Best Places to Live: Cities to Boost Your Entrepreneur’s Career

Entrepreneurship is not about starting a business from scratch, nor it is about finding new solutions to old problems. It’s rather a state of mind not everyone is born with. Of course, that’s not to say that absolutely all successful entrepreneurs are born, not made. But if you think about it for a moment, you’ll realize that the most outstanding business figures of all time (Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, or Scrooge McDuck) have one thing in common –  a special angel of perception enabling them to see the opportunities that are out of reach for the rest of the people.

If the title of this article has caught your eye, I assume you’re the next Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg thinking of relocation to the city of business opportunities. If I’m right, you made it to the right place. Because in the next five minutes you’ll learn what American cities now offer the biggest benefits for a person like you. Spoiler alert: no ‘Valley’ or ‘Alley’ cities included. Meet our list of the best US cities for entrepreneurs.

Salt Lake City, UT

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Business tax climate: 9th best in the country
SBA loans per 100,000 residents:  $21,590,164
Median rental price: $818/mo
Cost of living index: 68.46

Widely known as the headquarters of the Mormon Church, Salt Lake City could be your city of choice even if your plans for the future have nothing to do with religion. When walking around the city, it might be hard to believe there are over 1.2 million residents living in the metro area. Despite growing in population, the city manages to keep its small-town feel as well as affordable prices for housing, groceries, and entertainment under control. Salt Lake City boasts of being the third best location in the country in terms of SBA loans, which means it won’t be hard to get funding to kick-start your business idea. And now the best part: not only is Salt Lake City attractive for entrepreneurs, but it is also one of the greatest cities for raising kids. Grab your chance to get the best of both worlds.


Indianapolis, IN

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Business tax climate: 8th best in the country
SBA loans per 100,000 residents: $11,860,914
Median rental price: $791/mo
Cost of living index: 76.13

It turns out, you don’t need to live in the stress and pace of a megapolis like Chicago or New York to run a successful business. Take a look at the statistics above and you’ll realize that it is possible to put your best entrepreneurship foot forward and make decent money without sacrificing your comfortable slow life. Choose Indianapolis and you’ll see why locals don’t want the world to know about the perks of living in their city. Chances are good that you’ll remain silent too. Simply for the sake of keeping Indianapolis as it is today – livable, slow, and affordable. After all, not so many cities can boast rental prices below $800 per month. It’s Indianapolis –  a great place to live, the best city for young entrepreneurs.

Portland, OR

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Business tax climate: 10th best in the country
SBA loans per 100,000 residents: $9,795,780
Median rental price: $971/mo
Cost of living: 82.60

There are cities you visit and tell yourself something like ‘it could be a nice place to live’. Then you leave them never to return again. And, to be perfectly blunt, you have no regrets. And there are also cities making you whisper “I’m totally moving here.” And if you fail to, you regret it for the rest of your life. Never happened to you? Book your tickets to Portland, stay there for a couple of days, and we’ll get back to this conversation right after. This unconventional city is great for your career of an entrepreneur, and it’s just as great for living a happy life (without the need of spending half of your income on housing and half of your free time on home-work commuting).

Charlotte, NC

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Business tax climate: 11th best in the country
SBA loans per 100,000 residents: $10,447,819
Median rental price: $926/mo
Cost of living index: 75.85

If you don’t get it why Charlotte is on the list, here is a quick fact to blow your mind. Turns out, it is the second largest banking center in the country and the major commercial hub in the state of North Carolina. Brimming with business opportunities of all kinds, Charlotte won’t make you drain your wallet paying for a rental. With beautiful apartments available for less than $1,000 a month, you’ll get a chance to avoid superfluous spendings and grow your business way faster. Charlotte used to be a powerful interplay of the old and the new. Now the new seems to be taking over: future-like sports utilities, concept restaurants, chic lofts, and modern art galleries is what defines the city today. Now add to that favorable tax climate, low cost of living, and a huge amount of SBA loans. Isn’t it what the best city for young entrepreneurs should have?

Austin, TX

Business tax climate: 12th best in the country
SBA loans per 100,000 residents: $17,692,769
Median rental price: $1,047/mo
Cost of living index: 74.07


For the starters, let us explain something important. We didn’t mean it to be this way, but Austin appears to take a champion number of mentions in our ‘best places to live’ series. Previously featured on the lists of best cities for young professionals, best locations for tech employees, and best places for launching a startup, it is now named a great city for being an entrepreneur. Livable yet vibrant, business-oriented yet affordable, filled with southern charm but not laid-back – is all about today’s Austin. The happy middle of everything and, who knows, maybe your next place to call home.

For the final

Needless to say, there are plenty of other American cities offering great conditions for entrepreneurs. We’ve put together this list of five to help you see that some of the best options to choose might seem completely counterintuitive at first glance. After all, who goes to found a new company in Charlotte if there is NYC out there? Who would pick Portland to test a business idea if Silicon Valley is best for the purpose?

The truth is that outstanding leaders are never afraid of things that are new. They choose to go upstream and don’t listen to people calling them crazy. In the long run, however, those are the people to outsmart their strongest competitors. Don’t be afraid to break the rules: move to an up-and-coming city instead of choosing a location that’s been named ‘the best city’ for entrepreneurs. The payoffs won’t disappoint you: you’ll get a chance to grow your business beyond what was previously possible.

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