Source: Richard Florida, Atlantic Cities, February 11, 2014
Creating high-growth, high-impact entrepreneurial enterprises has become a common goal of cities. Metros and states have cut taxes, implemented entrepreneur-friendly business policies, launched their own venture capital efforts, and underwritten incubators and accelerators – all in the hope of creating the next Apples, Facebooks, Googles, and Twitters.
But what really attracts innovative entrepreneurs who create these economy-boosting companies?
The answers: talented workers, and the quality of life that the educated and ambitious have come to expect – not the low-tax, favorable-regulation approach that many state and local governments tout.
These are the findings in a new report from Endeavor Insight, the research department of the non-profit Endeavor, which focuses on fostering and mentoring “high-impact” entrepreneurs. Based on surveys and interviews with 150 founders of some of the country’s fastest-growing companies, the report answers the basic question, “what do the best entrepreneurs want in a city?” It offers basic evidence that cities should focus on factors and conditions that attract the talented, educated workers that fast-growing entrepreneurial enterprises need….
The study found that two other key factors in the location choices of entrepreneurs are major transportation networks (like airports and highways that can connect them to other cities) and proximity to customers and suppliers. …
Perhaps even more interesting from the perspective of urban policy are the location factors that did not make the cut – those that high-growth entrepreneurs found to be of little consequence in their location decisions. At the very bottom of the list were taxes and business-friendly policies, which are, unfortunately, exactly the sorts of things so many states and cities continue to promote as silver bullets. Just 5 percent of the respondents mentioned low taxes as being important, and a measly 2 percent named other business-friendly policies as a factor in their location decisions. …
What Do the Best Entrepreneurs Want in a City? Lessons from the Founders of America’s Fastest-Growing Companies
Source: Endeavor Insight, February 2014