New Orleans – #1 City for Young Entrepreneurs

In case you haven’t seen it, New Orleans is the #1 City for Young Entrepreneurs according to this recent survey.  I agree with everything in the article (except for the Bourbon Street sign in the picture).

I’ve watched entrepreneurship in New Orleans explode since Katrina, and I think it’s because of the 4 C’s I’ve listed below

  • Culture – If you’re a young professional, there’s just a lot going on here.  You can live in a vibrant urban environment with lots of history, and frequent cultural events including one of the most vibrant music scenes in the United States.
  • Cost of Living – Compared to many of the other cities on the list, the cost of living downtown in New Orleans is a fraction of what it would be in New York or Chicago.  If you prefer a more suburban lifestyle, close-in suburbs like Metairie provide easy access and short commutes.  You can even split the difference in a neighborhood like Lakeview, or the more bohemian Mid-City and be minutes from downtown.
  • Community – There’s an amazing entrepreneurial community here.  All you have to do is visit a place like LaunchPad and see the list of companies that are using the co-working space to launch and you get an immediate sense of what’s going on here.  Others are here to share your struggle, share experiences, and connect you with other entrepreneurs so we can all grow together.
  • (tax) Credits – Ok, so I had to work that one a bit to make it fit.  However, there’s no underestimating the impact that the targeted tax credits have had here.  Digital Media & Software, Film, and other programs have creative, cutting edge companies setting up shop in Louisiana and bringing 21st century jobs with them.  That’s to say nothing of the Historic Preservation tax credits that help us maintain so much of what makes us unique as a city, and the Solar Power Tax Credits that makes us one of the leading solar cities in the nation.
I’m proud to be part of the entrepreneurial community in New Orleans, and to support other local businesses.  If you want to meet more of the entrepreneurs that are fueling this movement and celebrate 10 years of the Urban Conservancy’s Stay Local project, check out their fundraiser that is happening on Saturday the 22nd (More details are on the StayLocal website).  It’s a worthwhile cause, and I hope to see you there!