are 40 colleges where you can source fresh talent from. On top of this, the affordable cost of living makes it one of the best cities for entrepreneurs looking to stretch their dollar as much as possible.

5. Houston

With over 2 million residents, H-Town is one of the largest and most diverse cities in the United States. If you plan on starting a business, Houston is definitely one of the best places for entrepreneurs to work. Why? Because there is zero state income tax. That means more money for you to nurture your startup business ideas and pay your staff. The fact that everything in Texas is big doesn’t apply to the price tags. Houston is well below the average cost of living. And while Silicon is struggling in terms of diversity, Houston is taking the lead. Finally, the lack of zoning laws also contributes to making Houston one of the most entrepreneurial cities in the US.

6. Atlanta

Hotlanta is one of the fastest growing cities in the US. That fact alone is ideal for starting your own business. But Atlanta does not compare to other major metropolitan areas in terms of size. This is good news for people with startup business ideas that need a gentle start, as the cost of living is lower than in other cities. Atlanta could potentially be one of the best cities for entrepreneurs in 2018, as starting an online business or a home business makes your location irrelevant. However, should you need to meet with clients or travel to other cities, you have an advantage. The world’s busiest airport, the Hartsfield-Jackson International, is just around the corner. Finally, the Atlanta Tech Village is a great place for you to meet others with whom you can discuss your startup business ideas.
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7. San Francisco

San Francisco is, of course, the home of tech zillionaires, and thus one of the most entrepreneurial cities in the US. But that also means that the cost of living has risen to the point where it is no longer as easy to kick-start your business ideas. That said, there are still tons of places for you to network, and you don’t need a car to get around. People in San Fran like to keep busy, and the unemployment rate is lower than in the rest of the US. Perhaps for this reason, San Francisco is one of the happiest places to live in. And maybe that is also why some of the best business ideas are born here.

8. Denver

Another place with a low cost of living, and thus a great place for starting your own business, is Denver. For every 100,000 people living in Denver, 390 of them decide to start a business every month. Maybe that is why Forbes named the city one of the best places for entrepreneurs to work a few years ago. For those looking to meet other entrepreneurs and discuss business ideas, the Colorado Innovation Network is the place to go.

9. Austin

The capital city of Texas has received numerous accolades for its entrepreneurial spirit. CNBC called it one of the most entrepreneurial cities in the US. American City Business Journals called Austin fertile ground for small business ideas. Sungard Availability Services noted how great of a place it was for starting an online business. From Dell to Whole Foods, Austin has spawned many household names. If you are looking to share your small business ideas with others, there is South by Southwest and the Small Business Festival to check out. Austin could potentially be one of the best cities for entrepreneurs in the world.  We’ve spoken to many women entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses that are headquartered in Austin.    

10. Boston

Boston is booming with business ideas and no wonder. It has MIT, Harvard, Tufts, and of course at Boston University in the backyard. This means that if you’re planning on starting a business, you’ve got plenty of talent to choose from.  We think this is one of the best cities on the planet for entrepreneurship and business start-up community.  Should you need advice on how to start a business, the city also has an abundance of startup accelerators and incubators to choose from. If you need funding to help grow your business ideas, there are also plenty of opportunities to take out business loans. Finally, there are a string of events for those looking to network and share their best business ideas. How’s that for one of the best cities for entrepreneurs?

How to start a business
How to start a business

Be Inspired

While you consider where to move to next, there are loads of great sources to inspire you right here on our blog.  You do not always need an investor to start a business, just pick up a copy of Entrepreneur Magazine and apply for an SBA loan.  

Are you trying to come up with some good business ideas? Have a look at our post about 9 Ways to Overcome Mental Blocks and Improve Creative Thinking.

Maybe you need to become a bit more familiar with the basics of how to start your own business? Then head over to one of the 10 Best Entrepreneur Schools.

Maybe you already have a business and need help making people aware of your products or services? Why not take a look at our catalog and see what kind of signage would make the most impact?

If you have any experiences about living in entrepreneurial cities in the US, feel free to leave a comment in the section below.

We’d love to hear about more great places to live and work!


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Brandon Stapper
Brandon Stapper is an entrepreneur and investor. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Nonstop Signs, an industry leading graphic design, print, and sign business with multiple locations throughout the United States. At 20 years old, with no formal education and only a few hundred dollars, Stapper turned a $400 custom decal machine in a garage into an international printing powerhouse focused on helping businesses improve their marketing and branding with everything from retail signage to packaging, to trade show displays.
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