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Survey Says: Birmingham Is the Place to Be for Young Entrepreneurs

If you’re young and looking to start a business, Birmingham is the place to be. That’s according to a recent survey by Thumbtack that ranked Birmingham in first place for its list of the Top 10 Cities for Millennial Entrepreneurs. With numerous factors that constantly thrust Birmingham into the spotlight on the success of startup businesses, one notable asset is the Innovation Depot, which is a combined facility for the City of Birmingham’s Entrepreneurial Center and UAB’s Office for the Advancement of Developing Industries (OADI). The Innovation Depot serves as an anchor to the city’s ever-thriving “Entrepreneurial District.” Once fully complete, the entire district will have a special overlay zoning to encourage entrepreneurial activity as an engine for dense mid-rise urban development.

In addition to the thriving “Entrepreneurial District’ the city also hit another landmark towards attracting young entrepreneurs, with the recent announcement that Venture For America will bring college graduates to Birmingham and pair young entrepreneurs with local startups, and also host the largest group of recent graduates this year.

That increase in the attraction and attainment of young leaders proves that Birmingham is the place to be and studies continuously show that becoming an entrepreneur is not as far-fetched of an idea as an aspiring innovator might think.

A recent study favorably called “The Anatomy of an Entrepreneur” from the Kauffman Foundation for Entrepreneurship unveiled interesting common traits about entrepreneurs that include average age, background, and motivation. Among those common traits were:

  • The average age of company founders when they started their current companies is 40.
  • Less than 1 percent came from extremely rich or extremely poor backgrounds.
  • 70% were married when they launched their first business.
  • 60% had at least one child when they launched their first business (and 44% had two or more children).
  • The majority of respondents (75.4 percent) had worked as employees at other companies for more than six years before launching their own companies.

Councilor Marcus Lundy, Chair of the Economic Development Committee said that Birmingham and surrounding regions are realizing growth through budding businesses and more entrepreneurs are encouraged to take hold and capitalize on those factors.

“I think it’s important that our citizens, namely young entrepreneurs take notice of this feat of Birmingham being named as one of the top places for young entrepreneurs,” Councilor Lundy said. “Our youth are constantly buying into fresh ideas and cultural climates and I think it’s an awesome opportunity for them to learn how they can be greater participants in owning those ideals and build their dreams.”

This article is a contribution from Chiara Perry (chiara.perry@birminghamal.gov) in the Birmingham City Council Public Information Office. For more information please contact 205.254.2294.