Atlanta, Georgia recently was named #3 on a survey of cities best for young entrepreneurs, beating out places like Silicon Valley or New York City. Nerdwallet.com looked at a number of factors, including the cost of living, loan volumes and education levels to create a list of cities that are most welcome to young entrepreneurs. But Atlanta’s high rating is no surprise to residents, many of whom are small business owners themselves.
Easy Access to Talent
With local schools like Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia, Atlanta offers a wealth of talent for business owners. Georgia Tech graduates thousands of skilled potential employees with STEM skills, while UGA hosts a Small Business Development Center that offers training, consulting and solid business advice, and UGA’s Terry College of Business offers an Entrepreneurship Program. Not surprisingly, Atlanta is home to a number of large tech companies, such as AT&T Mobility. An estimated quarter-million tech workers call the Atlanta metro region home.
Southern Business Hub
Other reasons for Atlanta’s popularity: it is a national transportation hub. Hartsfield-Jackson is the busiest airport in the country. Even Atlanta’s metro sprawl seems headed in the right direction. A recent article, in fact, argues that Atlanta is changing from a traffic clogged city to a walkable one – making it more appealing and affordable to younger workers. And the population is continuing to grow, while the cost of real estate remains low compared to other major metropolitan areas. This year, continuing population growth has helped fuel the local real estate market, which in turn is helping grow other types of local business. Analysts predict an even stronger 2014 for the region.
Atlanta is also a business-friendly city — one in which new businesses are welcomed and patronized. Compared to other states, Georgia is pro-business, with relatively low taxes and fewer regulations. And perhaps one other important factor is the sheer magnitude of entrepreneurial activity in the Atlanta metro region. Everyone here seems to be starting a business, or has a friend or family member who is an entrepreneur. This large network makes it easier for new businesses to get started and develop the connections they need to be successful.
If you’ve ever considered starting or buying your own business, ask yourself if Atlanta is the right place to start out. It offers everything your business needs to get off to a great start.