t’s never too early to throw yourself into entrepreneurship. In fact, the younger you are, the better because you have an easier time learning and absorbing the vast experiences that life and your career throw your way.
While it can be tempting to be somewhat solitary as an entrepreneur, you’ll get better results if you surround yourself with like-minded people and a support-structure environment that make things easier for your goals. Living in a city that has a lot of entrepreneurial activity is a good example of this.
If you’re young and want to make it as an entrepreneur, then here are the top five cities for you.
1. Tulsa, Oklahoma
Sometimes, it’s the city that you’d never guess that makes it to the top of the list! Tulsa, Oklahoma, is a quiet, small city of just under 400,000 people. Its claim to fame is being home to Hanson, the all-brother trio. Now, it has another reason to grab the spotlight: Forbes Magazine recently named it the number one city for young entrepreneurs in the entire U.S.
It rates an 88.3 on the Cost of Living Index and counts almost 11 businesses per 100 residents! That stat alone is astounding because it shows that the engine of business and job growth is alive and well here.
2. Tampa, Florida
The South represents again on this list, this time with Tampa, Florida. According to Forbes, there are almost 12 businesses here for every 100 residents, meaning that Tampa edges out even Tulsa when it comes to the widespread presence of business! Yet that isn’t the only thing that makes Tampa attractive to young entrepreneurs.
The cost of living index is approximately 92, making it an environment that won’t break young entrepreneurs’ bank. Almost 1 in 3 people in the city have a bachelor’s degree, which certainly helps to spur competition. Finally, entrepreneurs are so successful here that they can even give back to the community.
3. Atlanta, Georgia
This is the third southern city we’ve spotlighted…there’s got to be something to southern living and attracting young entrepreneurs! It’s been featured as a city that provides amazing opportunities for entrepreneurs, and there are specific reasons for this.
The low cost of living definitely helps, as this means young entrepreneurs—who don’t yet have a lot of funds from which to build—can experience more freedom in trying to get a business off the ground. When you combine the low cost of living with things like a rich talent pool, a burgeoning tech hub in the city, and good transportation, then you’ve got a winner.
4. Raleigh, North Carolina
If there’s anything we’re learning, it’s that smaller, southern cities can give the bigger, more well-known cities in the U.S. a run for their money when it comes to being business-friendly. Boasting 10.5 businesses per 100 residents, this high ratio confirms how entrepreneurs feel right at home in this city.
Raleigh also has a stunningly high number of people with at least a bachelor’s degree: 50%. It’s no wonder that business activity in the city is very robust and healthy! Also, the city is tech-friendly, as companies with successful apps have already found out.
5. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
The Sooner State…again! Together with Tulsa, Oklahoma provides two of the five cities in the top five, not a small feat by any means. It’s been featured as a great place for startups to make their home. Clearly, there are various reasons as to why Oklahoma City is so popular for entrepreneurs. What are those reasons?
Again, the low cost of living is a huge factor because it doesn’t force businesses to have high startup costs. When you throw in the low cost of labor as a bonus—together with low taxes, few regulations and a great location in middle America—it’s really a young entrepreneur’s paradise.
These Are the Best of the Best
The next time you think that big cities in the U.S. are the best places to start a business—think again! While places like L.A. and New York certainly have a farther reaching reputation, that doesn’t make them business-friendly, to say the least!
Young entrepreneurs who want to succeed and be around like-minded, ambitious businesspeople should consider moving to these five cities. With great economic conditions, great civic management and lower taxes, these cities will continue to attract young entrepreneurs for years to come.