Starting a Business

The 10 Best Cities to Start a Business

The 10 Best Cities to Start a Business
Image credit: Shutterstock
Guest Writer
2 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

A brilliant business idea means nothing if you can't get it off the ground. For aspiring entrepreneurs looking for ample funding and a fertile environment to strike out on their own, a new report from personal finance website NerdWallet ranks the 10 best cities to start a business in the U.S. 

To gauge the health of small-business lending in each city, NerdWallet analyzed business loans made by community banks in 2012. The researchers also considered business friendliness and assessed the local economies based on the average income of residents, the unemployment rate and the cost of living. Education levels and population growth measured available talent. 

Each with two cities on the list, Oklahoma and Texas are featured prominently. Offering affordable living and plenty of financing, the regions may be up-and-coming entrepreneurial hotbeds. 

Related: The Best and Worst U.S. Cities to Launch a Business

The 10 Best Cities to Start a Business

No. 10: Omaha, Neb.

No. 10: Omaha, Neb.
Image credit: Shutterstock

Small-business lending in 2012: $51.9 million
Businesses per 100 residents: 8.1
Average income: $26,113
Population growth rate: 1.5 percent
 

The 10 Best Cities to Start a Business

No. 9: Houston, Texas

No. 9: Houston, Texas
Image credit: Shutterstock

Small-business lending in 2012: $250.5 million
Businesses per 100 residents: 9.9
Average income: $26,849
Population growth rate: 2.2 percent
 

The 10 Best Cities to Start a Business

No. 8: Minneapolis, Minn.

No. 8: Minneapolis, Minn.
Image credit: Shutterstock

Small-business lending in 2012: $52.6 million
Businesses per 100 residents: 10.4
Average income: $30,693
Population growth rate: 1.4 percent
 

The 10 Best Cities to Start a Business

No. 7: Seattle, Wash.

No. 7: Seattle, Wash.
Image credit: Shutterstock

Small-business lending in 2012: $41.1 million
Businesses per 100 residents: 12.5
Average income: $41,695
Population growth rate: 2 percent
 

The 10 Best Cities to Start a Business

No. 6: Tampa, Fla.

No. 6: Tampa, Fla.
Image credit: Shutterstock

Small-business lending in 2012: $79.2 million
Businesses per 100 residents: 11.5
Average income: $28,863
Population growth rate: 3.1 percent
 

The 10 Best Cities to Start a Business

No. 5: Oklahoma City, Okla.

No. 5: Oklahoma City, Okla.
Image credit: Shutterstock

Small-business lending in 2012: $118.5 million
Businesses per 100 residents: 10.3
Average income: $25,450
Population growth rate: 2.1 percent
 

The 10 Best Cities to Start a Business

No. 4: Tulsa, Okla.

No. 4: Tulsa, Okla.
Image credit: Shutterstock

Small-business lending in 2012: $125.5 million
Businesses per 100 residents: 10.7
Average income: $26,727
Population growth rate: 1.2 percent
 

The 10 Best Cities to Start a Business

No. 3: Austin, Texas

No. 3: Austin, Texas
Image credit: Shutterstock

Small-business lending in 2012: $28.4 million
Businesses per 100 residents: 10.8
Average income: $31,170
Population growth rate: 3.8 percent
 

The 10 Best Cities to Start a Business

No. 2: Raleigh, N.C.

No. 2: Raleigh, N.C.
Image credit: Shutterstock

Small-business lending in 2012: $43.9 million
Businesses per 100 residents: 10.5
Average income: $30,377
Population growth rate: 3.1 percent
 

The 10 Best Cities to Start a Business

No. 1: Atlanta, Ga.

No. 1: Atlanta, Ga.
Image credit: Shutterstock

Small-business lending in 2012: $62.2 million
Businesses per 100 residents: 9.8
Average income: $35,884
Population growth rate: 3 percent
 

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.

  • The 10 Best Cities to Start a Business
  • 1. No. 10: Omaha, Neb.
  • 2. No. 9: Houston, Texas
  • 3. No. 8: Minneapolis, Minn.
  • 4. No. 7: Seattle, Wash.
  • 5. No. 6: Tampa, Fla.
  • 6. No. 5: Oklahoma City, Okla.
  • 7. No. 4: Tulsa, Okla.
  • 8. No. 3: Austin, Texas
  • 9. No. 2: Raleigh, N.C.
  • 10. No. 1: Atlanta, Ga.
Next Slide