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Given the importance of talent and a growing workforce to economic and entrepreneurial success, St. Louis has the opportunity to enhance our attractiveness to relocating Millennials. In MagnifyMoney’s annual ranking of cities doing best in attracting Millennials — St. Louis has room to grow in the national ranking of the Top 50 in this regard — ranking #46 in 2019.

By contrast, on a positive note for future ability for St. Louis’ to attract to inbound Millennials is the continuing emergence of St. Louis in the national rankings of “Best Cities For Entrepreneurs” — with St. Louis finishing #2 in the 2019 ranking, only behind #1 Seattle — and ahead of Denver, Nashville, Boston, and Austin in the Top Ten.

Fit Small Business” Ranks St. Louis #2 for “Best Cities For Entrepreneurs” – Entrepreneur Quarterly (EQ) – 2019

Regarding future attraction of Millennials and Gen Xers, relevant data points worth noting in the “Best Cities for Entrepreneurs” ranking:

  • St. Louis ranks in the Top 10 Cities in the U.S. for Millennial Entrepreneurs (with 40% of new ventures being started by Millennials & 42% by Gen Xers) — those who are already located here;
  • St. Louis has the “highest business survivability rating (at 85.3% vs. the national average of 79.8%);
  • the Fit Small Business 2019 Ranking also cites our extensive range of start-up resources, incubators, accelerators, coworking spaces, and overall entrepreneurial ecosystem in ranking St. Louis the second-best city for entrepreneurs in the nation.

Quoting from the 2019 Ranking:

“St. Louis lands as the second-best city for entrepreneurs thanks to its high business survivability, lower-than-average tax rate, and very low cost of living. While this may seem surprising to aspiring startup owners who equate bigger cities like San Francisco with entrepreneurship, St. Louis’s affordability and undersaturation make it the ideal proving ground for new businesses.”

“St. Louis not only has the nation’s highest business survivability rating at 85.32% — compared to the national average of 79.27% — but it also ranks as one of the top 10 cities in the U.S. for millennial entrepreneurs. About 40 percent of new ventures are started by millennials and 42% by Gen Xers, according to Lending Tree. The city also boasts a number of startup resources, such as Accelerate St. Louis, a business accelerator, and EQ, a media platform dedicated to startups.”

Fit Small Business, “Best Cities for Entrepreneurs: #2 St. Louis”

In other words, the Millennials and Gen Xers who are already here in St. Louis are doing quite well, and are in fact helping to drive St. Louis’ positive national rankings as a “Best City for Entrepreneurs.” Further, the earlier cited ranking of cities doing well in attracting Millennials notes that St. Louis is growing as a preferred location of choice for women entrepreneurs.

Given these overall positive entrepreneurial development trends in St. Louis, our challenge and opportunity is to convince more Millennial talent to make the move to locate here. Success in this regard will significantly enhance our national rankings in attracting Millennials to St. Louis to become part of the current entrepreneurial momentum here — and will further enhance St. Louis’ recent emergence as a “Best City for Entrepreneurs.”. Here’s to making this a reality in 2020! — Dick Fleming, CEO, Community Development Ventures, Inc., CIC@4220, CORTEX Innovation District, St. Louis, MO

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