Top 10 Cities For Urban Entrepreneurs


If you’re thinking about moving to a new city, but are not sure where you would have the best shot at success… this list is for you. Here are the top ten cities for urban entrepreneurs:

1. New York City- As the largest city in the United States, New York City unites millions of people from all over the world, and is booming with business opportunities. Most major companies are represented here, tourism is huge, and the city is home to the financial, music, fashion, and theatre industries, among others. It’s also known for its bustling nightlife…and since many A-listers call NYC “home” you never know who you’ll bump into. In New York there are opportunities all around you, mass transit can take you anywhere you want to go, and once you make it here…there’s no limit to what you can accomplish anywhere else.

2. Washington D.C.- Any entrepreneur hoping to land a big government contract would do well in the Washington D.C. area. This city unites educated professionals, political minds, lobbyists, lawyers and other progressive business leaders who could make up a lucrative consumer base for the savvy entrepreneur. The ethnically diverse city is currently redeveloping its more blighted areas, so new opportunities are expanding throughout the city.

3. Raleigh/Durham- The capital of North Carolina is attracting entrepreneurs with it’s affordable cost of living, and great quality of life. The city is home to major universities like Duke, UNC, and NC State, which provides a highly educated workforce for growing companies. Raleigh/Durham is quickly becoming a technology epicenter, and is recruiting new entrepreneurs by offering tax credits. It’s emerging downtown area, family friendly atmosphere, and the fact that there’s no local income tax also make the Raleigh/Durham area a great place for entrepreneurs to settle.

4. Atlanta- Atlanta is the major city of the south. Its warm weather and affordable cost of living is a huge draw for entrepreneurs who still want to feel connected to a big city. Atlanta is home to major companies like CNN, Coca-Cola, Turner and more. Urban entrepreneurs in Atlanta can recruit highly educated talent from popular colleges like Spelman, Morehouse, Emory, etc… The city’s inexpensive labor force is also convenient for growing businesses. Atlanta’s growing metropolitan area is already popular among entrepreneurs, so the city is a great place for networking and making valuable connections for your business.

5. Houston- One of the reasons Houston is popular with many entrepreneurs is the simple fact that it offers low taxes for small businesses. It is also home to the largest medical center in the world, so if your business has anything to do with healthcare, this might be the city for you. Houston is also reportedly the largest purchaser of green power industry, which is something to consider if you are looking to establish a “green” business venture. Even during the recession, Houston was one of the few places added new jobs, so there continues to be job and business opportunities available in this great southwestern city.

6. Chicago- Aside from being the longtime home of the Oprah Winfrey show, Chicago is also one of leading financial centers in the world. It offers a fast-paced environment for business minded professionals and urban entrepreneurs to connect and build thriving enterprises together. The city is located on Lake Michigan which allows you to benefit from both its beautiful beaches and bustling downtown life. Chicago has a strong social scene, and it’s home to great universities and very accomplished people, including Kanye West and President Obama.

7. Las Vegas- If you want to keep more of your money in your pocket, look towards Vegas. As an entrepreneur living in Las Vegas you will no longer have to pay corporate income taxes, franchise taxes, inventory taxes or personal income taxes. So, as long as you can resist the urge to frequent the casinos, you can really stack your money in this great city. With the fastest growing population, 35 million tourists a year, and the infamous Vegas strip, Las Vegas presents countless opportunities for creative entrepreneurs like you to grow booming businesses.

8. Charlotte- Charlotte features all the amenities of a large metropolitan area, but with a taste of southern charm. This city is the second largest financial center in the United States. Seven financial companies are headquartered here, and there are great incentives for new businesses to plant roots here. Urban entrepreneurs can enjoy the Charlotte’s low cost of living and it’s inexpensive labor force. The beautiful weather and the family friendly environment is also a big draw.

9. Los Angeles- Los Angeles is the hub of the entertainment world, and home to all the major Hollywood film studios. Aspiring actors and actresses flock here every year for a chance to get discovered. Likewise, entrepreneurs are attracted to Los Angeles because of it’s diversity, warm weather, and easy access to the stars.

10. Baltimore- the number one reason Baltimore is on the list is because of its incredible location. Living in Baltimore allows you to get to D.C. within 30 minutes, and to New York in less than 3 hours. It also has a growing tech community, which is supported with incentives to welcome local tech startups to the Baltimore area. Baltimore also offers its legendary Harbor, which is a dream come true for seafood lovers, and a great spot to wine and dine potential clients.

Now that you know what these ten great cities can offer you and your business, go ahead and plot your next move. Let us know which city you’re planning to grow your business in…

Did we forget to mention your favorite city? If you know of any other great cities for urban entrepreneurs, let us know so we can spread the word.

One Comment

  1. Posted November 22, 2010 at 12:38 PM | Permalink

    Do not forget cities or regions that host a business incubator!
    Sonoma Mountain Business Cluster, an IHUB for the state of CA offers space and free consulting from a mentor committee.
    These centers can assist the small business owner with practical ideas on how to be successful as well as funding avenues.
    Denise Beeson
    Mentor, SMBC

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