2014′s Best Cities to Start a Business


Americans are born with an entrepreneurial streak.  It’s in our DNA.  From Manifest Destiny and the Gold Rush to the Industrial Revolution and the Internet Age, intense periods of innovation have molded our economy and sparked important societal advancements.

Innovation is never easy, though.  Hardship and necessity underpin much of our entrepreneurial progress, largely because the motivation to enter the unknown in the face of bleak odds simply is not in abundance when more comfortable avenues remain to be explored.  Such dynamics have played out in recent years, as unemployment hit 10% at the Great Recession’s nadir while the share of the labor force unemployed for more than 26 weeks rose to the highest point in more than 60 years, according to the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities.

Driven by a dearth of traditional job opportunities and a reenergized hesitancy to put one’s fate in the hands of others, somewhere between 10 million and 43 million Americans are now working for themselves.  There is always room in the market for new ideas, products, services and multi-million-dollar success stories…if you know where to look.  In order to help aspiring entrepreneurs – from restaurant owners to high-tech movers and shakers – maximize their chances for long-term prosperity, WalletHub analyzed the relative start-up opportunities that exist in the 150 largest cities in the United States in terms of population.

We did so using 14 unique metrics, ranging from 5-year survival rate and the affordability of office space to the educational background of the local labor force.  You can read more about the metrics and underlying data used to conduct this report as well as our ultimate findings below.

Complete Rankings


Rank City Rank City Rank City
1 Jacksonville, FL 51 Bakersfield, CA 101 Overland Park, KS
2 Fayetteville, NC 52 St. Louis, MO 102 Peoria, AZ
3 Augusta, GA 53 Houston, TX 103 Fontana, CA
4 Jackson, MS 54 Nashville-Davidson, TN 104 Plano, TX
5 Memphis, TN 55 Reno, NV 105 Gilbert Town, AZ
6 New Orleans, LA 56 San Bernardino, CA 106 Chicago, IL
7 Tulsa, OK 57 Miami, FL 107 Riverside, CA
8 Columbus, GA 58 Buffalo, NY 108 Hialeah, FL
9 Cape Coral, FL 59 Indianapolis, IN 109 Des Moines, IA
10 Las Vegas, NV 60 Dallas, TX 110 Aurora, IL
11 El Paso, TX 61 St. Petersburg, FL 111 Santa Rosa, CA
12 Oklahoma City, OK 62 Modesto, CA 112 Anchorage, AK
13 Port St. Lucie, FL 63 Pembroke Pines, FL 113 Tempe, AZ
14 Amarillo, TX 64 Lexington-Fayette, KY 114 Madison, WI
15 Colorado Springs, CO 65 Lincoln, NE 115 Philadelphia, PA
16 Brownsville, TX 66 Chesapeake, VA 116 San Francisco, CA
17 Grand Rapids, MI 67 Henderson, NV 117 Irvine, CA
18 Shreveport, LA 68 Winston-Salem, NC 118 Minneapolis, MN
19 Corpus Christi, TX 69 Richmond, VA 119 San Diego, CA
20 Laredo, TX 70 Salt Lake City, UT 120 Pittsburgh, PA
21 Chattanooga, TN 71 San Antonio, TX 121 San Jose, CA
22 Mobile, AL 72 Moreno Valley, CA 122 Vancouver, WA
23 Montgomery, AL 73 Norfolk, VA 123 Oceanside, CA
24 Springfield, MO 74 Tucson, AZ 124 Honolulu, HI
25 Huntsville, AL 75 Albuquerque, NM 125 Oceanside, CA
26 Sioux Falls, SD 76 Raleigh, NC 126 New York, NY
27 Detroit, MI 77 Little Rock, AR 127 Yonkers, NY
28 Wichita, KS 78 Omaha, NE 128 Long Beach, CA
29 Kansas City, MO 79 Glendale, AZ 129 Worcester, MA
30 Columbus, OH 80 Cincinnati, OH 130 Chula Vista, CA
31 Birmingham, AL 81 Grand Prairie, TX 131 Oxnard, CA
32 Tampa, FL 82 Arlington, TX 132 Fremont, CA
33 Tallahassee, FL 83 Chandler, AZ 133 Rancho Cucamonga, CA
34 Lubbock, TX 84 Denver, CO 134 Washington, DC
35 Fort Worth, TX 85 Garland, TX 135 Los Angeles, CA
36 Louisville, KY 86 Fort Lauderdale, FL 136 St. Paul, MN
37 Orlando, FL 87 Baltimore, MD 137 Boston, MA
38 Fort Wayne, IN 88 Charlotte, NC 138 Portland, OR
39 Toledo, OH 89 Phoenix, AZ 139 Tacoma, WA
40 Atlanta, GA 90 Virginia Beach, VA 140 Huntington Beach, CA
41 Fresno, CA 91 Akron, OH 141 Ontario, CA
42 Stockton, CA 92 Mesa, AZ 142 Jersey City, NJ
43 Newport News, VA 93 Spokane, WA 143 Santa Clarita, CA
44 Aurora, CO 94 Irving, TX 144 Anaheim, CA
45 Baton Rouge, LA 95 Durham, NC 145 Seattle, WA
46 North Las Vegas, NV 96 Cleveland, OH 146 Santa Ana, CA
47 Greensboro, NC 97 Sacramento, CA 147 Garden Grove, CA
48 Rochester, NY 98 Milwaukee, WI 148 Glendale, CA
49 Knoxville, TN 99 Austin, TX 149 Providence, RI
50 Boise City, ID 100 Oakland, CA 150 Newark, NJ

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All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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