Kansas City is ranked 15th among the country’s 40 largest metros on the latest Kauffman Index of Startup Activity. Last year, KC was 19th.
Among the largest states, Missouri ranked 10th, down a spot. But Kansas – now 15th, previously 18th – experienced one of the biggest jumps in rankings.
The annual study looks at ….
• the percentage of adults who became entrepreneurs
• how many new employer businesses there are compared to existing companies
• how many new entrepreneurs started businesses because they saw an opportunity, and not just because they needed to create a job for themselves
Nationally, the good news is that startup activity is clawing its way back. But it’s still below what was recorded in the 1980s.
“A three-year upward trend in new business formation is a promising sign for the economy,” said Victor Hwang, vice president of entrepreneurship at the Kauffman Foundation.
“Recent research demonstrates that more startups lead to higher productivity, wage growth and quality of life. Growing startups not only support individual entrepreneurs but lift surrounding communities. We need to identify and remove barriers and contribute to a new model of economic development that infuses more entrepreneurship into the economy.”
Other findings of note:
About 310 adults out of every 100,000 started a business in a typical month, or about 540,000 people. That’s down from a rate of 330 per 100,000.
About 30 percent of all new entrepreneurs are first-generation immigrants, and they’re twice as likely to start businesses as native-born Americans. It’s one of the highest rates in the past two decades.
“For generations, immigrants have been a key part of America’s innovation DNA – from Alexander Graham Bell inventing the telephone to Sergey Brin starting Google,” said Arnobio Morelix, senior research analyst at the Kauffman Foundation. “Today more than 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children, and over half of America’s billion-dollar unicorns have an immigrant founder.”
Miami, Austin, Los Angeles, San Diego and Las Vegas reported the highest rates of startup activity.
California, Texas, Florida, Arizona and Colorado had the highest rates of startup activity among the 25 largest states.
Among the less-populated states, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Nevada led the way.