Oct 29, 2021 - News

Colorado ranks among the country's top entrepreneurial states

Data: Heartland Forward; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Colorado ranks among the top five most entrepreneurial states in the country, a Heartland Forward report released this week shows.

Why it matters: A healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem can help sustain an area's economy by creating jobs, elevating standards of living and supporting other businesses.

State of play: Only four other states — California, New York, Utah and New Jersey — outpace Colorado's entrepreneurial growth, per the Bentonville, Arkansas-based think tank. Heartland Forward is focused on improving economic performance in the 20-state region in the center of the U.S.

  • Yes, but: Our home state ranks first if you exclude the advantages of a coastline and second when it comes to the percentage of adults with a bachelor's degree or more.

By the numbers: About 30% of the state's adult population has earned a bachelor's degree or higher.

  • Colorado's startup employment share hovers near 13%.

What they did: Researchers built the index on data about young companies, including several factors like populations with undergraduate degrees, households with computers, access to investment capital and government grants.

  • As part of the report, released Tuesday, the organization published an interactive calculator so state policymakers can see how adjustments in one area will impact their index.

What to watch: Researchers at Heartland Forward tell our Axios NW Arkansas colleagues they plan to publish a similar entrepreneurial index at a city-by-city level in early 2022.


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