Our Place in the Universe: Best city for minority entrepreneurs - News - News - Blogs - Atlanta Magazine

Our Place in the Universe: Best city for minority entrepreneurs

Posted By: Jackson Reeves · 3/25/2011 3:00:00 PM
If you're looking to start a new business and you happen to be a minority, look no further than Atlanta. At least, that's the conclusion drawn by Forbes, which declared our fair city the best in the nation for budding minority entrepreneurs. (An honor that comes not two years since the AJC's report that white men—aka, the perennial majority group—fared worst in the recession.)
After taking into account housing affordability, population growth, income growth, and entrepreneurship (or in econ terms, per capita self-employment) for all the major minority ethnicities, Forbes decided Georgia's capital was a better environment to launch a company if you're a minority than Baltimore and Nashville, which came in second and third, respectively. Brett Nelson argues that ATL made it to the top of the list in part thanks to having a majority black population and having a foreign-born pop that doubled in size over the past decade. (He also pointed out the problem that the recent spat of proposed anti-immigration bills could have on this prosperous sector of the economy.) Whatever the cause, we'll gladly take first place, particularly while we're still in the midst of a statewide 10.2 percent unemployment rate. And, if you're a minority entrepreneur looking to move, steer clear of Milwaukee, Cleveland, and, surprisingly, Chicago, which Forbes rated the three worst of the fifty-two major metro areas.
Here are the top five and the bottom five from the list, along with some notable cities and how they ranked:
1. Atlanta
2. Baltimore
3. Nashville
4. Houston
5. Miami
8. Washington, D.C.
18. Los Angeles
39. New York
45. Boston
48. San Diego
49. Minneapolis
50. Chicago
51. Cleveland
52. Milwaukee
Forbes's assessment seems in line with the 2010 U.S. Census data, which showed a dramatic influx of blacks to areas south of the Mason-Dixon line. The New York Times reported that our region now has the highest percentage of the nation's black population living in it than at any other point in the past half century. As the capital of the South, Atlanta stands to benefit economically from the area-wide increase if minority entrepreneurs found businesses that in due time will need new hires. (Especially since minorities constitute the majority of the populations of all but one of the five core counties of metro Atlanta. I'll give you one guess as to which county that is.) As Rev. Ronald Peters, who moved from Pittsburgh to Atlanta last year, commented in the Times, this could be the beginning of a true New South.
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